Posted on September 20 2013
Surf Race to Victory
Huntington Beach Pier, CA
For the 3rd year in a row the Surf Race to Victory, presented by Michelob Ultra, saw overhead waves for the SUP race competitors. Despite a delayed start and low visibility, there was some great racing in and out of the surf. Mo Freitas and Morgan Hoesterey took first, beating out competition from around the world, and winning a big piece of the $5,000 cash purse.
Dense fog and head-high waves were the landscape that morning, with fog so dense that for most of the day the HB Pier was completely hidden. While everyone waited for the fog to subside enough for anyone to actually see the bright orange buoys in the water, racers ventured out into the waves to get a feel for conditions and to just have fun, while others tried to stay warmed up on shore.
The pier is out there somewhere. Not sure where.
Like before, the race was a part of Huntington Beach’s end of summer “Surf City Days” that included a surf contest just beside the SUP course that racers had to skirt around.
Taking place just days before the SUP World Tour there were many international competitors from Mexico, France, Japan in addition to the Southern California regulars and out-of-towners. Fernando Stalla led the
preliminary heats along with Anthony Vela, but the men’s final heat was thrown on its head once the racers disappeared into the fog at the start, including Anthony Vela and Fernando Stalla leading the pack, and when the blue helmets reappeared Mo Freitas was in the lead, claiming victory.
The girls definitely got a workout- for each of their three heats they seemed to catch the worst of it as sets rolled in and the racers disappeared into the fog. Morgan Hoesterey came out top, getting first in the women’s first and second heats, with Halie and Harrison and Gillian Gibree getting 2nd and 3rd.
“The girls got destroyed,” Hoesterey said. “We got the luck of the sets and not the good kind. But the surf makes the race one of the more fun events.”
This year also saw an increase in the women’s purse, after reading a SUPConnect article discussing controversies in SUP including prize discrepencies between men and women. The women certainly earned it after their heats through the surf.
Next years race is already scheduled for Saturday September 13th 2014 in conjunction with Surf City Days so if you are a competitor who likes the challenge of racing through waves against some of the best in the world put it on your calendar now 2013 SurfRace To Victory RESULTS MEN 1st: Mo Freitas 2nd: Brennan Rose 3rd: Arthur Aruttin 4th: Arthur Daniel 5th: Anthony Vela 6th: Josh Riccio 7th: Fernando Stalla … WOMEN 1st: Morgan Hoesterey 2nd: Halie Harrison 3rd: Gillian Gibree 4th: Alison Riddle 5th: Karen Jacobson