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The Catalina Classic Commemorative Statue

Photo credits go to community members: Evelyn Schmitt, Chris Miller, Ken Pagliaro & Tom Horton

The South Bay Boardriders Club (SBBC) Commissioned artist Chris Barela for the new addition to the iconic Manhattan Beach Pier, a sculpture that commemorates the legendary Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race. 

At the heart of the sculpture's design is a profound connection to the essence of the Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race. The base of the sculpture has been ingeniously crafted to mimic the ever-flowing ocean, invoking a sense of fluidity and movement. Embedded within the sculpture are paddlers, their forms skillfully angled to emulate the precise route they would undertake when journeying from the race's starting point at the Isthmus on Catalina Island paddling 32 miles to the Manhattan Beach Pier.

This project was spearheaded by dedicated members of the SBBC, with President Tom Horton and Treasurer Ed McKeegan taking the lead. CAD design by Brian Kingston & the architectural brilliance behind the sculpture's integration was brought to life by Michael Lee, a prominent architect in the South Bay. The sculpture was skillfully executed by none other than former Hermosa Beach professional surfer Chris Barela. Barela is celebrated for his previous works, which include the stunning Tim Kelly lifeguard statue at the Hermosa Beach Pier, as well as the statues of the Dive N’ Surf and Body Glove Founders, Bill and Bob Meistrell, which grace Redondo Beach's King Harbor.

The installation of this remarkable sculpture at the Manhattan Beach Pier promises to be a symbol of the Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race's enduring spirit and the South Bay's deep connection to the ocean. It will stand as a testament to the indomitable athletes who participate in this storied race, their unwavering dedication, and the sense of adventure that drives them on this incredible journey. Moreover, the sculpture's innovative design, has undoubtedly captivated onlookers, creating a visual masterpiece that encapsulates the essence of paddleboarding and the unbreakable bond between land and sea.

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