Paddleboarders take to Cottonwood Beach

By Paul Danzer, Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter

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Standup paddleboarders from San Diego and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, won the elite competition at the inaugural SUP Salmon Classic on Sunday.

Held on the Columbia River at Cottonwood Beach in Washougal, the event attracted about 75 competitors and several hundred spectators. A total of 60 racers finished the various races.

Chase Kosterlitz from San Diego won the 8-mile race for men ages 18-49 using 14-foot standup paddleboards. He completed the course in 1 hour, 13 minutes and 35.94 seconds, about 40 seconds faster than runner-up Brett Saguid from Spokane.

In the 18-49 age group for those on unlimited standup paddleboards, Joe Threadgill of Coeur d’Alene was the fastest of three competitors.

Fiona Wylde and Alyson Fromm, both from Hood River, Ore., were the top two women in the elite race. On 14-foot standup paddleboards, Wylde completed the 8 miles in 1:22:55.10. Fromm’s time was 1:23:03.02.

Race director Terry Click said conditions — cool with calm water — were perfect for the Sunday morning races.

In addition to the 8-mile course for the most experienced racers, the event featured a competitive 4-mile course and a 2-mile course for novice standup paddleboarders.

Click said the intention is for the SUP Salmon Classic to become an annual event in Washougal. The event was the second of three standup paddleboard races in the Northwest. The series was in Hood River, Ore., the previous weekend and moves to Seattle for the Round the Rock, a sixth-annual race on Lake Washington that features a 13-mile course around Mercer Island.

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