USCG Station Golden Gate

April 15, 2009 – 10:59 am
The waters around the Golden Gate Bridge can be some of the best in the world to paddle, and, with that excitement comes danger.  With safety in mind (you have all heard this before!)  here are some tips to ensure happy paddling for years to come (minimum): Always have a floatation device on your canoe or surfski. Always wear a leash. Keep a waterproof VHF radio or cellphone on your body. The local coast guard station is USCG Station Golden Gate location just north of the Golden Gate at Fort Baker.  Keep their direct phone number handy for emergencies only: 415-331-8247 And finally, for your viewing pleasure:

Winter 2007 OC1 Surf Sessions

August 3, 2007 – 12:37 pm
Here is a video I put together of various surf sessions with my OC1. All took place in the winter of 2007 in San Francisco just at the entrance of the bay.

2007 Kauai World Challenge Relay

May 12, 2007 – 4:00 pm
My partner was Dean Alvarez. We borrowed a Pegasus OC1. He started the race doing leg one from Wailua to Hanma'ulu. I took over at leg two from Hanama'ulu to Kalapaki. On the way out of the harbor I passed two boats. Once out in the swell I passed up three more boats. I stayed inside. The water was jumbled with some large rollers coming in from the north east. Towards the end of the run an old guy passed me effortlessly even further inside. At Kalapaki Dean took over and ran 12 miles to Poi'pu. I grabbed the reins at Poi'pu and headed out to the open ocean for 12 miles to finish at Salt Pond in Port Allen. Again on the way out I quickly passed three boats. Out in the open, the wind and swells were behind me giving me good runs. I passed an OC2 and ...

2007 Kauai World Challenge Kalihiwai to Haena Pre-race

May 10, 2007 – 4:00 pm
On the Thursday, before the main Kauai World Challenge relay race on Saturday, there was an 11 mile pre-race from Kalihiwai to Haena. It was a beautiful day with large swells coming in from the north-east. It was getting so big that the organizers considered canceling the race. I used a borrowed Polaris OC1. What I learned was that if you are going to borrow a boat, you should bring your own seat. The problem was that the seat was too "loose." My butt slipped around in it and I was not able to control "flying the ama" as much as I would want to. This was important especially since the surf was so big. I felt I did well. See the results on OCPaddler.

2007 Malibu to Marina Championships

March 24, 2007 – 1:15 pm
The 2007 Malibu to Marina Championships was a long, flat paddle. I felt good and held a good possition through the race. I was riding my new Pegasus which was not ideal for the conditions. About two miles out from the breakwall some windchop picked up. I started to move up and pass while paddling less giving me a rest for the flat paddle in the harbor. I held off a challenger and then passed two more people before the finish.

2007 Wavechaser Championship

March 17, 2007 – 12:15 pm
The 2007 Wavechaser Championship at Fort Baker was turning out to be one of my personal bests. The current was in a strong ebb giving us a push out to Point Bonita where there was some confused water with breaking waves. I was riding on a Stingray OC1. The Stingray worked very well catching the small swells. It was more difficult in the large swells because of the small rudder making it hard to handle. Rounding the last corner, at Lime Point Lighthouse, I was comfortably ahead of Hep Ingham and Omar Manansala when my rudder cable broke. I lost complete control of the canoe. The current was strong and I started drifting back out to sea. I ended up wrapping the cable around my right big toe and finishing the race. There were many folks from So Cal that came ...

Paddling Popular in City by the Bay

November 13, 2006 – 11:04 am
KGMB9 wrote a story and created a news segment about the paddlers of SFOCC. There are quotes from Phil Siaris, our club president, Amy Ng, and Omar Manansala, the open men's coach. If the link is dead I have an archive.

2006-07 Wavechaser Race #2

November 11, 2006 – 11:13 pm
Wavechaser 2006-07 paddle series race #2 started at Schoonmaker Harbor in Sausalito and headed out the Golden Gate Bridge to a point between Point Diablo and Point Bonita. There were cold north winds, pretty much slack tide with a slight incoming on return trip. The only representatives for SFOCC, were Ben Mellott and I. For OC1, Justin Banfield took first followed closely by Ben Mellott, followed by Charlie Banfield, and I came in a minute later. It was the first time I placed in a Wavechaser race taking 2nd place in the Junior Master men division.

Riding the wake of the Tupelo Honey

November 4, 2006 – 5:43 pm
On a regular Saturday morning SFOCC practice we all headed out on our OC1's.  The route was from Sports Basement at Crissy Field, the SFOCC site, to the Bay Bridge and back.  Right about the spot where the large orange pilot boats dock, the sailing vessel Tupelo Honey passed us by.  Omar Manansala, Dean Engle, and I managed to get onto the wake.  We rode all the way to Aquatic Park at Hyde Street.  The skipper, Gerard Sheridan, took some video on his phone and emailed it to me.  I posted an edited video titled "The Ride Of Our Lives" on Google and YouTube.  Enjoy!

2006 Catalina Crossing

September 10, 2006 – 6:49 pm
In 2006 SFOCC once again did the Catalina Crossing. Crew was Alika Kuamoo, Ben Mellott, Dean Engle, Hep Ingham, Kanoa Doyle, Keone Miyake, Omar Manansala, Will Coley, and myself Jason LaBranch. That's me in seat 3.

2005 Molokai Hoe

October 9, 2005 – 11:59 pm
In 2005 SFOCC (San Francisco Outrigger Canoe Club) did the Molokai Hoe in a time of 6:30. The team was Alika Kuamoo, Ben Mellott, Hep Ingham, Jason LaBranch, Joel Munar, Kanoa Doyle, Keone Miyake, Omar Manansala, and Scott Erwin. Steph Siaris was support in the chase boat. Here is a video of Molokai Hoe 2005 featuring a brief appearance of the SFOCC team and yours truly.

2005 Catalina Crossing

September 11, 2005 – 11:59 pm
In 2005 SFOCC open men did the Catalina Crossing. Crew was Ben Mellott, Hep Ingham, Joel Munar, Kanoa Doyle, Keone Miyake, Omar Manansala, Scott Erwin, Steve Engle, and myself Jason LaBranch. We took 7th place over all and 6th place spec.