The NEW Battle of the Paddle Course Maps
We stirred up a lot of debate a few months ago by revealing the course maps for Battle of the Paddle Salt Creek. Well forget whatever your opinion was, because every single course (Open, Elite and Distance races) has been totally changed.
Here are the NEW Battle of the Paddle course maps. Though with some decent surf expected to hit Salt Creek on the eve of the event, we could see some additional, last minute changes to these courses, depending on the size and direction of the swell.
There has also been talk of a potential change to the board caddies, in that they may be scrapped entirely as a safety measure. One proposal being floated around is to have the paddlers run through a shortened chicane with their board and paddle in hand. Nothing has been decided yet and will depend on conditions, so we’ll keep you posted on that one.
But as far as the courses go, this is how it’s looking right now. Each map on top is the NEW version that we’ll actually be using. Each map on the bottom is the OLD option that was scrapped.
The Elite Race
The Elite Race is the main event at the BOP. It’s where the best paddlers in the world throw down in search of glory and bragging rights. And with a swell on the way to our new location at Salt Creek, we could be in for the most exciting race ever.
In years gone by we’ve always had the iconic “M-shape” course to deal with, but this year it’s way different. We still have the magic “Golden Buoy” to start things off, but the bulk of the race will be battled out on a course that resembles a lopsided rectangle.
Here’s the NEW Elite Race course map:
And just for the record, here was the original option we revealed a few months back.
The biggest change in the new course (above) is the start/finish being in the same spot, whereas in the original option (below) you can see we were going to start way up the beach. I think having the start/finish close to each other (as we’ve always had in the past) is a way better idea and allows the crowd to follow the race more easily.
The Distance Race
Here’s the new course:
Compared with the original proposal. Just like the Elite Race, the start/finish will now be in the same spot, whereas it was originally going to be separated.
The Open Race
The Open Race course has been changed the most. Here’s the new one:
And the original, which looked more like a giant slalom course. I’m a little bummed the Open Race has gone back into the old rectangle format, as it means we’ll see the infamous “Headless Snake” return (which makes it impossible to follow the leaders and also confuses the hell out of competitors).