Paddle boarders race down Colorado River in elite competition
by Emma Renly
The Times-Independent
May 17, 2018 | 336 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Moab local Natalie Zollinger, sponsored by Badfish Standup Paddle, takes her final strokes to the finish line at the sixth annual Back of Beyond SUP race. She finished third in the Elite Women’s race with a time of 1:16:15.5. 											            Photo by Emma Renly
Moab local Natalie Zollinger, sponsored by Badfish Standup Paddle, takes her final strokes to the finish line at the sixth annual Back of Beyond SUP race. She finished third in the Elite Women’s race with a time of 1:16:15.5. Photo by Emma Renly
slideshow


Stand-up paddle boards have become a popular option for water transportation and the trend has hit Moab river runners as well. On May 12 Paddle Moab hosted the sixth Annual Back of Beyond SUP Paddle Race on the Colorado River.

The seven-mile race started at Dewey Bridge and ended at Hittle Bottom Campground. Competitors paddled through the classic and iconic red rock canyon in three categories: elite, open and youth 18-and-under. The weather and water conditions weren’t ideal, but competitors were able to push through the 25 mph wind gusts and a low river flow of 6,850 cubic feet per second.

“It’s all about having fun and getting people together in the paddle board community,” said Josh Surkes, the organizer of the event. “We have people who came out from all over: California, Colorado, Arizona, Australia and more. Plus we had our local Moab representation in Natalie Zollinger.”

Trent Hickman finished first in the elite male division and also had the best overall time of the competition at 58:35.7. In the elite female division, Dennis Higgins took first with a time of 1:09:07.1.

Gary Lacy completed the race first in the open men’s division at 1:00:45.3, and on the female side Marjo Curgus finished first with a 1:06:42.5 time.

Only four racers competed in the youth 18-and-under division. June Maxwell finished first with a time of 1:45:36.7, and on the male side Blake Hemming ended first with a time of 1:31:32.2.

Event sponsors included Badfish, Sol Paddle Boards, Hala Standup Paddle and Red River Adventures. The finish line at Hittle Bottom featured music from indie band Goinomadic and refreshments from Bohemian Brewery.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.