Friendly competition takes to the waters |

Friendly competition takes to the waters

Elyse Brightman
Paddlers race towards a bouey during the Wednesday night standup paddle race series at El Dorado beach.
Brian Walker/ Brian Walker Photography |

In 2011, Chris Brackett, the owner of South Tahoe Standup Paddle, had an idea to start a series of races.

With no real plan and with his experiences in competitive snowboarding, Brackett modeled the races after USASA snowboarding competitions and put the word out on Facebook.

The first night, 24 people showed up at Reagan Beach to enjoy a little friendly competition, music and food. On the last night, 13 weeks later, 106 paddlers took to the water.

“It was unbelievable, over the top. People were sad when the season was over,” Brackett said.

In 2012, the races moved to El Dorado Beach and the new sport was starting to gain popularity.

“Now there’s a paddling community,” Brackett said. “It’s not so much about the competitive side of things, it’s just get out there and participate. Something about the energy with everyone else and you just go out there and do your best.”

The course was designed by Brackett and his team and each year is changed slightly to try and improve it.

“It’s about a 2.5-mile course that we’ve perfected. It’s season four now, so it’s really hard for me to come up with a better course design,” Brackett said.

The 2014 season goes for 14 weeks and started on Wednesday as the beach was lined with 60 paddlers. The sun was getting ready to set and there was a moderate southwesterly wind that slowed many racers’ times, but the wind didn’t put a damper on the competition as the top field of racers darted out to the first bouy. They continued around each one with hairpin turns for 2 2/3 laps to complete the 2.5 mile course. Spectators can watch from the shore and enjoy the commentary and music from a RedBull truck.

Registration is $20 per entry and opens at 5:30 p.m. followed by a riders meeting, the National Anthem and then racing starts at 6:30. The race is commentated and food is provided for registered paddlers by the Hard Rock Cafe. Each racer is given a raffle ticket for a chance to win prizes after the race. At the end of the season, one racer will win a $2,500 board from Lake Shore Paddle Company.

Racers join from all over the country and are divided into divisions based on age and board size including 14’ men and women, 12’6” men and women, SUP men and women, youth and grom. The top three finishers are awarded a prize.

On June 25, the series race before the Race of the Lake of the Sky, Brackett is expecting to have the biggest turnout of the year including professional standup paddleboarders. Athletes like Annabel Anderson, Kai Lenny and Candice Appleby are all expected.



1. Mike Gabor, 34.55, Mens 14

2. Josiah Brackett, 35.18, Mens 12’6

3. Steve Funk, 35.34, Mens 14

4. Ben Day, 35.54, Mens 14

5. Tom Gandt, 36.12, Mens 12’6

6. Ryan Funk, 36.32, Junior Men

7. Nate Ludwig, 36.32, N/A

8. Joshua Brackett, 37.07, Junior Men

9. Mike Day, 38.11, Men 14

10. John Allen, 38.18, Men 12’6

11. Summit Moulton, 38.35, Junior Men

12. Levi Largent, 38.37, Junior Men

13. Jay Prigge, 38.40, Men 12’6

14. Mario Mangiaracina, 38.40, Junior Men

15. Scott McConaughey, 38.43, Men 12’6

16. Wayne Prouty, 39.10, Men 14

17. Sue Norman, 39.24, Women 12’6

18. Brady Flarety, 39.31, Men 14

19. Paul Zarubin, 40.16, Men 12’6

20. Wendy Ackerman, 40.41, Women 12’6

21. Dean Slater, 40.50, Men 12’6

22. Greg Moser, 41.25, Men SUP

23. Charlie Bowman, 41.44, Men 14

24. Sara Callaham, 41.45, Women 12.6

25. O”rion Shea, 42.03, Junior Men

26. Jeff Silliman, 42.12, Men SUP

27. Kaden Neary, 43.47, Youth Boy

28. Charles Lancelotti, 44.02, Men 12’6

29. Jacob Brackett, 44.04, Youth Boy

30. Delila Quinn, 44.42, Youth Girl

31. Luke Allen, 44.49, Junior Men

32. Chad Mccully, 44.57, Men 12’6

33. Jude Markward, 45.56, Women 12’6

34. Jessica Brackett, 46.10, Youth Girl

35. Bill Booseman, 46.09, Men SUP

36. Maria Bowman, 36.12, Women 12’6

37. Jay Cooley, 46.16, Men SUP

38. Riley McConaughey, 47.09, Junior Men

39. Stephanie Yuzbick, 47.12, Women 12’6

40. Jody Taylor, 48.53, Women SUP

41. Lynn Zarubin, 49.49, Women 12’6

42. Mateo Masellonas, 52.00, Men SUP

43. Desi Mccully, 53.17, Junior Women

44. Julie Zied, 54.09, Women SUP

45. Zenn Quinn, 55.15, Youth Boy

46. Nic Galdin, 55.42, Men SUP

47. Jane Anthony, 55.22, Junior Women

48. Sarah McConaughey, 59.54, Junior Women

49. McKenna Prouty, 01.01, Junior Women

50. Jennifer Brackett, 01.03, Women 12’6

51. Zane Smith, 01.04, Youth Boy

52. Adam Johnson, 01.04, Junior Men

53. Emily Novak, 01.07, Junior Women

54. Elyse Brightman, 01.08, Women SUP

55. Crystal Moore, 01.08, Women SUP

56. Janni Booseman, 01.11, Youth Girl

57. Amy Tirre, DNF

58. Taylor Tirre, DNF

59. Jade Child, DNF

59.Terresa Tucker, DNF

60. Joe Quinn, DNF

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