Results of 2012 SUP Paddle Shootout in Santa Cruz

Story told from Olivier Guincetre alias -OGee-, F-One SUP rider, pro mountain biker based in Santa Cruz

The F-One team participated in the 2012 SUP Paddle Shootout sponsored by Surftech. The Annual Santa Cruz Paddle Festival event held at Steamer Lane and Cowell’s Beach allowed remote and local kayak paddlers and SUP racers/riders a chance to compete in an fantastic environment.

This year Surftech joined in the support of the event and created two new events intended specifically for SUP’s. The Paddle Shootout 2012 is one of the first Elite SUP event hosting top riders from all over including Anthony Vela, Matt Becker, Candice Appleby and others.

The beach break kept things interesting at the 2012 Surftech SUP Shootout in Santa Cruz

The weather turned out to be much better than the forecast with smooth water under cloudy skies for the paddle board race. The day prior to the event was extremely windy and stormy so competitors were treated to a nice break in the rainy forecast. Several video and still camera’s were present throughout the event filming live for The lenses were ready for the show as all the ingredients for a challenging SUP race was on tap; wind, beach break, swell and beach run to keep things interesting.

The F-One Race 12,6 I was using for the short course worked perfect and felt great even in the less than desirable conditions. For my first race of the year I knew that I was not in good enough shape yet for racing the long course with the big boys. I opted to compete in the Gunslinger 12.6 Stock category.  A 2.7 mile race starting at Cowell’s beach, around the wharf, down to the Santa Cruz harbor and back to the beach to conclude with a 1/2 mile run.

The long course added another mile to the paddle portion (3.7 miles total). Both short and long course competitors started together with a quick run to get their boards and then a battle through the shore pound! Many competitors had trouble with the 4-6ft waves that were rolling through loosing valuable time as they made there way through the surf. I was fortunate enough to find a pause in the surf and easily slipped through the surf, the board was cutting the waves without any resistance and I had a very good start.

Matt Becker, Anthony Vela & Candace Appleby at the 2012 Surftech SUP Shootout in Santa Cruz,

I was feeling good on the board even with choppy conditions and turning around buoys. Unfortunately after being in the lead group for a little while my arms and shoulders started feeling really sore and I had to slow down for the rest of the course and I finished 3rd with 40 seconds behind the winner David Meyler (Team Boga) and 20 seconds after Dino Wilson (Team Boga).

On the long course it is Ben Sarrazin from the Team Boga who surprised everyone hitting the beach first until Anthony Vela caught up to him and ultimately passed Ben on the 1.2 mile beach run to steal the 1st place position.

Podium: True Grit Elite
1- Anthony Vela, M&M
2- Ben Sarrazin, Boga
3- Brenan Rose, Surftech

Podium: Women  
1- Candice Appleby, Surftech
2- Alison Riddle, Surftech
3- Jen Fuller, Boga

Podium: Gunslinger
1- David Meyler, Boga
2- Dino Wilson, Boga
3- Olivier Guincetre, F-One

After the Race I went to check out the SUP Surf contest at the Steamer Lane. The surf was looking good and the 14 year old F-One team rider Hunter Griffith from Santa Cruz on his 7’11” F-One Madeiro was ripping. Unfortunately Hunter didn’t get enough points to advance into the next round and on to the final.

F-One Team Rider Hunter Grifith at the 2012 Surftech SUP shootout in Santa Cruz

However, Hunter’s father John was really surfing well and charging every wave quickly advancing to the finals. The finals had very tight competition between Anthony Vela, and John Griffith but it was Matt Becker who was catching the best waves and with his progressive style helped him to seal the victory just ahead of John Griffith (2nd) who is old enough to be his dad.  SUP surf and paddle competitions are unique and it’s amazing to see a sport where age doesn’t necessarily decide outcome. Congrats to all and especially John Griffith, representing the true Santa Cruz local.

Podium Shootout
1-Matt Becker, Surftech
2-John Griffith, Surftech
3-Anthony Vela, M&M
7-Candice Appleby, Surftech
22-Hunter Griffith, F-ONE