September 13, 2012
Adam Buckley was still seven miles short of the R10 buoy, off of Palos Verdes, when the crew of the Disappearance was ready to concede the race to him. Disappearance was the lead boat in 37th Annual Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race.
Until the air horn sounded at 6 a.m. that morning, signaling the start of the race, there was no clear favorite.
Buckley, 34, won the 32-mile race from the Catalina Isthmus to the Manhattan pier two years ago. But the previous year, in his first Classic, he finished 19th. He missed last year’s race and this year, he had not entered a single other race. Plus his training was suspect, a fact attributed to his September wedding date.
Sean Richardson, of Palos Verdes, though 51, was a popular favorite. He won the Classic in 2003 and had done well the preceding month in the Molokai Channel race, which is also 32 miles.
A third well thought of contender was Donald Miralle. The San Diego photographer had taken his paddleboard to London so he could continue his training while covering the Olympics.
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