August 19, 2012
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

[PHOTOS] Check Out The Intense Action From Day 1 @ The Gorge Paddle Challenge

The Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge is happening all this weekend at Hood River, Oregon. Yesterday was the Course Race and today is the Downwinder.

As we’ve been saying all week this is one of the most competitive SUP races of the year, with a good chunk of the world’s top paddlers in town. Yesterday didn’t disappoint, with young gun Kai Lenny taking victory in the Course Race ahead of 10x World Champ Jamie Mitchell, Chase Kosterlitz, Slater Trout, Connor Baxter and another dozen very fast paddlers… Meanwhile Candice Appleby was too strong in the women’ race, beating home Jenny Kalmbach and Allison Riddle.

(check out the full Gorge Paddle Challenge SUP results for more)

So it’s safe to say it was one of this year’s biggest and best SUP races.

But if you weren’t lucky enough to be in Oregon to witness the action then don’t worry. Local SUP store Gorge Perforance was on hand and took some awesome shots of the action. Check out the highlights below or take a look at all 120 photos on Facebook.

(you can click each photos to get a larger version)

Slater, Kody, Cyril and Jamie surveying the start // pic © Gorge Performance

The start of the Elite Course Race // pic © Gorge Performance

Kai Lenny took an early lead // pic © Gorge Performance

Kai, Connor and Jamie distance themselves from the pack // pic © Gorge Performance

Anthony Vela trying to find some clean water // pic © Gorge Performance

Candice was too strong for the other Elite Women (and a lot of the Elite Men as well…) // pic © Gorge Performance

Karen Wrenn was strong all race // pic © Gorge Performance

Anthony leads Cyril into the turn, with Thomax Maximus behind // pic © Gorge Performance

Connor Baxter and Jamie Mitchell jostle for the lead // pic © Gorge Performance

Connor, Jamie and Kai, with Slater Trout and Chase Kosterlitz behind them // pic © Gorge Performance

Jamie, Connor, Kai, Slater, Chase // pic © Gorge Performance

Kai found his way back to the front and didn’t look back // pic © Gorge Performance

Candice Appleby was too strong in the women’s race // pic © Gorge Performance

MORE ACTION >>> The Big Gorge Downwinder Photo