Long Distance Stand Up Paddleboarding on San Francisco Bay

Awesome. Epic. Unbelievable. I want my mommy! This was just some of the noise heard on the water from a very lucky group of paddlers treated to a true rarity – a legit San Francsico Bay stand up paddleboarding downwinder in December.

Whole Foods Supports Paddle Sports - Thanks!The first annual Whole Foods Terrapin Crossroads Ride the Tide was indeed one long strange trip. A hearty group of paddlers showed up under grey skies and cold drizzly weather at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge to tackle the 13 mile paddle back to the 101 Surf Sports Shop. The races starting point was Fort Baker (aka Horseshoe Cove) and the usual breakfast bounty from Whole Foods San Rafael Team greeted a fleet that was going to need every Carbohydrate possible to tackle the day's big paddle. On the water for the day were a full cadre of Stand up Paddleboards, Prone paddleboards,  3 one man Outrigger Canoes, a double Outrigger Canoe, and a 6 man Outrigger canoe.

terrapincrossroadsMISSING PADDLE ALERT – One of our paddlers had a new Werner Fuse Paddle go missing. If you grabbed it by accident please let us know so we can get it back to its home.(UPDATE  - PADDLE LOCATED - THANKS!)

The story of day was a tale of two courses. The first one a benign 4 mile flat water jaunt pushed by a meandering 2.5 knot flood. The second one a full on 8.5 mile gnarly bump laden downwinder complete with near whitewater conditions at the San Rafael Bridge. Just completing this course on the day is a serious accomplishment for the serious waterman and it was testament to the tenacity of the gathered fleet that almost everyone finished the whole course – awesome job people.

Heading our Fort Baker

6.1 mph average stand up paddleboarding!

As the fleet exited Fort Baker (pictured above) they made the 90 degree left turn to run down Racoon straights. It was the left hand turn at Kiel Cove 4 mile later however where the serious adventure started. A stiff 15-20mph South Easter was blowing nearly straight towards the shop and bubbling up the legendary 3-5ft Voodoo Chop San Francisco Bay is famous for. It was on! GPS speeds hitting 8.5+ mph for the SUP's and the Outrigger Canoes busting out regular double digit speed bursts was the norm for the next hour of paddling. Winning Men's 14ft SUP Paddler Jean Rathle put up 4 consecutive sub 9 minute miles on his way to averaging 6+mph – Wow! A Full GPS Replay from Rathle can found below the list of times at bottom.

It was however at the Richmond San Rafael Bridge where the aforementioned cries for Mommy could be heard. A fierce wall of turbulence met a massive push of water that to some resembled a Tidal Bore as it welcomed the paddlers daring enough to try it standing up. "That was class 3 whitewater", said one paddler. Once past the bridge however the fun was not over. A fresh wind continued to blow the paddlers home to the San Rafael canal finishing up with yet one more mile of flat water grinding. Flat – Bumps – Flat – Nice!

As the paddlers crossed the finish line it was a B-line straight for our hot showers followed by a group huddle under the massive 101 Surf Sports heating system. Once body temps got back to normal it was time to dive in the delicious post-race Whole Foods lunch.

OnboardSUP Stand Up Paddleboard YogaOn the racing side of things it was Jean Rathle taking the overall win edging out David Roggenkamp (pictured below far left blasting by the SF City Front) by a scant 3 minutes after over 2 hours of paddling. Nice work gentlemen! Rune Hoyer-Nielson was the first men's 12'6. Rune's time of 2:10:37 tells me he may have won the 14ft division too if had he paddled one. We'll cover our paddle of the day award in a minute but second place on that front goes to Franny Kassberg for the ladies who turned in a smoking 2 hour 37 minute time for the women.

Know that's a backdrop!

For the Outrigger Canoes it was Jay Wild making the trek down from Tahoe to keep Charlie Banfield honest. Jay's 1hr and 40 minute time will likely be a long standing record with the near perfect conditions being such a rarity. That's a 7.5+mph average. The aforementioned paddle of the day however has to go to the He'e Nalu Outrigger Canoe Club and in particular Steve Bode. The crew had opted for a relay format on the day and it was a lucky bunch who enjoyed the first half sleigh ride to the shop. As the second crew's duty was to paddle the boat back uphill to the bridge. 13 miles worth of griding in the still stiff breeze and now building ebb that was kicking up the biggest waves of the day. Why Steve Bode? Seat one – 'nuff said.


We can't believe our luck in walking in to such a near perfect December day. Thanks to all who motivated themselves to overcome the cold and overcome the fear you were well rewarded.

Just Add Water Stand Up Paddling ApparelSpecial thanks to our Sponsors Whole Foods Market San Rafael and Terrapin Crossroads. The day simply couldn't have happened without the generous use of the Protector RIB from racer Mark Guelfi. Even better Mark had the boat stocked with an exceptional driver in Alan Shafer – Thanks Alan. A successful event like this one is all in the details and helping manage that to perfection was Stacey Lovegren of, Just Add Water. Well we did just that, add water that is, as Stacey stood out on the ice cold dock and driving rain to ensure everyone was scored and returned home safe. Thanks to Janie Glidden as well for her help and support. Also a shout out to my wife & daughter who jumped in to run registration. Also thanks again to OnboardSUP's Leigh Claxton for all the great photo's! One more gigantic thanks to the Tamalpais Outrigger Canoe Club for the use of their six man OC – Ohana defined!

We're sure there are some sore folks out there today after the epic journey. We are also sure they can be super proud of the achievement. Simply spectacular job by all and thanks for paddling with us. I am not sure how we are going to top that one but I can tell you one thing for sure – We are going to try to do just that!See you at the next one!

Photo Gallery (Thanks Leigh!)

Results and Times

Jay Wild OC1 1:40:20
Charlie Banfield OC1 1:43:06
He'e Nalu OC6 Downhill OC6 1:48:20
Tim Herring OC1 1:53:40
Sue Pearson/Helen Gallagher OC2 1:56:10
Jean Rathle SUP 2:02:38
David Roggenkamp SUP 2:05:23
Rune Hoyer-Nielsen SUP 2:10:37
Brian Thomas Prone 2:22:25
Dave Schaeffer SUP 2:25:25
He'E Nalu OC6 Uphill OC6 2:28:00
Russ Silvestri SUP 2:32:17
Ken Hartz SUP 2:34:37
Franny Kassberg SUP 2:37:47
Janet Walp SUP 2:38:32
Samantha Zorn SUP 2:39:37
Jonno Tunney SUP 2:42:42
Mark Guelfi SUP 2:42:55
Eric Jorgensen SUP 2:48:08
Chris Naeve SUP 2:57:15
Karen Crockett SUP 2:58:15
Madeleine King SUP 2:58:32
Rod De La Rosa SUP 3:03:30
Matt Wilson SUP 3:03:30
Brian Williams SUP 3:04:50
Marissa Wertheimer SUP 3:07:19
Emily Mathews SUP 3:17:02
Garret Griffin Sup 3:22:32
Angie Rando SUP 3:26:13
Tom Sabido SUP 3:30:00
Janet Whittick SUP 3:30:05
Jeffrey Waite SUP 3:30:40
Jeremy Watson Prone 3:34:45

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Remember folks - enjoy every time you get a chance to get on the water.

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