Paddling against cancer

Though he overcame cancer, Jack Marshall Shimko was no match for the recent large ocean swells and rough seas off the Southern California coast.

The Newport Beach native had to divert his quest to paddle to each of the eight Channel Islands — more than 200 miles — and was forced to skip an island and rest for a day.

But Shimko picked up his paddle again Monday and resumed his quest. This, his second annual Paddle 2 Live, concludes at the Newport Pier on Saturday.

Saturday's events, including a stand-up paddling race and an after party, are intended to raise funds for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. The group makes grants to organizations such as Reel Recovery, which takes male cancer patients fly fishing, and the John Wayne Cancer Institute, which conducts research and oncology training.

Shimko, who survived Hodgkin's lymphoma, planned a 260-mile journey from Point Conception to each of the islands and then into Newport Beach. He alternates between a stand-up paddleboard and a traditional prone board, depending on the ocean conditions. But on Sunday he stroked against 30-knot gusts and 4- to 8-foot swells, and had to re-chart his course, skipping San Nicolas Island.

Followed by a 125-foot catamaran support boat, Shimko is expected to reach Blackies beach, between the Newport Pier and the 22nd Street lifeguard tower, at noon Saturday. More information is available at

Twitter: @mreicher

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