Wavechaser paddle racing on San Francisco Bay

If you have never been to a Wavechaser race you are missing out. The Wavechaser Series is closing in on 20 years of paddle racing here in the San Francisco Bay Area and its unique format has something for everyone. (all photos Mike Martinez/Wavechaser)

The Wavechaser series is based out of Redwood City but travels all over the Bay and has some of the best race courses in the contry. The series has both a winter and summer format with the summer events usually taking advantage of San Francisco Bay's dependable summer winds for some exceptional downwind action.

The series is a model of diversity and inclusion when it comes to paddle craft. With Outrigger Canoe, Surfski, Prone Paddleboars, K1's, V1;s, Doubles, and Stand Up Paddlboards all sharing the same starting line. In fact it's even possible to race three different course on three different craft all in one day. Tackling the 3 x 3 challenge even has its own special division called the "Waterman division". Waterman means women too and you'll find a pretty even split between the guys and gals on the starting line. 

Wavechaser prone paddleboard racing

Each Winter Series race has three courses that are usually set up to run sequentially with a 3-4 mile "novice course" up first. The events second act is called the "Short Course" and runs between 5-8 miles. This one is recomended for the SUP and Prone crowds. Then the big finale is the Long Course that can test even the elite paddlers with distances in the 9-13 mile ranges.

The Wavechaser crew puts in the extra effort to change up the venues each race with racing on some on the most dynamic courses anywhere. From Half Moon Bay, to Benicia and almost everywhere in between if there is water the Wavechaser's have raced there.  

Wavechaser surfski racing on San Francisco Bay

The racing format has a low pressure informal vibe with an emphasis on fun (note the reindeer horns above) and comraderie. You'll find paddlers helping each other out on and off the race course and the apres paddle race scene is legendary. There is a large contingent of kids that show up each race and in fact some of these kids over the years have developed in to the Bay Area's top racers. The last race in Redwood City the Race Committee even brought freshly caught crab from Half Moon Bay for the racers holiday tables. Do gooding is a big part of the scene as well with a Toys For Tots drive woven in to the fabric of the last race. 

As you should know by now we think racing is a great way to up your game. It's not about beating anyone but rather about seeking to improve yourself and racing is the best way to grow. You'll meet great people and have a fantastic day on the water that your whole family can be part of. 

So what are you waiting for? Signing up ahead of time is greatly appreciated as it helps the organizers well, organize. See you on the starting line. 

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More Information On Wavechasers Website (note the new website is still a work in progress)

The 2020 Wavechaser Race Schedule is below. 

wavechaserschedule

 

 

 

 

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