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Gallery | The Lost Moments of #PPG2017
October 11, 2017 | by Pacific Paddle Games
  • No job to small, Anthony Vela goes the extra mile to keep paddlers safe by removing seaweed at the start line…all with a smile.
  • Legends lead by example, Danny Ching handing out medals and greeting open paddlers at the finish line.
  • The SUP community was quick to lift each other up, even after tough losses.
  • No detail left unattended, parents prepare their kids to race.
  • Candice Appleby embraces a small group of the many young girls that idolize her and her sportsmanship.
  • Shuri Araki and his dad go over the course one last time, Shuri went on to win his division.
  • Pep talks between parents and their kids could be seen all over the beach.
  • Candice Appleby was hands-on at the finish line, passing out medals and water bottles to exhausted groms.
  • No lack of team pride, team Brawner was out in force at the finish line to congratulate their paddlers.
  • Rob Rojas holds the attention of the crowd as he tells the story of how his son Conrad, who battles with asthma, was helped by a fellow paddler who gave up his position in the race to help his friend. Moments like these are the essence of PPG.
  • Rivalries were all left on the water, Baxter and Dews embrace after a long battle and congratulate each other on a job well done.
  • Beaming and proud parents greet Shae Foudy at the finish line after their daughter came in second behind Annabel Anderson. Overheard from Shae's mom as they embraced, “All your hard work paid off!”
  • Never one to stay in the team tent, Dave Boehne and Team Infinity greet Shae Foudy with a thunderous cheer after her second place finish.
  • No matter the age, a parent's work is never done. Slater Trout and his dad share a moment on the beach before his race.
  • It's not where you place it's about finishing. Dreu rallied the crowd and ran up the beach with the last open racer.
  • Parents and coaches raced to greet their exhausted kids at the finish line.
  • Interviews weren’t just for pros or winners, Dreu interviews an exhausted grom just happy to be done.
  • Proud dad Erik celebrates with his daughter Erika Benitez after she placed first in the Women’s Junior Pro Distance race.
  • Fiona Wylde and Olivia Piana were exhausted yet cheerful after a tough race.
  • More than a place to catch your breath, the finish line became a place of laughter and community following the races.

Words and photos by Lorenzo Menendez

In the grand spectacle of an event like #PPG2017, it’s easy to find the small moments that make our sport so great.

It’s never just about the pros, year after year I see it unfolding throughout the weekend and before my lens. This event is about family, community, good sportsmanship and friendship. It’s about the up-and-coming generation who have dreams of turning pro and about their dutiful parents who have committed their lives to helping their sons and daughters succeed. They stand there in the hot sun giving pep talks, going over strategy, giving reassuring hugs, quelling fears and cheering at the finish line.

The Pacific Paddle Games is about neighbors, friends and family showing up to offer their support. That aspect has never changed and it’s one of the reasons I love photographing this event.

This year, I was stoked to see the pros taking a much more hands-on approach. From Zane Schweitzer helping lead the charge for a beach clean-up, to Candice Appleby helping groms at the finish line with water or posing for photos with kids that undoubtedly look up to her.

This gallery includes a few of those magical moments that capture the true spirit of SUP. How our sport has the unique ability to bring us closer as friends, family and a community of paddlers.

Related

Open racer portrait gallery from #PPG2017.

Open Technical Race gallery from #PPG2017.

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