Record High temperatures, raging fires and a pumping south swell did nothing to dissuade the largest group of participants to ever compete in the Seventh annual Surftech Jay Moriarity Memorial paddleboard race. Competitors accustom to the cold, windy and often hazardous ocean conditions of the Monterey bay showed up to a sheet glass ocean surface and sweltering conditions more associated with races in the tropics. While competition was clearly at the forefront of the participants minds, the spirit of the Jay race has always been about camaraderie and both first time and return competitors all took the time to catch up with each other and participate in remembering Jay Moriarity, who while both an avid surfer and paddler is remembered most for his voice as a positive role model in the surf and paddle communities. At the 8 am start 75 competitors took off on the 12 mile course with a first ever prize purse awaiting the overall winners for the prone paddlers in both the women’s and men’s divisions. With 17 standup paddlers taking part, the biggest question trickling through competitors and spectators alike was if the top standup paddlers would give the top prone paddlers a run for first place. General consensus on the beach was that prone paddlers would take the win, and they were right…barely. Right under 1:52 (1:51:58) minutes, Overall winner, prone paddler Chad Carvin, a two time Olympic swimmer set a new course record finishing nearly 4 minutes ahead of any of his fellow competitors and nabbing Quiksilver Editions $500 winner’s check . With Chad’s clear win, eyes turned back to the water where a serious race was happening for 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Prone paddlers Ryan Addison and Justin Mitchell were pushing hard against standup paddler Kyle Mochizuki as they came into view on the beach. Paddling his Ron House designed SUP, Kyle dug deep and slipped past his competitors finishing in 2nd place overall with a time of 1:55:29. Ryan and Justin finished seconds behind Kyle with respective times of 1:55:37 and 1:55:42.
ROXY, sponsoring the women’s division was happy to once again hand Jane Cairns the $300 winner’s check as Jane, paddling her 12’ bark stock paddle board, beat her previous time and all her fellow competitors to once again win the women’s division with a finish in 2:25:56. In addition to the prize purse, both Chad and Jane’s wins secure them free entry in to the 32 mile Molokai to Oahu race happening next month in Hawaii
As if to signal the end of the race, the perfect weather turned sour as lightning started striking and short rain squalls moved around the coast. With the beach suddenly off limits, the awards ceremony was concluded off site at the local Crows Nest restaurant where competitors all got to congratulate each other, talk story and discuss the growing popularity and diversity of paddle racing. With all proceeds from the event supporting the local junior lifeguard programs, the unprecedented participation and support, insures that the annual Surftech Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race will continue to grow in years to come. Thank you to all the sponsors, volunteers and participants who made this event possible
For more info about overall finishing times and a soon to be posted post event video go to Surftech.com