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Marina Outrigger dominates short course at Santa Barbara’s Rig Run

Canoes line the land at Leadbetter Beach in Santa Barbara.
Canoes line the land at Leadbetter Beach in Santa Barbara.

The Marina del Rey Outrigger Canoe Club traveled to Santa Barbara this past Saturday for the annual Rig Run in the waters off Leadbetter Beach. The club’s intense training regimen paid off in the short course when the men’s open division squad coached by LA County Lifeguard Dave Carpenter bolted from the starting line and took an early lead ahead of the pack. The top crew led the entire race and finished just over three minutes ahead of their closest competitor.

Not to be outdone by the club’s veteran paddlers, the men’s novice Spec division crew rebounded from the previous week’s outing to a solid second place finish in front of a crowd of boisterous spectators gathered beneath the palms. The club’s women’s Master’s division responded in kind with a solid third place finish, while a stacked coed crew stormed across the water to add another first place victory. The crews continued battling in the men’s open races where they claimed third place finishes in both the Unlimited and Master’s divisions for the club during a full day of paddling.

The Rig Run takes its name from the historic route out to the oil platforms dotting the horizon off the Santa Barbara coast. The long course route was changed due to security concerns and now affords paddlers the opportunity to travel up the coast past Santa Barbara Point before turning east and cruising on a downwind run, making two final buoy turns to return to the finish line.

The club’s next event is the Kahanamoku Klassic, the club’s home race on Saturday, 31 May in Marina del Rey. See the Southern California Outrigger Canoe Association (SCORA) website for complete results from the 2014 Rig Run.