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Have you ever tried a stand-up paddleboard from Santa Catalina to Dana Point? Don’t do it unless you’re with a pro. In mid-April, I encountered a terry planket at Two Harbors on the western side of the island. She and her team were preparing to make a relay-style 40-mile crossing.
“I’ve had countless SUP events around the world, and arguably this was the most challenging event I’ve ever attended,” Terry then emailed me. It was.
Former LA County lifeguard, stand-up paddle coach and athlete Anthony Bella hosted the event. Bella and his company, Performance Paddling, train intermediate and advanced paddles. 16 students aged 32 to 73 participated in the crossing. Anthony told me about the logistics of open water stand up paddles. This is an edited version of our conversation.
How fast can you run in open water paddling?
Depending on the situation, you can paddle at 4-5 mph. Our paddle was 40 miles. It was done as a relay by the team. If the average speed of each team is 4 mph, it will take 10 hours. If the average speed for each team was 4.5 mph, it would take 9 hours. Everyone finished within 9 hours and 30 minutes. The fastest team finished within 9 hours.
What do you need to organize a relay event?
First of all, it’s safe. Each of our teams had their own escort boat. You can fall and hit your head or ribs, or have a heart attack. We had four Zoom meetings and one face-to-face meeting…