This weekend will bring all the top elite stand up paddle athletes to Dana Point for the Battle of the Paddle California. Watch for the expected favorites but also keep an eye out for the unusual suspects.
DANA POINT, California - The wait is over and the Battle of the Paddle California 2011 is finally here. Elite stand up paddle athletes have been training and competing in events all year long, all in preparation for this massive event.
But dig a bit deeper and the men’s elite field is tighter than ever. This past Sunday, at the Hinano Surfrace to Victory in Huntington Beach, Boardworks team rider Anthony Vela, riding his Morelli & Melvin stand up paddleboard, barely edged out Jaime Mitchell in a finish that has to be seen not read. (see the video above)
The format of the race, much like that of the Battle of the Paddle, tested not only endurance skills, but the ability to get out through the surf and back in without losing too much ground. Vela, who is well versed in SUP Surf, was able to gain an edge when Mitchell fell on the final wave that the two of them had caught.
In the mesh of paddles, arms, legs and stand up paddleboards this weekend at the Battle of the Paddle, keep an eye out for Anthony Vela and Rob Rojas as they take their stab at winning one of the most coveted titles in SUP racing.