The historic Tahoe Cup kicked off last weekend on Lake Tahoe. Although the temps were low, the stoke was high at the Watermans Memorial, held in Carnelian Bay at Pattons Landing beach. The event was hosted by Watermans Landing and it was the perfect setting for viewing the action and enjoying the festivities after.
3 mile race results: https://www.raceclocker.com/
6 mile results: https://www.raceclocker.com/E
The Watermans Memorial and Paddling Roots
Todays Watermans Memorial Race, began in 2009 as the “Donner Race”. It was held each year over Memorial Day Weekend on Donner Lake in Truckee, CA. The race was started by Phil Segal as an opportunity to bring together a larger group of paddlers to join the tight knit crew that lived around Lake Tahoe and paddled on Donner and Tahoe.
The race was an immediate hit with locals and visitors. The race became the first peek at who had been putting in the time on the water in the early season and who was looking fast. The local crew became known as fierce competitors in defending the home turf against the So Cal racers who had enjoyed favorable weather for training year round.
Brands began putting together teams of racers to showcase their new model race boards and Memorial Day Weekend was when all the new weapons get pulled out. Local board manufacturers, were always well represented on the podium and there was always something shiny and new under the feet of standup paddle pioneers like Rand Carter, Dave Defoe and Jake Lamberth.
By 2011, a big indicator that the Sierra SUP scene was a hotbed of talent, was the selection of Truckee local Jay Wild, to the U.S. national team to compete in the fist ever World Championship in Peru. Now we watch the rise of former local paddler, Ryan Funk as he travels the world and competes with the best.
The Donner Race gained notoriety over the years with what seemed like a 50/50 chance of snow either the night before the race or during the race. Pictures of the race in the snow would hit every single media outlet for the sport and soon the race began growing in participation.
The new location of the race on Lake Tahoe in Carnelian Bay has allowed for an expanded field of watercraft. The unbeatable convenience of the facilities at the Watermans Landing Paddle Cafe has allowed for the running of different distances and a perfect venue for the exciting Kids race.