Catalina Connection

Small crafts invited to participate in a paddle from Two Harbors to Newport Beach

TWO HARBORS—The Wild Buffalo Relay will be no easy feat. Competitors in small crafts will complete a 41–mile open ocean course from Two Harbors on Catalina Island to Newport Dunes in Newport Beach on April 5.

The Wild Buffalo Relay is an all small craft relay race within the SoCal Ocean Racing winter series – a group of paddle sport races up and down the coast from San Diego to Santa Barbara; October through April.

The Wild Buffalo Relay is put on by Puakea Designs, a Southern California-based paddle sport design company. This will be the third iteration of the event.

“We have always had worldwide participation,” said Race Director Kelly Schwartz in an email. “Racers from Canada, Tahiti, New Zealand and all over the US have come to race.”

The relay includes all small craft divisions with relay teams of two to four people (depending on the craft) or select solo divisions. Crafts allowed include one-man and two-man outriggers, surfskis, SUPS and prone boards. Each team must have a safety escort boat to accompany them. Schwartz said they are always looking for more safety boats if anyone is interested.

The race will be preceded by a slew of events in Two Harbors. There will be yoga, hiking, demos, race check-in and a paddler happy hour on April 3. There will also be yoga, hiking, demos, a symposium, safety meeting and pasta dinner on April 4.

Teams must check-in prior to race day, there will be no race check-in on the day of the event.

Paddlers will be responsible for booking their own accommodation in Two Harbors. There is a group campsite block paddlers can reserve spots.

Interested competitors have until March 13 to sign up. The registration fee is $135. For registration information visit bit.ly/2Vam7rI.

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