Dane Morrissey and Heather Baus, both Team Bark riders, were teamed up by Joe Bark himself thinking these two would be the perfect match for the 39.8 mile, Catalina Challenge open ocean race from Catalina Island to Dana Point Harbor.  Heather and Dane were the only 2 person co-ed team competing on a shared BARK 14’.  They finished first in their class in a time of 8 hours 18 minutes and 51 seconds competing against 2, 3 and 4 person teams. 

 The woman SUP class started first at 0800, then the SUP team men and co-ed paddlers at 0830, followed by the canoes and outriggers at 0900.  The winning overall SUP- 3 man team was powered up by Tom Gallagher, Rob Rojas and Anthony Vela in a time of 7:06:04.  First overall 2 man SUP team was Dane DeBoer and Jimmy Terrell in a time of 7:34:58.  First overall 2 man SUP Co-ed team was Dane Morrissey and Heather Baus in a time of 8:18:51.  First overall 4 man SUP team went to the largest combined ages of "250" years  on the  "E" Team, Lance Erickson,  Mickey Munoz, Peggy Munoz and Jericho Poppler in a time of 8:46:26.  First overall 3 “woman” team came in at 8:39:26 by Suzy Strazulla, Julie Wolfe and Kristina Zuhr.  The 2 teams that had the most fun were hands down the 3 Woman- team, smiling all the way-Terri Plunkett, Kristin Thomas and Diane Wenzel in a time of 9:22:20  Danny Ching  and the “Funnest Team Ever” competed in the open OC-2 class with a 4 man team 2 of which were young groms: Danny Ching, Garrett Crayton (10 years old),Josh Crayton and Ryland Hart (also 10 years)- very impressive considering the headwinds and chop that met everyone the entire crossing.   Also the only  2 Woman SUP team, Jennifer Lee and Jodie Nelson finished in a time of 9:22:20.  Over 122 competitors made the crossing.

Dane paddled the last leg sprinting to catch one of the woman’s teams that had started 30 minutes prior and was greeted on the beach by Joe Bark and many enthusiastic spectators.  Meanwhile Heather was anxious to jump ship and and meet up with Dane at the finish for some serious high fives! 

The Baus family flew from Puerto Rico on Friday and arrived Dana Point late afternoon where Dane and Heather first met and went for a paddle, immediately clicking and beginning their racing strategy.  The support boat was owned and captained by Dane’s Aunt and her friend who positioned the 38ft sportfisher Friday night to Catalina from Long Beach, accompanied by Dane’s entire family.

Many competitors took the Catalina Ferry to Catalina Island including the Baus family, where they enjoyed a day on the island and pre race registration and racers meeting the Saturday before the race.

 Dane and Heather decided on 30 minute intervals for the duration of the paddle.  The morning start was cool temperatures and calm winds, turning to stronger headwind and drizzle.  Later in the race blue skies and sunshine, with the winds shifting southerly which made for left sided paddling the last half of the race.  The water temperature was around 61 degrees and inviting to the toes compared to the cooler air temps earlier in the race.  Thankfully the "SUPport" boat was equipped with a functioning fireplace!

The awards banquet was held at the Dana Point Yacht club with a lively bunch despite the exhausting conditions to race in and slower average times than past, due to the consistent headwind and chop during the day.

Dane and Heather look forward to racing at the Battle of the Paddle, HI and are planning on M2O training together in Puerto Rico early this summer. 

Sponsors for Dane and Heather included:

BARK , KIALOA, Quickblade, Maui Jim, Raw Elements, HINANO, Sweet waterwear, Onit Pro, Victory, and Future fins.