Huntington Beach Open features several local winners

The 50th annual Huntington Beach Open tennis tournament capped two weekends of competition Sunday, with several local players winning division titles.

Art Hernandez of Huntington Beach repeated as Men's Open doubles champion by pairing this year with Carsten Hoffmann of Newport Beach. The duo defeated Neel Grover and Shempei Suzuki, 7-6, 7-5, in the final. Hernandez won his third Huntington Beach Open title and second with Hoffmann. Last year, Hernandez teamed with Brian Morton of Newport Beach to win the Open doubles crown.

"Going back-to-back is always great, especially in a highly-competitive match," Hernandez said of the doubles final. "It is always fun competing at a high level, especially with my good friend Carsten . We are looking forward to defending our title next year, as well. This is a well-run tournament."

Huntington Beach athletes who also claimed titles were Chris Ganz (Men's Open 40s), Jamison Hart (4.5 Men's Singles), Kyle Stone (4.0 Men's Singles) and Dan Oriza (Men's 5.0 Doubles with Marc Roest of Lake Forest). Janna McConnell and Paul Wyrick of Huntington Beach finished second in the 4.0 Mixed Doubles division.

In singles play, top-seed Jeff Thomsen of Newport Beach defeated Doug Mayeda (Centennial, Colorado), 7-5, 6-4, in the Men's Open final. Lindsey Nelson (Orange) defeated Molly Scott (Trabuco Canyon), 6-1, 6-1, in the Women's Open title match. In the Men's Open 40s singles final, Ganz defeated top-seed James Dao (Laguna Beach), 6-4, 6-2.

In the Women's Open doubles final, the No. 1-seeded team of sisters Jennifer Lyons and Julie Shapiro defeated Suzanne Lipscomb and Lauren Villanueva, 6-0, 6-1.


Local man completes 23-mile swim race

Saying he had "something to prove" to himself, Clay Rinker of Huntington Beach achieved a goal Friday when he completed a 23-mile Catalina Channel Swimming Federation event.

The 23-year-old started his watery journey at 12:35 a.m. Friday at Doctor's Cove, Santa Catalina Island, and finished 10 hours, 51 minutes later at the rocky shoreline of Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes.

It was the first attempt at the event for Rinker, whose "team" included Kevin Lachman and Eric Steele, who treaded the sea in a kayak and a boat captained by Gary Clinton that had Forest Nelson and Michael Resk onboard as "observers."

Rinker, who has been a lifeguard in Newport Beach for seven years, said he survived the ocean swim.

"The hardest part was about 1 1/2 hours into it, I started to throw up," he said. "The carbohydrates I had consumed in preparation for this didn't work out that well. I threw up for about 45 minutes while I continued to swim and I started to get a bit dehydrated and a little cold, but then everything settled down and I was fine.

"I heard dolphins at the beginning of the swim and again toward the end, and I got hit in the face and arms by jellyfish. It stung a little, but I'm used to that as a lifeguard."

Rinker said he could see Palos Verdes about "10 miles" out and knew the finish line was near.

"I kept looking at it as I got closer and closer, and it was a great to finally get there," he said. "It was awesome to see my family and some of my friends there. That was great."

Rinker, who said he hadn't swam more than two miles consecutively prior to his 23-mile attempt, trained weekly by swimming 30-to-40,000 yards. He played water polo at Marina High and for two years at Long Beach State, where he is in his final semester. He is majoring in communications studies, with a minor in hotel and food service management.

Is there another Catalina Channel swim in him?

"Maybe sometime in the future, but no, not any time soon," he said.

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World