Australia's Lachie Lansdown Edges Out Dustin Fiero to Take the Stock Title. | Photo Courtesy: Jay Race Facebook Page
CAPITOLA, California - At Saturday's 15th Annual Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race presented by New Leaf Community Markets, two first-time competitors climbed to the top of the podium. Robert Parucha, age 25, of Manhattan Beach, CA and Lachie Lansdown, 20, of Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia grabbed victories in the Unlimited and Stock Prone classes, heading the field of nearly 200 entrants on a sunny morning in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Parucha won the over-all race in 1 hour, 50 minutes, and 48 seconds. Lansdown crossed the finish line in the Stock Class at Capitola Beach in 2:04:14.
"Racing in the Jay Race was a whole new experience for me in comparison to a lot of other races that are held throughout the paddle season," explained Parucha. "It was so cool to see how much of an impact Jay's legacy has had on people and how his message on how to go about life continues to spread throughout the paddling/surfing community."
"To post the fastest time in the 15th Annual Jay Race is completely humbling because I know there have been some really fast guys up and down the west coast who have competed in this race," he continued. "I am excited to make the trek up for next years race and thank you to everyone who put on such a great event!"
John Alexiou and 12'6 Men's Winner Haakon Hoyer-Nielsen. | Photo Courtesy: Jay Race Facebook Page
Lachie Lansdown was born to paddle. At just 20 year's old, Lachie has notched significant victories in some of the biggest paddleboard races in the world including the Catalina Classic. Just over 2 hours and 4 minutes into last Saturday's race, Lansdown added a Jay Race victory to his growing list of accomplishments. Finishing just behind Lachie with a time of 2:05:52 was Manhattan Beach's Dustin Fiero.
"Honestly one of the best races I've been to around the world," remarked Lansdown. "Such a great family feel to the whole event but still a tough race to finish. It was a bit of a journey to get here from the other side of the world but well worth it! It is such a honour to have my name beside some of the best stock paddlers in the world at one of the most prestigious races on the calendar."
"I can't believe the amount of unseen paddle talent in Santa Cruz! There are so many unknown paddlers that could make an impact on the whole prone scene," said Lachie. "The locals are all unreal from the Coffey family helping me out with a place to stay to the Groms who tried to explain the course to me on race morning... amazing people all round."
Local Stalwart, Keith McConnaughay Wins Stand Up Paddle Division. | Photo: Nikki Brooks
Santa Cruz's Keith McConnaughay paddled his way to a SUP division victory (1:58:07) on Saturday. Keith has worked very hard and put in countless hours training on the Jay Race long course over the past few months. McConnaughay edged out Bojan Bernard (Palo Alto, CA) and Stephen Sinkus (Manhattan Beach, CA) to take the SUP title.
"Through the rise in popularity of paddle racing, where events are constantly changing, evolving, and even disappearing, this race has not only gotten bigger and better, but has stayed true to its roots and what the race has always meant to me and many others," Keith said.
"To me the Jay has always represented the sense of community that originally drew me and I'm sure many others in to this great sport. There is no money to be won, no big extravagant prize for winning, although the trophy was killer this year! This race is great because of that. This day is about having a great time, remembering why we all do this (for the fun of it!) and celebrating the life of Jay Moriarity. I'm just grateful to have been a part of it."
Five years ago Kali'a Alexiou competed in her first Jay Race and finished the Short Course in a time of 30:55. On Saturday, 15-year-old Alexiou dominated the Women's SUP division finishing the 12-mile Long Course in 2:12:03, more than five minutes ahead of second place finisher and 2015 Women's champ, Jen Fuller (Sausalito, CA).
"It was a personal goal to win the Jay Race," admitted Alexiou. "It's one of the best events of the year. The vibe is good, it's a beautiful area and the course is iconic. You paddle along the coast, past the harbor, the boardwalk, and out to the mile buoy with the seals, and the water is such a deep blue... I just really love this race!"
Santa Barbara's Abby Brown Goes Back-to-Back. | Photo Courtesy: Jay Race Facebook Page
Coming off of her 2015 Women's Stock Class victory, Abby Brown (Santa Barbara, CA) went back-to-back on Saturday with a decisive win over West Palm Beach, Florida's Lacie Flynn, finishing with a time of 2:18:01. Brown has now won two of the three Jay Races that she's competed in!
"I love coming up to Santa Cruz every year for the Jay Race. It was the first race I ever competed in and I haven't missed one since," said Brown. "I'm so stoked to have back-to-back wins and will be back next year to hopefully keep that streak going."
RESULTS (Long Course)
- Robert Parucha (Manhattan Beach, CA) 1:50:42
- Max First (Los Angeles, CA) 1:53:27
- Craig Waltz (Santa Cruz, CA) 1:59:46
Stock Prone Men:
- Lachie Lansdown (Noosa Heads, QLD, AUS) 2:04:14
- Dustin Fiero (San Diego, CA) 2:05:52
- Foster Campbell (Santa Barbara, CA) 2:07:22
Stock Prone Women:
- Abby Brown (Santa Barbara, CA) 2:18:01
- Lacie Flynn (West Palm Beach, FL) 2:29:22
- Jennifer Wessels (San Pedro, CA) 2:37:59
Excitement at the finish. | Photo Courtesy: Jay Race Facebook Page
- Reno Caldwell (Redondo Beach, CA) 2:07:18
- Mark Schulbach (Ventura, CA) 2:16:29
- Will Patton (Kentfield, CA) 2:16:51
- Keith McConnaughay (Santa Cruz, CA) 1:58:07
- Bojan Bernard (Palo Alto, CA) 1:59:53
- Stephen Sinkus (Manhattan Beach, CA) 2:00:29
12'6" SUP Men:
- Haakon Hoyer-Nielsen (El Cerrito, CA) 2:05:44
- Trent Carter (Tahoe Vista, CA) 2:10:09
- John Walsh (Mendocino, CA) 2:17:01
12'6" SUP Women:
- Kali'a Alexiou (Santa Cruz, CA) 2:12:03
- Jen Fuller (Sausalito, CA) 2:17:08
- Delila Quinn (Homewood, CA) 2:28:48
- Matthew Sun (Pleasanton, CA) 1:51:34
- Daniel Czech (Santa Cruz, CA) 1:53:05
- Brian McGauley (Santa Cruz, CA) 1:55:10
- Aimee Spector (Redondo Beach, CA) 1:51:46
- Marlayna McNeil (Campbell, CA) 2:03:12
- Marie Low (Pittsburg, CA) 2:04:03
For a full list of results, click HERE.
To see more SUP Race news, click HERE.