Friday, August 24, 1990
South Bay Edition
Section: Sports
Page: C-12
WEEKENDER / BARRY ZEPEL;

Paddle-Board Race Is a Real Marathon

By: BARRY ZEPEL

For some, it is cruel and unusual punishment to be awakened before
noon.


But by that time on Sunday, about 30 racers will have challenged the
cold Pacific surf on a paddle board for a 32-mile trip between Catalina
Island's Isthmus Cove and a finish line at the Manhattan Beach Pier. They
will be participating in the Catalina Classic Paddleboard Marathon,
organized by the L.A. County Lifeguard Assn. and sponsored by L.A. Sound
car stereo products.


The race, first held in 1955, was canceled in 1961 when conditions in
the waterway were considered too dangerous. It was revived 20 years later
when the Manhattan Beach Historical Society helped renew interest in the
event. Its popularity has grown since and the race now has two divisions,
stock (boards 12 feet or less in length) and unlimited (no size or weight
restrictions).

County lifeguard Gene Rink is the record-holder in both divisions,
completing the stock race in 6 hours, 28 seconds in 1986 and the
unlimited event in 5:21:28 in 1987.
The races begin at 6:30 a.m. Each paddle-boarder will be followed by an
escort boat carrying the racer's colored number banner. T-shirts and
posters will be sold at the Manhattan Beach Pier, with proceeds going to
the Lifeguard Assn. trust.
Only trained and well-conditioned racers will be allowed to compete.
Information: (213) 602-0152.

Copyright 1990 Los Angeles Times. May not be reproduced or retransmitted without permission.