This weekend marked Stop 4 of 5 for the first annual Pacific Paddle Surf Series at Davenport Landing, Calif., a tough surf spot with shifting peaks and many sharp obstacles, reefs, and rocks to avoid. Davenport also has a reputation for shark attacks, but dangers aside, the break can offer up some fantastic surf and serve as an ideal contest venue. Geoff Jennings, organizer of the Davenport Paddle Surf Classic, put together a nearly sold-out contest this year with all manner of paddle-surf craft in attendance.
Saturday started early, cold and with big sets rolling into the north break at Davenport. Throughout the day, the swell dropped, changed direction and the wind increased. By the afternoon, it was the windsurfers having a blast, while the paddle-surfers were barely able to catch waves. The day ended with a great little party with local beer and tamales at Swanton Berry Farm.
Sunday was another full action-packed day with a cold 7 a.m. start. The contest had to be moved to the south break due to a small south swell, resulting in no surfable waves on the south side. Final prelim heats took up most of the morning with semis mid-day and the early afternoon full of finals. The best waves were early in the day as the swell decreased and the tide dropped way out. More than a few paddle-craft and helmets had some sort of interaction with the sharp south break's reef, surprisingly with no major injuries or badly damaged gear.
Overall the surfing was high-caliber. And you really can't beat a sunny weekend at the beach with the paddle-surf tribe in November. The highlight of the comp? Easily the super-competitive King of the Waves competition that pits all paddle-craft against each other. The finals was a nail-biter as it consisted of an SUP, HP kayak, IC kayak and a waveski for the first time ever. This year, the SUP reigned supreme with Dave Boehne taking the title. But the kayaks and waveski paddlers are already itching to regain it next year!
King of the Waves-
Dave Boehne (SUP)
Dave Johnston (HP)
Tyler Lausten (Wave Ski)
Dan Crandall (IC)
Dennis St. Clair
SUP Men’s Open-