The Waterman’s Challenge is a paddlers race. At risk of sounding cliche, it has a ton of soul. It is one of the few races that champions traditional paddling and has strong ties to its roots and founding fathers, Shearwater Paddleboards is so thankful that it exists. No sups. No BS. Just get yourself from Swamis to Windansea as fast as you can with a Mexican feast to greet you at the end. This year, ceviche tostadas. A large and very legit crew showed up in Encinitas for the early morning start, including record holder Don Miralle and past winner Dan Mann. The pace was fast from the get go with Robert Parucha and Max First (Bark) taking an outside line while Dan Mann (Mann Kine) and Shearwater’s Nick Franco (Shearwater Flatwater UL) on the inside with Josh Ryan (Shearwater Flatwater UL) right in the mix. After 15 miles Robert Parucha was the 1st to cross the finish line, with Max First in 2nd 13 seconds behind Parucha and Nick Franco in 3rd 17 seconds behind First. Josh Ryan finished a solid 19th out of 56 paddlers beating his 2016 time by 31 minutes. It was a long drive home, but as always, well worth the effort. Huge thanks to everyone who helped to put on such an outstanding event. Thank you!