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The world famous Santa Monica Pier and the Honolua Surf Co. kick off the summer of 2012 with the Santa Monica Pier Paddleboard Race and Ocean Festival, featuring ocean swims, SUP and paddleboard races, dory competitions, live music and a surfing, lifeguard and paddleboard "museum for the day."
The event is a benefit for Heal the Bay and its public marine education facility, the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. Heal the Bay will receive a portion of net proceeds from the event.
The waterman "museum for the day" on the pier deck will feature antique surfboards, paddleboards and lifeguard equipment. Paddleboard racing was a popular Santa Monica sport in the 1940s with two paddleboard clubs headquartered on the pier.
On the pier deck, manufacturers will show off the latest in paddleboards, accessories and clothing. An awards ceremony will follow the completion of the races for the top finishers in each of the paddleboard divisions and the dory races.
All races start and finish on the sand immediately south of the pier. The standup paddle and traditional or prone paddleboard races feature a 5.5 mile long course and 2 mile "fun paddle," both of which take paddlers around the historic Santa Monica Pier and hug the coast. The SUP-only 4-person relay will pit teams of paddlers against each other. Each team must have at least one woman paddler.
For the dory competition, area lifeguards will row fiberglass rescue boats in both a 1 mile sprint and a crowd-pleasing 3 lap race through the surf. Registration is now open for the dory event, which is presented with the National Doryman's Association.
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