Photo by Mike Fox on Unsplash
With its abundance of sunshine and relatively warm conditions (paddlers don’t have to contend with ice and snow, usually 😁) paddling through the winter months in the Southwest is an enjoyable escape. While COVID-19 is still very present throughout the region, a handful paddling events have returned to the dot the calendar during winter 2022.
Here’s a look at what’s on tap:
Saturday, January 29, 2022 – Hanohano Ocean Challenge – Mission Bay, San Diego, California: The annual winter paddling extravaganza in Southern California, the Hanohano Ocean Challenge is typically one of the most widely attended winter paddling events in the region. Open to all paddlecraft, this winter’s event will be the 27th annual Hanohano Ocean Challenge, making it one of the longest running paddling events in the Southwest. The event is always a fun time and boasts one of the best raffles in the industry. Registration is live on Paddle Guru.
Saturday, February 12, 2022 – Hal Rosoff Classic – Newport Aquatics Center, Newport Beach, California: The Newport Aquatic Center’s annual winter paddlefest returns with four races: short course (approximately 4 miles), kid’s race (approximately 2 miles), paddleboard race (approximately 6 miles), and a long course (approximately 9 miles). The entry fee is just $30 and each participant will receive pre-race bagels and chilli / soup after the race. All proceeds from the event benefit the Newport Aquatic Center’s junior outrigger canoe program. Registration is live on Paddle Guru.
Sometime in February…the Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club hopes to host the annual Lanakila Classic in Redondo Beach, California. Additional details are forthcoming pending receipt of a permit to hold the event. Stay tuned! 😉
Update – February 7, 2022: The Lanakila Classic is a go! Set your calendars for Saturday, February 26, 2022 – King Harbor, Redondo Beach at the Seaside Lagoon. Registration is live on PaddleGuru.
Saturday, March 19, 2022 – Dana Ocean Challenge – Dana Point Harbor, Dana Point, California: The 33rd annual Dana Ocean Challenge is scheduled to rock in mid March. The Ocean Challenge is one of my favorite winter events. It is always a fun crowd, I get to hang out with my buddy Dave Boehne and the Infinity crew, the paddling course is not overly complex and contains a nice mix of open ocean and harbor paddling, and there is ample parking throughout the harbor in scenic Dana Point. There will be a long course, a short course and a kid’s race inside the harbor. Registration is live on Paddle Guru, you know what to do!
Friday, March 25 – Sunday March 27 – Wild Buffalo Race – Two Harbors, Catalina Island, California: The Wild Buffalo Race is a weekend long festival of paddling on Catalina Island. There will be a 5 mile, out and back course on Saturday, March 26th followed by the main event, a relay race from Two Harbors to the Newport Dunes in the Newport Beach back bay. Each paddler is responsible for arranging transportation (including for their boat) to Catalina, booking their accomodation, planning meals and arranging for an escort boat. If that sounds like a lot of logistics, well it is. The organizers have however planned a few group activities for participants throughout the weekend, including a pasta dinner Saturday night, so at least that’s something. 🤔 Registration is live on Paddle Guru.