December 7, 2013 marks the annual Becky Stuart Memorial Race hosted by the Oceanside Outrigger Canoe Club. Open to paddleboards, Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP), surfskis, OC-1s and OC-2s, this locally organized, family oriented event is sure to set the surf alight as paddlers of all ages take to the water. The Becky Stuart Memorial Race features two events. The short course consisting of a four mile paddle begins at 9:00 am followed by an approximately eight mile long course set to kick off at 11:30 am.
While there is an array of paddling oriented races involving all manner of watercraft throughout the year in Southern California, the Becky Stuart race stands out as a memorial race known for its unique Hawaiian style family atmosphere of ohana embraced by the Oceanside Outrigger Canoe Club. Named in honor of Becky Stuart, a founding member of what was originally known as the Paopao Outrigger Canoe Club, the race has been running each December since 1998. Known throughout the community for her roles as a chemistry teacher at El Camino High School and a science teacher at MLK Middle School, Becky was also a swim coach, competitive triathlete, and no stranger to the podium in rough water swimming competitions – placing in almost every race she entered. Sadly, Becky passed away due to complications from melanoma cancer on November 30, 1998 at age 36 – just a few days before the club held its first winter race. Together with family and friends, Becky’s husband Steve is still an active member of the club. Each year they gather the night before the race at Steve’s house where they prepare homemade chili and potatoes for the post race lunch which is then delivered the next day to the race site. Homemade meals are fewer and farther between these days and preparing chili and potatoes to feed over 200 is an accomplishment in its own right.
The club was founded in 1996 and currently boasts approximately 100 members. Steve said each race has four main objectives: a good course, good food, nice shirts and awards, and an abundance of family oriented social interaction after each race. Simply put, the Becky Stuart Memorial Race equals: Pride – Passion – Paddling.
The race site is at the Dolphin Dock on the west side of Oceanside harbor. For additional information or to register visit Paddle Guru online.