Check out this short video of the Regatta by Bear Fish Productions!
Regatta Recap By Mitch Powers, Sea Trek Programs and staffing Manager
After not participating in the Sea Trek Regatta (an annual benefit race for Environmental Traveling Companions) since 2012 due to a back injury I was psyched to be paddling in this year’s event. For years I had been watching paddlers prep for the race and hearing the post-race stories and I was missing being a part of this.
The day turned out to be warm and sunny, a great omen for race day. What makes this event so special is the venue, Sea Trek’s location overlooking the water with great views of Richardson’s Bay and all the opportunities to mingle and talk with fellow paddlers. The morning started out with race registration followed by a tides & currents talk given by racer John Dye and the skippers meeting.
At 10:15 am the starting gun went off and about 200 paddlers took off on three different courses: Richardson’s Bay (3.5 miles), Angel Island (9.5), and the Golden Gate & Angel Island. The top guns sprinted out in front while the majority of paddlers (weekend warriors) followed behind.
The San Francisco Bay is a dynamic estuary and when the wind and currents kick in excitement follows. Crossing over to Angel Island, side chop and wind created challenging conditions for me in my tippy racing class (surfski) kayak. Paddling the San Francisco side of Angel Island proved even more challenging, and I probably threw a dozen low braces to keep myself from flipping. There was a stiff headwind coming up Raccoon Straits (channel between Angel Island & Tiburon) and all the way back to Sea Trek making for slower times overall than the previous year’s regatta. But it was all fun!
When I hit the finish line I was exhausted but also elated. I sat on the water for a while cheering as more paddlers finished soaking it all in. Then it was time for the post-race party which meant a choice of lunch from an Indian or Mexican food truck (included in reg. fee) followed by the awards ceremony and raffle. Meanwhile, there was plenty of time to exchange post-race stories of which I had a few of my own.
In the end the event raised about $22,000 for Environmental Traveling Companions. ETC takes people with disabilities on outdoor adventures (kayaking, rafting, camping) and it is an incredible organization.
Hope to see you at the regatta in 2020.