The Jay Moriarty race 2012
Well I did this time. This year I was contemplating doing this race. I really haven’t trained for paddling 12 miles. But, when I heard that my friend John Goodman was out due to an injury and he wanted to give his spot up. I decided to give him a shout to go in his place. Plus all my Santa Cruz friends were doing it. I really wanted to do it though. It’s one of the biggest paddling events up here in Northern California and a really fun all day event. All the big name paddlers showed up for it. Prone paddling champ Jamie Mitchell (12 time Molokai to Oahu winner) showed up to do it on a 14 ft standup. Oh by the way, he ended up smashing the course record…
Me and my best friend Dana Schreiber stayed over our really close friends house (Andy and Nancy Gere) in Santa Cruz the night before. I was a little sketched out because of the lack of training. That night we had a nice dinner with the Gere’s and went to bed. We got up in the morning and rushed down to Capitola to secure parking. Parking down there is not so good later in the morning and we didn’t want to walk all the way down the hill with our stuff (race board, paddles, backpacks, etc..) we’re lazy like that.
We pulled into the parking lot and there I see my friend Chris Aguilar and Joe Bark. I roll in the lot screaming out their names. I was asked how many cups of coffee I had from Joe. Chris already knew that I was just on a natural high and am naturally hyper like that. Then we walked down to register for the race. I looked at the surf and it was pumping! I was already thinking like I was last year. Bail the event and go surfing! But I thought about the promise I made to the boys to go and paddle. Plus Dana and I were going to just finish the race and not stress out about what place we were going to be. We were going to be battling for the last place position after all.
They started us in the water again this year because of the south swell that was bringing waves into the Capitola area. Surf was good…When the horn blew, everyone took off. The top paddlers set a blistering pace. Dana, Gary, and I stayed behind to get away from the craziness. We took a steady race pace and not pushing ourselves that much in the beginning. We wanted to make sure that we had enough energy to make it to the end.
In the beginning it was pretty good paddling. We talked and goofed off with trying to draft each other to help go the distance. Then the winds came….It was a brutal 6 mile right side paddle to the Cowells buoy through chop and weird jumpy water. Gary ditched us when we were close to the Harbor. Dana and I were trying to keep from not falling that far behind the group. I yelled and him and asked that we take a rest. He wanted to paddle to the Cowells buoy and take a rest there out of the wind and chop. So we paddled onward. That was such a brutal paddle. We got the Cowells buoy and took a little breather there.
Then there came the 1 mile left side paddle to the mile buoy. That was my goal. Just to make it to the mile buoy. Once you get there. The fun part of the race begins! The downwind part. The wind at your back and the waves pushing you along. Now that’s what I like, but we had to get there first. The wind was pretty bad getting there. It was just blowing and we were having a hard time trying to keep a good line to the mile buoy. It was so bad that we ended up going on our knees for a little bit to get there. Once we got there I started cramping up. My hand just started to tweak, so Dana and I rested there for a bit. There was one of the escort boats there asking if I wanted to quit and take a ride back in with them. I was like hell no…I didn’t make it this far not to finish. Plus this was the part of the race that I was looking forward to.
So Dana and I stood up and started our way back to Capitola. This leg of the race was so much fun! Riding little bumps and gliding as far as they would take us. Then once we got past Pleasure Point the wind had stopped and we had to start paddling again. I was so beat and sore from cramping up by this time. But I had it stuck in my head that we only had a couple of minutes left to the finish. Once we took that last turn into Capitola I was relieved. Our little 12 mile stroll was going to be over soon. We got to the beach and jumped off of our boards for the finish line. Dana and I stopped and both stomped the finish line. We both got last place in our division, but who cares. We sure as heck didn’t. All we wanted to do was finish and have fun. I think that we accomplished that. Next year we’ll all be back.
Thanks to Kyla, Ryan, Shawn, and Pablo (Liquid Militia) for always supporting this token Hawaiian in whatever I do all these years. Thanks to Meg and Dave Chun of Kialoa paddles for my awesome Toro paddle that pulled me through the race. Thanks to Blueline and Paddle Surf Hawaii for my awesome surf SUP’s, Hydroturf for my awesome deck pads, Isurus Wetsuits (Jim Brateris) for supporting my efforts and keeping this Hawaiian kid h2o tight and warm, and thanks to Joe Bark for building me an awesome 14ft SUP raceboard!
Special thanks to all my friends that were at the event and making it a good fun deal even with the pain: John Alexiou, Andy and Nancy Gere, Gary Niblock, Ryan Brown, Scott Ruble, Joel Comer, The Ghostryder Watermans Club Santa Cruz, Chris Aguilar, Allison Riddle, the Bark’s Gemma, Jack, Sam, and Joe, Steve Shlens, Stephen Caldwell aka Reno, and anyone that I may have missed.