In a weekend of thrills, chills and fiery finishes, the 2017 Pacific Paddle Games was non-stop entertainment. Top athletes from ALL OVER THE GLOBE set the stage here at Doheny State Park for what turned out to be one of the greatest standup paddle racing events of all time.
The LIVE FEED from the PPG’s website allowed for viewer spectatorship from all over and the high octane stoke from paddlers on the water, coupled with blow-by-blow commentary from Dave Kalama and Chris “Boss Man” Parker of Supracer made this year’s PPGs one of the best on record.
Here is Standup Journal’s photographer, Glenn Dubock’s recap:
Danny Ching Veers Off Course in Men’s Distance Race opens the door for Connor’s Win
In the long distance race, held in difficult south wind cross chop conditions, Conner was able to capitalize on a mental error by Danny Ching who was hot out of the gate. Danny commanded a good lead, but veered off course thinking he was in last year’s race. This costly mistake put him wide of the pack and, although Danny was able to fight valiantly back into contention, he was never able to reassert his dominance and placed 3rd overall.
Annabel dominates PPG’s with fiery strength & athleticism
Annabel left zero doubt that she came back to Doheny Beach with nothing in mind but putting on her very best overall performance ever, in spite of challenges with sponsorship that could have easily sunk her whole campaign for the year. In the 2 lap, 6 mile race there was never a doubt she was going to put it away before the halfway mark. She even caught up to Pro Men that had left the line minutes before her group did!!
Lincoln Dews stroke-for-stroke with Connor in technical finals: What a finish!
When it came time for the Technical Races, Conner had his hands full fighting off constant challenges by Lincoln Dews and others. In the end, his mastery of buoy turns and being able to remain an efficient paddler in choppy conditions served him well. The legendary Hammer Buoy, the scene of so much carnage over the years – even without measurable surf – took it’s toll and still Connor snuck through all the traffic jams.
Annabel’s win in women’s technical final leaves no doubt who reigns as 2017 PPG champion
Annabel was in textbook form for the Women’s Technical Final. Candice Appleby and Terene Black gave her a few tests after a slow start, but it was only Shae Foudy that was close for the first 2 laps. That’s when Anderson found a few long glides, turned on the afterburners and had nothing but open blue water in front and behind her.
Every race an opportunity to test the limits for Annabel
When I asked her if this was revenge or a way to avenge her uncharacteristic last lap mental error of 2016, she was very quick to say that it was neither. For Annabel, each and every race is a opportunity for her to push her own limits, prove to herself that she still has it in her, both mentally and physically to up her game-and enjoy it!
–By, Glenn Dubock