Friday, March 29, 2013

At Steamer Lane, Grossman is top surf kayaker

Paddle Fest off Santa Cruz

Sun Valley’s Jim Grossman rode the waves as well as anyone and captured gold medals in two classes during the 27th annual Santa Cruz Kayak Surf Festival on Sunday, March 24, off the coast of Santa Cruz, Calif.

One of the world’s top surf kayakers over the past decade, Grossman came from behind to win the International Division (also known as the long boat class) and the Masters Class during one of the sport’s most prestigious competitions.

Racing took place at Steamer Lane, a point break usually dominated by surfers but taken over last week by long boat (kayaks longer than 9 feet, 10 inches) competitors and stand-up paddlers. More than one competitor said the longstanding event witnessed some of the best waves, weather and vibe that it has ever enjoyed.

Newer to the sport than Grossman, Ketchum’s Laird Erman nevertheless placed third in the Kayak Intermediate Open division last weekend. McCall’s Devon Barker finished third in the High Performance Women class. Barker won International Women.

Grossman, 47, won the 2009 World Championship surf kayaking championships in the Masters International (IC) class four years ago in Portugal.




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