2016 event competitors. | Photo: Jeff Berting
SANTA MONICA, California - The world famous Santa Monica Pier announced CLIF Bar & Company, leading maker of nutritious and organic food to feed and inspire adventure, the title partner of the annual Santa Monica Pier Paddleboard Race and Ocean Festival. Now in its 8th year, the event has become a must-do race for the top competitors in prone and stand up paddle board racing as well as hundreds of open-ocean swimmers. The trajectory of the event has lead the similar trajectory of the sport of paddling. What was once a niche sport is now a huge global phenomenon enjoyed by millions. That growth is one of the aspects that attracted CLIF to become title partner.
“Our company vision is to ‘Feed and inspire the adventure in all of us’ and we love to partner with local events that put the community in touch with their adventurous side, says Brooke Donberg (Southwest Regional Marketing Manager). “Paddle boarding is not only a fun ocean adventure, it’s also a great form of exercise and it brings the community together. These are things that are important to us as a brand and are important to the Santa Monica Pier. We think it’s a perfect combination and are very excited about this year’s event.”
This event has become one of the pre-eminent paddle board races anywhere in the world. Top competitors come to the Santa Monica Pier Paddle board Race and Ocean Festival from as far away as Hawaii, Mexico and Australia to compete for both glory and cash prizes. It’s not only pros, though, who win at the pier paddle. There are events and prizes for amateur paddlers as well as kids. Even non-water people can compete in beach games and other challenges on the beach.
Competitors wait at the starting line. | Photo Courtesy: Santa Monica Pier Paddle
“The Paddleboard Race & Ocean Festival has grown into a celebration of everything to do with the Southern California ocean lifestyle and our relationship with nature,” said Craig Hoffman, Director of Partnership & Development for the Santa Monica Pier. “CLIF is a natural fit as a long-standing partner, coming as they do from a background in climbing and the outdoors. We all believe that playing hard and having a great time together brings great rewards for both individuals and communities. It’s great to be working together with them.”
The all-day ocean festival takes place Saturday, June 10th, 2017 beginning at 8AM on the beach south of the Santa Monica Pier. Last year’s competition saw a number of incredible athletic performances as paddlers, swimmers and lifeguard dory racers fought it out in their respective events last year. The 2017 event will see a minimum of $15,000 in cash prizes awarded to finishers plus numerous special awards of other prizes in events such as lifeguard dory racing and run-swim-run. This is third year to include beach volleyball as an event.
Music is also an important part of the Paddleboard Race and Ocean Festival, with a main stage featuring various performers throughout the day culminating in a big musical party after the awards presentation. This year’s headlining act is The Matteson 2, a jazz-rock guitar and drums duo from San Diego. The identical twin Matteson brothers have been described as sounding like a soundtrack of the jangle of the see and the jazz of the surf. Additional acts will be announced soon.
The event benefits The Surfrider Foundation and the Bay Foundation. The Surfrider Foundation is a global non-profit with decades spent fighting for coastal access and environmental issues. "The Surfrider Foundation is thrilled to be a part of this year’s event. Surfrider was founded in Santa Monica over thirty years ago when a group of rag-tag surfers dedicated themselves to the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves, and beaches,” Said Graham Hamilton, Surfrider LA Chapter Coordinator. “With so much of our coastlines under threat these days it's easy to lose sight of the enjoyment aspect of our mission. The Pier Paddle is the perfect opportunity for us to do just that while deepening our roots in the community where it all began."
The finish line for SUP. | Photo Courtesy: Santa Monica Pier Paddle
On the pier deck, the historic and popular waterman’s museum returns, celebrating the long history of paddle boarding at the Pier since the 1940s and features antique surfboards, paddle boards, lifeguard equipment and vintage automobiles. Live music and an awards ceremony will follow the completion of the races for the top finishers in each of the divisions. Industry brand manufacturers will show off the latest in paddle boards and equipment. For more information, visit www.pierpaddle.com.
About the Santa Monica Pier Corporation
The Santa Monica Pier Corporation (SMPC) is a non-profit, public benefit corporation dedicated to preserving and enhancing the Santa Monica Pier experience for all visitors. For more information, visit: santamonicapier.org
About CLIF BAR & COMPANY
Clif Bar & Company is a leading maker of nutritious and organic foods and drinks, including CLIF® Bar energy bar, LUNA®, The Whole Nutrition Bar for Women®; and CLIF Kid®, Nourishing Kids in Motion®. Focused on sports nutrition and snacks for adventure, the family and employee-owned company is committed to sustaining its people, brands, business, community and planet. For more information on Clif Bar & Company, please visit www.clifbar.com, check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/clifbar and follow us on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/clifbar.