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Paddle Assisted: The 2014 Davenport Paddle Surf Classic

Photos and results from the 12th-annual paddle surf showdown on the California coast

Photos and text by Bryon Dorr

Another Davenport Paddle Surf Classic is in the books. The event, hosted each fall in Davenport Landing, Calif., has been growing for over 12 years, and 2014 saw the largest competitor turnout yet with 55 paddle surfers. Many competitors surfed in multiple categories, making for a packed schedule consisting of 37, 15-minute heats each day. Davenport’s trademark King of the Wave (KOW) competition, which invites any and all paddle surf craft to compete head-to-head, was once again a highlight of the event. Over the past few years, the winning ride has gone to SUPers and wave skiers, but this year Dave “The Wave” Johnston, riding a high-performance surf kayak, was crowned king.

Another highlight of the Davenport competition each year is the Saturday night party at Swanton Berry Farm, just across the street from the competition site. Everyone in attendance got to dig into the large prize pile donated to the event. In addition to great prizes, there was plenty of fresh food, handmade tamales, and fine craft beer from Ninkasi Brewing.

The paddle surf tribe that shows up each year in Davenport is a diverse group that ranges in age from 14 to over 60. Competitors arrive from across the continent to pilot HP kayaks, IC kayaks, wave skis and SUPs in the tough surf, responding to shifting peaks and avoiding many sharp obstacles, reefs, and rocks. The love of surf creates an amazing bond between all of the competitors and there is always a positive vibe on and off the water. A huge thanks goes out to Geoff Jennings for continuing to carry the torch and put together another professionally run and extremely fun event in Davenport.

RESULTS:
King Of The Wave-
1 Dave Johnston
2 Mike Wessels
3 Jeff Burlingham

HP Open-
1 Mathew Hoff
2 Jeff Burlingham
3 Vince Shay

IC Open-
1 Zack Boyd
2 Jim Grossman
3 Dan Crandall

Wave Ski Open-
1 Mike Wessels
2 Tyler Lausten
3 Ian Macleod

SUP Open-
1 John Alexiou
2 Jedd Hasay
3 John Griffith

Queen Of The Wave-
1 Gina Morley
2 Rachael Ward
3 Diane Wenzel

SUP Open Juniors-
1 Ryan Funk
2 Haakon Hoyer-Nielsen

Check out MORE PHOTOS from C&K.