San Clemente’s 37th annual Ocean Festival was THE place to be all weekend long! Team Hobie was out in full force competing in events that tested your true grit in and out of the ocean. Everything from the extremely popular splash and dash (that is a 400 meter swim and a 400 meter run), to surf contests, SUP races, lifeguard contests, to the ultra grueling dory races… there was an event for every level in the water. If getting wet wasn’t your thing, you could just experience the weekend enjoying sand sculpting, a fishing derby, a woody car show, a surf art exhibit, and of course, The 21st Annual Great Rubber Duck Race!
We were also proud to be back involved at The Fest! Sponsoring the SUP Surf contest and bring down the most exciting place to be all weekend… The Hobie tent with the crowd favorite “Hobie Wheel O Prizes”!! We had over 5,000 prizes to give away!! Backpacks, Stance socks, Maaji make-up bags, Hurley notebooks, DVD collections…. the list goes on as long as the over 100 person line we had all weekend!!! Seriously, huge thanks to Shevon at Hobie Surf Shop in San Clemente for gathering SO much GREAT stuff! You rock, Shiv!!!
Before we can truly start this blog post recapping our team weekend, we have to come correct and admit that there were three true stars the whole weekend… First, the endless/relentless overhead surf. The San Clemente Pier at it’s absolute finest! The surf NEVER stopped firing!! You couldn’t even say the word “Speedo” before another wall of water swept through. Never was I SO happy to be safely tucked away in the announcers booth as over this weekend, the waves were not for a scardy kitty like me! Yikes!
Secondly, our own Rob Pelkey, who for the second year in a row (haha, row! A little dory humor!) was crowned The California Waterman Champion. Unlike in years past where only your top 5 scores were used to decide the winner, this year it was all your points for the whole day combined. This kept Mr Pelkey and all competitors vying for the title in the water for almost every event on Saturday’s schedule. Unreal Rob, great show and we are as a company in awe of your skills! Check out our “Congratulations Rob” slideshow from last year : Here.
Finally, all the volunteers who put in countless hours throughout the year to put “The Greatest Show on Surf” together. You are the unsung heros of the weekend!! You show up on Friday afternoon, and construct a city on the sand for people from far and wide to enjoy. You man the registration booths, you tag athletes, you cook food, you switch out the trash, you smile all weekend long. Then, just like that, on Sunday at 4:30pm, after the last Rubber Duck Race winner’s name is called, you dismantle the city on the sand, and you start thinking of ways to make next year’s event even bigger and better. We can not thank you enough!!! And…. we can’t wait to do it all again in about 360 days!!!!!!
Team Results :::
Rob Pelkey :
– California Waterman Overall Champion with 70 Points
– American Ironman 1st place
– 5k Surf Ski, Prone, or SUP Race 2nd place Surf Ski
– Dory Race #1 with partner Mitch Kahn 3rd place
– Dory Race #2 with partner Mitch Kahn 3rd place
– 1k Surf Ski Race 5th place
– 1k Open Ocean Swim 1st place
-International Ironman Team Relay with Rob on swim leg, Mitch Kahn on surf ski leg, and Scott Diederich on prone paddle leg. 3rd place.
Byron Kurt ::
– Overall Ocean Fest SUP Championship winner with 53 Points
– Men’s SUP Surf 40+ Division 2nd place
– SUP Sprint 12’6″ Division 2nd place
– 10k SUP Race 14′ Division 3rd place
– 5k SUP Race 14′ Division 2nd place
Chris Hamm ::
– Overall Ocean Fest SUP Championship 3rd place
– Men’s SUP Surf 39 and Under Division 2nd place
– SUP Sprint 12’6″ Division 7th place
– 10k SUP Race 12’6″ Division 5th place
– 5k SUP Race 12’6″ Division 4th place
Emmy Merrill ::
– SUP Surf Women’s 1st place
-Biathlon 7th place
-Run Swim Run 4th place
– 1k Paddleboard Sprint 7th place
– 2 Person Rescue Relay 4th place
Mike Skelly ::
– SUP Surf 40 and Up 4th place
Mitch Kahn ::
– American Ironman 4th place
– Dory Race #1 with partner Rob Pelkey 3rd place
-Dory Race #2 with partner Rob Pelkey 3rd place
** we are sure Mitch competed in a few other events, but he NEVER answers texts, so we only have the couple results we remembered. **
About The San Clemente Ocean Festival ::
In 1976 Sheridan Byerly, Marine Safety Captain for San Clemente Lifeguards wanted to increase participation in the Orange County Beach Games, which up to this point only drew lifeguards from the local area. Captain Byerly’s hope was to increase the involvement in the games and include the general public in hopes to engage lifeguards and families in fun activities on the beach.
Over the next year the Orange County Beach Games grew into the San Clemente Ocean Festival with the help of publicist Dorothy Fuller. Dorothy, who will always be remembered as ‘The Mother of the Ocean Festival’, developed the slogan, “The Greatest Show on Surf” in 1981 and trademarked the King Neptune event logo in 1983. The San Clemente Ocean Festival is organized and run by a board of talented volunteer directors and hundreds of community volunteers who provide the manpower during the two-day event.
Despite the phenomenal growth the event has experienced over the past three decades, the San Clemente Ocean Festival remains a family oriented event with a wholesome atmosphere for families to enjoy as either spectators or participants.
Today, the event attracts nearly 50,000 people annually from Orange, San Diego, Riverside, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, in addition to visitors from as far as Hawaii and Australia.