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  • Special thanks to Salt Life, competitors, spectators and everyone that made #PPG2017 a weekend to remember. See you all at #PPG2018 - Oct. 6-7, 2018!
#PPG2017 Open Technical Race Gallery
October 03, 2017 | by Pacific Paddle Games
  • Open racers got plenty of swag at #PPG2017. Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
  • Mirroring the palms behind them, Open racers line up for the start. Photo: JP Van Swae
  • The Men's Open Technical Final starts with a splash. Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
  • Brian Meyer forges ahead on his way to victory in the Men's Open Technical Final. Photo: JP Van Swae
  • Open racers charge toward the sailboats on the horizon. Photo: Lorenzo Menendez
  • Over 100 paddlers charging into the water makes for a great sight. Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
  • While competition was fierce on the water, new friends were made back on the beach. Photo: Lorenzo Menendez
  • Nothing beats a solid race face. Photo: JP Van Swae
  • 53-year-old Manny Dominguez charges up the beach like a man half his age. Photo: Lorenzo Menendez
  • Bodie Shandro (right) and a fellow competitor match each other step-for-step across the finish line. Photo: Lorenzo Menendez
  • If you were laying in the sand trying to catch your breath afterwards, you did it right. Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
  • Tuki Tissot (far) and Heimoana de Longeaux (near) have a photo finish. Photo: Lorenzo Menendez
  • The anticipation builds among Open paddlers prior to their race. Photo: Lorenzo Menendez
  • Sweaty, sandy and stoked. Photo: Lorenzo Menendez
  • The ladies put on a great show and turned in some great runs. Photo: JP Van Swae
  • Mel Wygal was elated to reach the finish of the Women's Pro Technical race. Photo: Lorenzo Menendez
  • Sarah Messina (front) beats Tomoe Yasu (back) to the line by a few steps. Photo: Lorenzo Menendez
  • Kristy Morris' stroke looked strong out there. Photo: JP Van Swae
  • Kathy Lynch had a smile on her face all weekend, even in the middle of the race. Photo: JP Van Swae
  • The open technical course was revised to include more turns, the ladies handled it with ease. Photo: JP Van Swae
  • Even after paddling a full race, the women were sprinting all the way to the finish. Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
  • There were lots of stoked faces at the finish line. Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt
  • Hundreds of paddlers rounding the buoy is one of the best sites of the weekend. Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt

#PPG2017 is the biggest SUP race of the year for the world’s best paddlers. With $60k on the line, the pros leave it all on the water vying for victory. But while the pro races get lots of attention, #PPG2017 means just as much–if not more–to another group of paddlers: the open racers.

Everyday paddlers travel from near and far to compete on standup paddling’s biggest stage–Doheny State Beach. With no money on the line, the reasons for their participation varies as widely as their ages and backgrounds. But no matter where they came from or why they did it, watching over 100 open racers charging into the water is always one of the coolest sights of the year.

Check out the best shots from the Men’s and Women’s Open Technical race with this exclusive gallery.

#PPG2017 Day One Gallery

#PPG2017 Day Two Gallery