Over 70 elite and novice paddlers from throughout California and Hawaii participated on Saturday, May 19th in the 3rd Annual Santa Cruz Down Wind Ryder Cup presented by Quiksilver Waterman Collection. The 14.5 mile paddleboard race was held in what top competitors are calling some of the best downwind paddleboard conditions of any California paddleboard race in recent history. The race starts in the sleepy town of Davenport and works its way down the coast back to Cowells beach in Santa Cruz. “14.5 miles is a long way, but with conditions like today you’re bummed when the race comes to an end”. said Oahu’s top female finisher in the Women’s SUP division, Morgan Hoesterey.
Matt Becker took the overall SUP win on a 14′ Bark board in 2:00:15 and Jack Bark took the overall prone paddleboard win on a 12′ stock Bark board in 2:09:49. You can safely say these two 18 year olds have a prosperous future in the sport.
10-15 mile per hour winds and 1–3 foot south swell made for ideal downwind racing. ”This was the most amazing race ever. I got the best bumps of my life out there and had a blast. I am so Stoked and can’t wait for next year!” said Bark.
The race was organized by the Santa Cruz based Ghost Ryders Waterman Club (GRWC), a California Non-Profit Corporation specifically benefitting the Santa Cruz City Junior Lifeguard Program. Additional sponsors included Surftech and Clif Bar.