Haakenson: Surf City Days promises plenty of fun

The calendar says this weekend is the last weekend of the summer. The first day of fall is Sept. 22, which also happens to be my 50th birthday.

Anyway … what better way to spend the last weekend of the summer hanging out at the beach doing beachy things?

The city of Huntington Beach will host the Surf City Days — sponsored by Dukes — on Saturday and Sunday with all kinds of activities and contests both in and out of the water.

The highlight of the event is the "Surf Race to Victory," part of the SUPCross Series. They've already had races in Carlsbad, San Clemente, Web River, Utah, and Pacific Beach (San Diego), but the one Saturday in H.B. will decide the series champion, with cash prizes to the top finishers.

The race combines SUP, surfing and overall conditioning in a water and sand obstacle course.

Competitors wear helmets and jerseys and use big, fast SUP boards. They start from the sand, charge through the surf and paddle around buoys step up in a "V" shape a few times before catching a wave back to shore, then carry their boards in a sprint to the finish line.

They use the "knockout format," with top finishers advancing round to round in multiple races.

The races, which have divisions for all ages, begin at 8 a.m. Saturday at Tower 3 on the south side of the HB Pier. The awards ceremony will be held at the Surfers' Walk of Fame on the corner of Main Street and PCH.

The Surf Race to Victory series is sponsored by Victory KoreDry, which is based in Huntington Beach.

Other events taking place at Surf City Days include the "Seventies Sessions" surf contest. No, you don't have to be in your 70s to compete, but you do have to use a board made in the 1970s.

That contest starts at 8 a.m. Saturday and will take place between Towers 13 and 15, in front of the Waterfront Hilton.

Events both Saturday and Sunday also include a volleyball tournament, the Duke's Barefoot Beach Run, the Kids' Fun Run and the 42nd annual City Surf Contest, open to Huntington Beach residents ages 9 and up.

For more information and registration for the various events, go to http://www.hb-downtown.com.


In case you didn't get a chance to see any of the U.S. Open of Surfing last month — was there anybody who didn't go at least one day? — you're in luck.

If you weren't one of the 600,000 or so surf fans to see the biggest surfing event in the world first hand, you can get a taste of it at 10:30 a.m. Saturday on NBC.

NBC will air some of the surfing as part of its "Red Bull Signature Series," and also will have an interview with Kelly Slater.

Slater, by the way, finished in equal-13th place in the most recent Assn. of Surfing Professionals World Championship Tour in Tahiti two weeks ago, and fell to fourth in the World Tour standings.

There are five events left on the 10-event World Tour, the next one starting Sunday at Trestles — the Hurley Pro. Mick Fanning won in Tahiti and leads the overall World Tour standings, ahead of second-place Joel Parkinson of Australia and third-place John John Florence of Hawaii.


Most of the summer crowds have left town, but the National Scholastic Surfing Assn. season is in full swing. The NSSA hosted two Southwest Conference Explorer events at the Huntington Beach Pier a couple weeks ago, with local surfers doing well.

Bryce Marino and Dylan Aragon, both of Huntington Beach, each won in the Juniors division in separate events.

Newport Beach's Tyler Gunter won the Menhuene, San Clemente's Kade Matson won the Super Groms in both events, Malia Osterkamp won Women's division twice and the Girls division once, San Clemente's Dylan Sonderegger won the Men's and Newport Beach's John Mel won the Boys.

Nobody, however, won more divisions than Huntington Beach's Rick "Rockin' Fig" Fignetti, who won both the Super Seniors and Duke divisions in both events.

JOE HAAKENSON is an Orange County-based sports writer and editor. He may be reached at joe@juvecreative.com.

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