US Champs - Women's Results, Post-race Comments

Sunday, 30 September 2007 05:34 | Written by 
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The 2007 US Surfski Championships were held in unexpectedly calm conditions.  Competition was fierce, with the tidal currents playing a significant role.  Greg Barton (48) won the sprint to the Fenn Hotspot, taking home the $1000 bonus prize, while Lewis Laughlin (37) paddled a great race, overtaking Oscar Chalupsky (44) on the home straight.  (Look at the ages of those paddlers - who all beat a squad of younger world class competitors...)



Women's Division

The women's division results in Saturday's 2007 US Surfski Championships were as follows:

  1. DeAnne Hemmens 2:34:09
  2. Megan Quale 2:39:17
  3. Kathleen Petereit 2:54:44
  4. Mary Jo Gumbert 3:00:08

Post-race commentary

Barry Lewin came 4th after starting badly and working his way up through the pack.  He was lying third on the last section when he finally blew and Greg Barton caught him.  "The start was just so hectic fast and the first section into the current really technical," he said.  "I chose bad lines in the current only turning Pt. Bonnita in 8th."

US Surf Ski Champs - start
US Surf Ski Champs 2007 Start (Photo: Judy Barker's Cell Phone!)

Having worked his way up to within 50m of the leaders, he blew.  "I had just done too much to go through the field."  Greg Barton was on a better line and passed Barry as he slowed down.

"The racing is not over," he added - he's paddling with Lewis Laughlin in the doubles race today, which should also be an interesting contest.  Oscar Chalupsky and Greg Barton will be paddling a Comet double ski, designed by John Dixon (who also did the computer work on the design of the Epic V10)...  Could there be an "Epic" future for the Comet?

Bevan Manson and Daryl Bartho are teaming up while locals Robert Clegg and Zsolt Szadovski will be taking on the foreign teams.

"I'd love to get some of my own back!" said Lewin.

US Surfski Champs - Golden Gate
Heading under the Golden Gate on the way out US Surf Ski Champs 2007 Start (Photo: Judy Barker's Cell Phone!)

Kathleen Petereit (aka Huki Girl)

This year was worse than last year. The elite guys got in as the winds were picking up for us slower paddlers. The start was great. We launched from the beach. The bay was calm so I decided to race my Huki Special.

I was making good time until we got to Point Bonita. There were a few really ugly patches on the way out that were just all mixed up and crazy. At point Bonita the swell got big with wind waves, you could surf down the backside of these swells and that was fun.

US Surfski Champs - Pt. Bonnita
Heading out past Pt. Bonnita US Surf Ski Champs 2007 Start (Photo: Judy Barker's Cell Phone!)

Turning the bouy was fine and I was actually surfing some big ones and feeling good. I got ahead of five guys that were in out pack and caught up with a South African guy. He chatted with me a bit and said I was looking good, and that he was slowing to wait for his buddy, also from South Africa. So off I went and the wind waves were going sideways down some really big swell.


Then I dumped in this mess and could not get back on my ski after 3 attempts. My ski kept blowing over, I couldn't see a safety boat and got a little panicky and cold. Then the two South Africans guys appeared and one immediately jumped off his ski to come to my rescue. His ski and paddle was blowing away and the other guy hung onto it. The first guy held my ski till I got in and told me to slow my breathing and calmed me down before he let me go and then had to go swim in the very cold messy water to retrieve his paddle which was some distance away. These were the two most amazing guys and should get an award for their heroic deed. I shared my prize money with them.

 It took a while to warm up then I was ok and got back in the surfing mode.

It was a tough race and I am glad it is over !

US Champs - heading home
Heading home US Surf Ski Champs 2007 Start (Photo: Judy Barker's Cell Phone!)

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