Appleby and Bark victorious in the 2014 Battle of the Paddle
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 11 October, 2014 - The 7th Annual Battle of the Paddle (A.K.A. The Super Bowl of SUP) did not disappoint as the world's top stand up and prone paddle athletes took to the water last weekend to do battle at Salt Creek, CA. With a sizable south swell in the forecast and a new race venue notorious for pounding surf, athletes with a surfing background were ecstatic about last weekend's race.
Surftech's paddle team pride themselves on being well rounded water athletes able to handle just about any and all water conditions. Needless to say, the team in the Surftech Battle of the Paddle (BOP) expo tent were frothing to get in the water as a 4 - 6 foot southwest swell pumped through Salt Creek throughout the weekend! In fact Jay Wild, George Plsek, Morgan Hoesterey and Alison Riddle were so psyched they chose to race in both the Elite SUP and Prone races! While a handful of other men opted to race in both divisions, including Anthony Vela, Chuck Patterson and Rob Rojas, Morgan and Alison were the only two women to compete in both events! For her tenacity Hoesterey earned the Battle of the Paddle "Most Inspirational Female" award!
In 2014 Jack Bark (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA) has paddled his Surftech 12' Bark Commander paddleboard from the tip of Southern Australia to the northern tip of Tasmania, from Vancouver, BC to Victoria Canada, broke the stock course record at the Molokai2Oahu Paddleboard World Championships, won the prone division in the Carolina Cup and the Surftech Jay Race and won the Waterman Tahiti Tour prone race last month! None of Jack's paddle adventures this year have involved paddling out through head-high waves and surfing!
In the Battle of the Paddle's inaugural Elite Prone Race, Bark trailed Shane Scoggins (Goleta, CA) throughout much of the race up until the final lap where he passed Scoggins at the first turn buoy and never looked back, opening up a 40 second lead over Scoggins.
"I was so stoked to win this year," said Bark. "There were some super fast guys, including Shane Scoggins, who is an animal on a stock board. I kind of got skunked on the waves, but managed to sneak by Shane at the end. Can't wait to see who shows up next year to battle it out!"