The 2016 Battle of the Bay in the historic San Francisco Bay brought epic conditions to all of the competitors of all abilities for two days os sun, wind, current and fun. The battle of the Bay, held at Crissy Field, just down from the St. Francis Yacht Club serves as one of the best venues given conditions, access and parking for everyone. Mild morning conditions with current, 70-78 degrees and then winds of 15-20mph about 12:30pm gave Open and Elite paddlers fun to moderate conditions to satisfy all of the competitors needs.
Steve Pugh, event director and owner of Blue Rush Sports put together another great event that provided a great experience from Juniors, Groms, Open, Elite competitors and spectators. This years Battle of the Bay was also a Water Sports Festival that in included Kite Foiling and Windsurfing races that attracted the top Kiteboards and Windsurfers in the World competing in the strong winds off Crissy Field. Along with the top Kiters and Windsurfers, the top paddlers in the World competed with top honors going to Michael Booth in the Men’s Pro Elite combined and Annabel Anderson taking the Women’s combined Elite title. Booth from Australia, had some of the top international competition besting Leonard Nika (Italy) in 2nd, Bullet Obra (HI) 3rd, Ryan Funk (USA) 4th and Mo Freitas in 5th place. In the Women’s, Anderson (NZ) won over Terrene Black (Aus), young upstart Hannah Hill (USA) in 3rd, veteran Morgan Hoesterey (USA) in 4th and another young paddler Kalia Alexiou (USA) rounded out the top 5.
Along with offering races of all lengths for all abilities, the Battle of the Bay offers combined events for competitors that includes a distance race on Saturday to the historic Golden Gate bridge and around Alcatraz Island followed by a technical race on Sunday with competitors paddling multiple laps in front of the beach at Crissy Field with spectators, family and friends cheering everyone on as they paddle by. The Combined race format challenges all aspects of the paddler in two different formats over two days. While most of the media tends to go to the Elite paddlers, the most important paddle group is the Open and kids participants. This group makes up those who purchase industry products at retail that supports the manufactures that without retail sales, the SUP industry does not exist. Here are the Open and Juniors combined Battle of the Bay champions that deserve their name in lights; AIMEE SPECTOR (OC1), GEORGE MARSHALL (OC1), KYLIE/KIRA MARSHALL (OC2), FRED/HILARY ANDERSON (OC2 mixed), DELILA QUINN (junior sup girls), TRENT CARTER (junior sup boys), JACKIE AUCHARD (12’6 sup), DAVID WELLS (14′ sup). Congratulations to all of the winners in all categories. Special mention and staying strong to Charlie Banfield who is battling cancer and still battling on the water. Charlie is an inspiration to everyone!
Another great event and well run, parking is abundant, hotels and food are close by for those out of town. The Battle of the Bay is another event to not be missed and to put on your calendar for 2017. Great job to Steve Pugh and his staff at Blue Rush Sports including Sean, John, Kim, Shanna, the Pugh Family, the vendors, sponsors and amazing job from the man on the mic, Chris Hollingsworth. All images courtesy of On It Pro. For more images of the event, go to: https://www.facebook.com/onit.pro.
See the following links to the full results for all of the races including the combined event results.