Fall Classic caps off Tahoe Vista Paddlefest in Tahoe Vista
September 14, 2017
The second annual Tahoe Vista Paddlefest came to a conclusion on Sunday, Sept. 10, with the annual battle for lake supremacy — the Tahoe Fall Classic 22-mile paddleboard race.
The race across Lake Tahoe marked the finale of the Tahoe Cup Paddle Racing Series, and capped off the weekend-long paddleboard festival in Tahoe Vista, which was highlighted by the Butterfly Effect, live music, vendors, and stand-up paddling clinics.
"The Tahoe Vista Paddlefest — Butterfly Effect on Saturday and the Fall Classic on Sunday — was one of the best attended Lake Tahoe events I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of," Race Organizer Phillip Segal said in an email to the Bonanza. "The weather could not have been better for both days."
Saturday's event marked the Butterfly Effect's fourth annual event on the lake, bringing the global movement that started in Maui, Hawaii to the shores of Tahoe.
The events are put on throughout the world and are designed to bring women together in an effort to teach and inspire through watersports.
This year's event featured a 3-mile paddle, stand-up yoga, and other festivities.
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The 22-mile Tahoe Fall Classic took place the following day and featured more than 50 paddlers embarking on a route from El Dorado Beach in South Lake Tahoe across the lake to the finish line at Mourelatos making it the longest inland paddleboard race in the world.
Barry Wicks, of Pacifica, Calif., would capture the male open stand-up paddleboard 14.0-foot board division championship, finishing the 22-mile race with a time of 3 hours, 55 minutes, 44.15 seconds. Wicks topped second place, Keith Rudd, by more than 3 minutes.
Jake Ward, of Tahoe City, was the top local with a time of 4:12:30.65 for fifth place.
Benjamin Gradle, 33, won the men's 12.6 division with a time of 4:34:00.35.
On the women's side, Wendy Quinn, 51, out paddled four opponents in the 12.6 division to claim first place with a time of 4:32:54.30.
Jules Gismondi, 32, won the 14.0 women's race with a time of 4:18:37.30.
In other racing, Ben Diener, 40, won the male prone unlimited division with a time of 4:04:11.25.
Gary Leong, 70, was the oldest paddler to make the crossing. The competition also featured classes for prone paddlers, surf ski, kayaks, and outrigger canoes.
There was also a 3-mile race, which started and finished at Mourelatos.
Larry Ferguson, of Tahoma, Calif., won the open stand-up division with a time of 34:18; while Kristin Thomas, of Laguna Beach, Calif., was the women's winner. Joshua Scholnick completed the course the fastest of the 26 total competitors for a first-place finish out of the surf ski division at 29:41.