101 Surf Sports Stand Up Paddleboarding and Kayaking on San Francisco Bay

Barry Wicks leads the way

Our Redwood City Paddle race today was one for the ages and we really tested the limits of our new location. With gusting 30+ mph winds we set an uphill downhill course that saw every paddler tested.(Pictured Barry Wicks leading Claire Abrams with Brett Nelson in pursuit.)

A prudent race course would have been to simply keep the paddlers in the harbor. The 101 Surf Sports team has a ‘rain or shine we are on the line’ policy however and with the winds at the perfect angle to do something new we took a chance. That chance paid off with all the paddlers tested on a brutal upwind and then a sleigh ride home. We then set two buoys inside the harbor to combine for a truly unique race. Part Tough Mudder, part Paddle race. We even had our first racer attempt a portage during the race. That however did not pay dividends.

The race was two laps and as you may have surmised lap 2 was even windier. I have to say it was one of the most fun races we have watched. With paddlers who had never downwinded before busting out long glides. The biggest bumps were right at the harbor entrance so it was quite a spectacle to see to whole fleet pushing 8+ mph on the entry. (pictured below it's all smiles for Claire Abrams on the Epic V7 Surfski)

Claire Abrams rocking the Epic V7 Surfski

With the conditions so tough most of the racers bailed out early after completing the first lap. However they did paddle back out to test their mettle against the power of the wind. The ebb tide was moving in the opposite direction of the wind making for some legit bump riding. The 2 Surfski’s in on the day were sending their bows skyward in an impressive display of surfing – straight in to the harbor no less.

Wind conditions from todays paddle race. Gusting over 30 mph!

The after-paddle pizza, beer, cookie combo was the perfect wrap up. The morning kicked off with bottomless basket of fruit courtesy of the Fruit Guys, Hint Water, and Kind Bars. Thanks to all the businesses that support our sport. Thanks to all who paddled – you definitely achieved something today!

Amy Byers – 54:49 (surfski)
Barry Wicks - 1:09:27 (SUP 14)
Claire Abrams – 1:12:35 (surfski)
Brett Nelson - 1:13:47 (sup14)

Sarah Wicks - 40:34 SUP 12'6" Short Course

Everyone else got a DNF but also a badge of honor for taking up the challenge. It was such a nce effort by the fleet everyone walked away with a coffee cup. Way to represent guys!


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