Anthony Vela wins Jay Moriarity Paddle


SANTA CRUZ, California — When LA County Lifeguard, Anthony Vela told his paddling co-horts that he would be driving north to compete in the 9th Annual Surftech Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race in Santa Cruz, Ca. last weekend rather than head south to the Waterman Challenge in San Diego, they couldn't understand why.

"The Surftech Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race has always been my favorite race of the year. Fast paddlers, fast course, and lots of Aloha." said the 36 year-old Vela "Even though Jay is a couple years younger than me, I have looked up to him for a long time, and still do. What an incredible Waterman.

That term is often times overused, but I believe it epitomized Jay. From what I hear he was more that just an amazing Waterman, but an amazing person. Having never had the opportunity to meet Jay, hearing the stories and words that are spoken during the opening ceremony always gives me chills.  Each year I feel I get to know him a little more. My thanks  to everyone who shared their stories, especially Kim Moriarity and Jay's parents."

When Jay's good friends, Grant Washburn & Frosty Hesson closed the opening ceremonies, the anticipation of the 12-mile grind ahead had competitors double checking their hydration and making sure they had ample nutrition to sustain them on the 2-3 hour endurance challenge. At 7:40am under gray overcast skies, the 9th Annual Surftech Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race was underway.

Upon reaching the first buoy, the leaders had established themselves in the front. With Vela in the lead just ahead of 2009 winner Craig Waltz, the only thing that would change over the next two hours was how far out front the top three would be at the finish line. At 9:30 am Anthony Vela emerged from the Capitola kelp beds and, on his knees, sprint paddled his way to the finish in a time of 1:56. Waltz was close behind finishing in 1:57 and Todd Robinson rounded out the top three with a time of 1:58.

Tony Mueller was the first stand up paddler to appear on the horizon. Tony, paddling a board that he shaped himself, crossed the finish line in 2:07, securing his fifth straight Jay Race victory! Close behind Mueller and finishing in just over 2:07 was Gary Accord and in third place was Rand Carter crossing the line in 2:09.

The Women's paddleboard division featured new faces in the top three spots this year. 17 year-old Maya Sprinsock dominated the race from start to finish. Maya, a competitive swimmer who'll be competing on the UC Davis swim team in the fall, paddled her 12' Stock Surftech/Bark paddleboard across the finish-line with an impressive time of 2:31. Joanne Reber finished in 2nd place at 2:54 followed closely by Caitlin DeWorken, 2:54:20.

The 2010 race marks the first time a Women's SUP category was included. Hawaii's Morgan Hoesterey made the long journey out from Oahu to participate in this year's event. "I've always wanted to come over for the Jay Race." admits Morgan "I really admire the person that Jay was and respect him as a waterman. He was one of my heroes growing up."

Long distance paddling is nothing new to Hoesterey. She was one of a two woman team (Destination 3 Degrees) to stand up paddle the entire Hawaiian Island chain earlier this year to raise awareness for plastics in the ocean. Morgan utilized her 14' Surftech/Bark Expedition SUP and hours of weekly training to build an overwhelming lead and win the Women's SUP division. Her time of 2:28 was followed by Stand Up Paddle Magazine journalist, Jennifer Holcomb, 2:51 and Lauren Eisenberg in third place at 2:52.

The 2010 race was the largest event to date with well over 200 competitors in both the 12-mile long course and 2-mile short course all enjoying the warm vibe that is unique to the Jay Race. "This year's race was incredible." said Vela. "The course was perfect with wind at our backs the last six miles of the race. Craig Waltz, Todd Robinson, and Aaron McKinnon and I battled for much of the race. It is an honor to come out on top of these incredible paddlers. Not to mention the thrill of competing with big wave standouts like Zack Wormhoudt, Ken Collins, Josh Loya, among others."

"With the decision whether to head south to compete in the Waterman's Swami's to Windansea Paddleboard Race, or north to compete in the Jay Race, the choice was clear for me." Admits Anthony. "Head north for the Surftech Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race! Cost of gas: $200, Food - $150, taking off work to drive 6 hours from LA - $200, entry fee - $50. The feeling of standing on New Brighton Beach for the opening ceremony - PRICELESS."  

Extra specials thanks to: Kevin Miske, Grant Washburn, Frosty and Zeuf Hesson, Kim Moriarity, Bob Pearson, Robert, Janice & Cameron Weaver, Doug, Sean & Ivy Moriarity, Brent Allen, Julie Moss, Gunnar Roll, Joe Beek, Becky Sox, Phil Curtis, Brian Spear, Darlene Ward-Williams, Shawna & John Griffith, Galen Roll, Terry Campion, Brian Foss, Rob Lentz, George Phiripes, Sean Burke, Timmy Hunt, Michael Horn and everyone else who helped make the 2010 Surftech Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race a success.
Last modified onFriday, 05 November 2010 10:34

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