Major surf, cycling events set to take place this weekend

Major surf, cycling events set to take place this weekend
Cyclists from Korea show off their country’s flag at the starting line in a previous year’s race. Half of the racers are from outside the U.S. File photo by Promise Yee

OCEANSIDE — The USA Surfing Championships, adult short board, longboard, standup paddleboard, prone and adaptive surfing, will take place June 9 to June 12 at Oceanside Harbor north jetty.

Also taking place in the week ahead is the Race Across America (RAAM) distance cycling challenge that starts June 14 and June 18.

The first two days of USA Surfing Championships bring top athletes to compete. All surfers have prequalified in ASF, ESA, HSA, NSSA or WSA Regional Championships. Divisions range from men’s and women’s age 18 to 29, to legends 50 and older.

During the final two days of the championships spirited standup paddleboard, prone and adaptive surfing competitions take place. Contests include standup paddleboard endurance challenges.

Later in the week the annual RAAM starts from Oceanside Pier and heads to Annapolis, Maryland.

Hundreds of cyclists from around the world take on the 3,000 miles, 175,000-foot climbs and 12 state race. The reward for finishers is the coveted RAAM jersey and completion medal.

The yearly event began as a personal challenge among friends, and has grown to include individuals and two- to eight-person teams that want to test their speed, endurance and strength.

The scenic route traverses the Sierra, Rocky and Appalachian mountains, crosses the Colorado, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio rivers, and passes through the Mojave and Sonoran deserts, Monument Valley, Great Plains and Gettysburg.

“It’s the only race that spans the entire country,” Rick Boethling, executive race director, said. “There’s nothing like it in the world.”

Solo riders must qualify to compete. Most finish the grueling nonstop race in eight to 12 days.

All organized teams can participate, and have nine days to complete the race. Top teams finish in five days.

The race also has a Race Across the West challenge that finishes in Durango, Colo., after 860 miles. First-time participants often take on the Race Across the West before tackling the longer RAAM challenge.

Each cyclist and team brings their own support crew to keep them on course, and provide food, water, first aid and bicycle repairs.

The majority of racers are amateur cycling enthusiasts. Half of those who participate are from outside the U.S.

More than 80 percent of cyclists use the race to raise awareness and funds for a charity.

Last year a team of current and retired Oceanside city employees took on the RAAM challenge and completed it in under seven days. The eight-person team included police, lifeguard and city clerk staff. Team members raised $13,000 for Los Angeles Children’s Hospital.

This year RAAM solo racers will take off June 14. Teams depart June 14 and 18.


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