Surfers and paddlers gathered June 1st at the 2nd Annual Lorton Mitchell and Stan Searfus Memorial Paddle Board Races to honor the memory of two men whose passion for the ocean and surfing and paddling impacted so many in the local Coronado Community. While June gloom was in full effect as the race was about to kick off, nothing dampened the excitement and joy felt by the participants as they prepared to compete on the water in an event that was more about love of the sport and honoring a memory than winning.
Coronado Real Estate Association (CREA) started planning this annual event in August 2017 in honor of Lorton Mitchell, a top Coronado Home Builder and avid paddler, who passed away of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma in 2015. Stan Searfus, another avid paddler, joined the effort in November 2017 and was to be the race coordinator for the first event in 2018, but because of his untimely death in January 2018 the event morphed into a memorial for both men. Proceeds from the event benefit Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Research Foundation and the local Coronado Surfing Association.
The events included a 2 mile distance race for both Stand Up Paddle and Prone paddling, a relay race with teams of five, a fun run/paddle/swim event for 17 and under kids; all followed by lunch and a beer garden.
Local Coronado couple Dave and Laura Orozco took top honors as the first male and female finishers in the 2 mile SUP distance race. They also went on to compete in the relay race, as did the majority of the participants of the distance race. While the competitive spirit was strong, others were there just to have fun. Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey jumped on a Megaladon paddle board with two other racers to paddle the two mile round trip to the Coronado Bridge and back.
Madilyn Anderson and Mason Walton won the kids fun run/paddle swim event that ended the races for the day.
The theme of this year’s event was Hawaiian and a couple relay teams dressed the part, donning leis and grass skirts and enjoying the camaraderie of the event.
The event was sponsored by CREA and the City of Coronado and could not have happened without the support of the volunteers and donors. Isle Surf and SUP donated the paddle boards that were used in the relay race. The families of both Stan Searfus and Lorton Mitchell are also involved in the event, a reminder of the impact their loved ones had on the Coronado Community.