Archives for category: water sports

I just saw this video of some serious ripping by Surfing America groms in Santa Cruz over the weekend. Apparently, while most eyes were glued to the Maverick’s break up near Half Moon Bay, some junior surfers were taking advantage of this local spot.

The sole grom with Santa Cruz ties to win a division in the fourth Surfing America Prime event of the season was John Mel, a Santa Cruz native who now lives in Newport Beach. He took the boys under-14 division ahead of runner-up Noah Hill of Marina Del Ray and third-place finisher Ryland Rubens of Pacific Beach at Steamer Lane, where the contest ran from Jan. 20-21, according to a Surfing America Facebook post. The event was the only Surfing America stop scheduled for the Santa Cruz area.

And in case you missed it, Mel’s father Peter won the Mavericks Invitational big wave surf contest Sunday.


Surfing America Prime Steamer Lane 2013 from Surfing America on Vimeo.

These are some behind-the-scenes videos from gbgals2 on YouTube for the up-and-coming “Chasing Mavericks” movie. They include interviews with the actors and “surf stuntmen,” including Santa Cruz native Peter Mel. Enjoy!

Santa Cruz Waves posted this video of some local surf talent at Steamer Lane yesterday. Follow Santa Cruz Waves on Vimeo here.

Helter Skelter at The Lane from Santa Cruz Waves on Vimeo.

Suzanne Riedinger launched into the Monterey Bay from Capitola on her 14-foot paddleboard at 6:03 a.m. on Aug. 29 with the intention to arrive in Monterey in time for the lunch specials.

Nine hours and 50 minutes later, the 67-year-old Rio Del Mar resident had missed the lunch specials — but she did see two years of training finally culminate in her quest to make it across the bay.

Riedinger, who has been prone paddling since the 1980s, completed her 31.72-mile trip along the coast solo, and without a support boat.

“I was too cheap to hire a boat,” Riedinger said with a laugh, noting that if she had made the trip when she first intended, she would have had one.

Originally, Riedinger planned to participate in the the Ghost Ryders Watermen Club’s Bay Crossing in 2011. Instead, she came down with shingles and was unable to participate.

Riedinger altered her plans and decided to do the 2012 crossing instead. Then, that event was cancelled.

Not to be deterred again, she decided to do it on her own.

Riedinger — armed with a GPS, Cambelbak and snacks — was making good time for the first half of her trip. Then, she reached Moss Landing, and the lunch specials started slipping out of reach. Southwest winds started whipping and the swell started building.

Riedinger, who wasn’t wearing a wetsuit and didn’t have a leash, said she just looked like one of the white caps.

“There were places where I questioned my own sanity,” Riedinger said of finding herself out in the choppy water with no boats in sight.

In the end, though, Riedinger completed the trip safely, grabbed a bite at the Sandbar & Grill with friend Karen Waterman — who picked Riedinger up and drove her back to Santa Cruz, and was happy to be able to add her name to a list of women that inspired her to venture across the bay in the first place.

To her knowledge (although she says there may be more), women to have previously made the entire trek across the bay by paddleboard were Jane McKenzie, Beth Pitts, Nicole Kennedy, Jennifer Jones and Robin Janiszeufski in 1995, as well as Ramona d’Viola and an unknown woman.

If you know of another woman to have paddled across the bay, go ahead and leave the details in the comments.

Santa Cruz resident and pro surfer Nat Young dominated his Round of 48 heat this week to advance to the Round of 24 in the Azores Pro12, an Association of Surfing Professionals-sanctioned event in Portugal.

In the Round of 48, Young scored a 7.67-point wave and a 6.87-point wave (on a 10-point scale) for a combined total of 14.54, which effectively gave him the win. Brazil’s Hizunome Bettero was second [12.93], and both Brazil’s Alan Donato [10.17] and Spain’s Gony Zubizarreta [7.67] were eliminated.

Up next, Young will take on Puerto Rico’s Brian Toth and fellow American Eric Geiselman in the Round of 24.

Results in this report are from the event’s website.

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Some great shots from the Senseless Skimfest this weekend by Santa Cruz Sentinel photographer Bill Lovejoy. Read the write-up by the Sentinel sports staff here.

Sam Sayad and Chris Rhoden hold up their bounty in the FLW collegiate western regionals, were they finished fifth, qualifying for nationals in 2013.
(Photo courtesy of Alexa Bowe)

The UC Santa Cruz bass fishing team of Sam Sayad and Chris Rhoden took fifth in the FLW College Fishing Series Western Regional Championship at Utah Lake near Utah Valley in Utah over the weekend.

The anglers, who started the team at UCSC last year, were blanked in the final round, but caught six fish over the first two days to help them secure fifth place and a $3,000 prize.

Their finish also qualified them for the collegiate nationals next year in Louisiana. There, “the first-place team wins $25,000 for their school and $50,000 cash and a Ranger 177TR bass boat with a 90 horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard wrapped in school colors for their fishing club,” according to

Cal State-Long Beach’s Alex Cox and Justin Gangel won the event after catching five fish in the last round to boost their total to 14 for the tournament — six more than the next closest finishers.

Results in this report are from the 2012 Western Conference Championships website.

Santa Cruz residents Kyle and Karla Wade had strong showings in their respective divisions in the Day at the Beach stand-up paddle races in Folsom over the weekend.

Kyle Wade, 47, placed ninth overall in the 6-mile elite paddle race, crossing the finish line in 1 hour, 7 minutes, 54 seconds — a little more than five minutes behind winner Jay Wild of Truckee.

Karla Wade, 40, placed seventh among women and 17th overall in the 5-miler for 12-foot-6 boards. She finished in 1:13:38 to women’s winner Valerie Khacahdourian’s [San Carlos] 1:04:22. Derek Dial of Reno, Nev., was the overall winner of that race [57:28].

Results included in this report are from

Santa Cruz native Nic H’dez was knocked out of the Coastal Edge ECSC Vans Pro Junior at Virginia Beach, Va., this week but managed to advance in the 6-Star Coastal Edge ECSC Vans Pro, an Association of Surfing Professionals event.

In the Vans Pro, H’dez fought his way to a two-wave point total of 7.07, with the next closest finisher, Ryan Croteau, coming in with 7.03 points. Hunter Lysaught won the heat with 11.10.

In the first round of the Vans Pro Junior, H’dez settled for an 8.23, which was good enough for third in his heat. Keanu Asing and Sidney Guimaraes advanced.

In the Round of 96 of the Vans Pro event,  fellow Santa Cruzan Nat Young faces Dane Gudauskas, Brad Ettinger and Koa Smith in heat 1, while H’dez faces Romain Cloitre, Jano Belo and Santiago Muniz in the second heat.

Wednesday was called as a lay day.

Results included in this report are from the Vans Pro website.

Santa Cruz’s Nic H’dez finished runner-up to Taylor Clark in the boys 18-and-under division of Surfing America‘s West Coast 2012-2013 season opener at the Del Mar Jetties in Camp Pendleton over the weekend.

H’dez won his first heat and finished second in both the quarterfinals and semis en route to the final heat, where he earned 12.67 points based on his best two waves. Clark won with a score of 14.34. Patrice Curren was third [10.87] and Colin Moran filled out the top four [8.27].

John Mel, a native Santa Cruzan and the son of defending Big Wave World Tour champion Pete Mel, also competed in the event, but was eliminated in both the semifinals of the boys 16-and-under division and the boys 14-and-under division.

The next Surfing America event is scheduled for Oct. 6 at Church Beach at San Onofre State Beach.

Results included in this report are from the Surfing America website.

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