Presented by SUPtheMag
Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz, California
28 - 30 April, 2014
Steamer Lane delivers epic conditions for Surftech Shootout
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 3 April, 2014 - Once again, viewers all around the globe tuned in to the live webcast to watch the 2014 Surftech Shootout presented by SUPtheMag transpire in magnificent fashion.
The opening rounds of this progressive sold-out SUP surf contest on Friday and both the race and surf action on Saturday built to a crescendo Sunday, with double-overhead surf and unforgettable SUP surfing, courtesy of Santa Cruz, California’s world famous Steamer Lane.
Competitors from Hawaii, Oregon, Southern California, Mexico, Colorado and beyond descended upon Santa Cruz again in late March, recalling both the bounty (huge surf in 2013, 2012) and challenge (howling storm during 2011 race) of past years with excitement and expectation…and they were not disappointed!
2012 Shootout winner, Surftech’s Matt Becker, arrived fresh off the US SUP Tour and a winter chasing giant waves at Mavericks hoping to reclaim his title from 2013 Champion Dave Boehne, who was here again with the crew from Infinity making their annual pilgrimage north to test themselves against the powerful waves and sometimes challenging weather.
On the race side of things, Slater Trout (Maui, HI) and Chuck Glynn (Carlsbad, CA), last year’s 1st and 2nd respectively, again faced off with fresh intensity, in both the Shootout and the Duel SUP Race. Saturday’s race produced a moderate wind and plenty of swell, and history repeated itself, with Slater taking the win, followed closely by Chuck and Ryan Helm (Sayulita, Mexico) in third.
Many athletes competed in both disciplines, seeking the coveted Combined Overall Winner title, which showcases the overall best athlete by tabulating scores from both the Shootout and the Duel. We have crowned a male and female winner each year with the highest point total since establishing this top honor, but Surftech’s Candice Appleby remains the only person to have gotten first place in both the Shootout and the Duel (2013), an impressive feat many still seek to achieve.
This year for the men, Ryan Helm earned the prestigious Combined title, accumulating a second place finish in the Shootout and a third in Duel for an overall top ranking which was locked in as soon as he made it into the Shootout Finals.
Competition remained tight as Surftech’s Morgan Hoesterey (Honolulu, HI) faced off for the full 72 hours against Fiona Wylde (Hood River, OR) as they battled for the title. As they both advanced through Shootout heats, Morgan dug in a little harder by dominating Fiona in the Elite Duel race division.
When they met again in the Shootout Womens Finals, it ended up getting down to the wire and Fiona narrowly edged out Morgan for 1st place and the corresponding Combined Overall Winner.
Fresh faces desiring to surf against the world’s best included progressive ripper Bernd Roediger from Maui, who put on an absolute show for three days in a row, blowing everyone away by surfing with reckless abandon and smashing every wave all the way up to the top of the the podium in his inaugural year, becoming the 2014 Surftech Shootout Champion.
Joining him in first place with an explosive performance from within the competitive women’s field was Fiona Wylde.
The DUEL SUP race also featured vigorous competition. We saw the largest prone paddleboard contingent to date, hosting some impressive times. The animal that is Jack Bark (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA), having just completed an unprecedented journey in a multi-day, 180 mile adventure on the other side of the world (A Date with the Strait), paddled the same board, a production 12′ BARK Commander paddleboard by Surftech, to a third place Long Course overall finish, right behind Chuck Glynn and ahead of Ryan Helm.
This marked the first time a prone paddleboard has broken into the top three overall! These studs showed true grit, staying ahead of a stacked field which included Matt Becker, Fernando Stalla (Sayulita, Mexico), Brennan Rose (Long Beach, CA), Anthony Vela (San Clemente, CA) and more.
We also saw big wave charger Savannah Shaughnessy (Santa Cruz, CA) take a break from surfing Mavericks come in third overall for the Women, right after second place finisher Fiona Wylde. The amount of multi-talented athletes this year was staggering, adding evidence to the movement in the SUP world that the water athlete of today is a well-rounded individual that is skilled in and enjoys diverse conditions and challenges, and this is truly one of the tenets that the weekend of activities that the Surftech Shootout embodies.
While the high stakes action unfolded at the Lane three days in a row, the third segment of the Surftech Shootout gave intermediate surfers the opportunity to SUP surf alongside the pros in the two-day Cowell’s Classic event at the next peeling righthand pointbreak 100yards down from the Lane, at Indicators.
A wide variety of paddle surfers ranging from the young up-and-comers all the way to seasoned rippers honing their skills for next years Shootout event all enjoyed the sun and plentiful waves under the eyes of their committed judges panel and dedicated water safety.
A big shoutout goes to the legendary Dennis Judson and the crew from Adventure Sports Unlimited who we have had the pleasure of working with in conjunction with the Santa Cruz Paddlefest for these many years! We also want extend special thanks to Joe Carberry and SUPtheMag for stepping up and making this event possible again this year!
Other thanks include to the City of Santa Cruz, Chris Hollingsworth (Seven Seas Industries) and Andre Niemeyer (i9Media) for their hard work each year, the water safety, vendors and our sponsors for supporting the organic and explosive growth of the Shootout and Duel SUP race, we couldn’t do it without your generosity and dedication to the ocean lifestyle!