Support The Catalina Classic Commemorative Statue

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Please sign this petition to support the installation of the Catalina Classic Commemorative Statue honoring the hundreds of women and men who have completed this physically and mentally challenging competition.

In 1955 the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce, led by Cliff Webster, and lifeguard Bob Hogan joined together to create the Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race, and it continues today under the leadership of retired lifeguard, Buddy Bohn. The race drew up to 50,000 observers in its early years which helped local businesses, and evolved into a 3 day event including 6-man volleyball, swimming, rowing, and other competitions which we now know as the International Surf Festival.

The race begins at the Catalina Island Isthmus and finishes at the Manhattan Beach Pier covering 32 miles of open ocean. Only prone paddleboards are allowed, meaning women and men paddlers have only their arms to propel them across the ocean. Finishers must complete the race within 9 hours or be disqualified, and the world record is held by lifeguard Tim Gair with a time of 5 hours 2 minutes he achieved in 1999.

The South Bay Boardriders Club, founded in 2009, is a 501c3 non-profit volunteer-based community organization that has undertaken an initiative to create and install a lifesize bronze statue in the empty sand lot adjacent to the lower south parking lot of Manhattan Beach Pier, close to where the race finishes. The statue is intended to commemorate all the women and men who have completed the race, honor a unique and iconic piece of history of Manhattan Beach, inspire girls and boys to consider the paddle, and beautify an area near the pier that currently is an eye sore. Chris Barela, 1977 graduate of MCHS, Hermosa Beach Surfer Walk of Fame inductee, and accomplished sculptor, has been commissioned to create and install the statue.

Please show your support of this important piece of public art which will celebrate an important piece of history in Manhattan Beach, and inspire future generations to carry on this iconic event.

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