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Joe Surf: Paddle out for Mongoose Cup

March 07, 2012|By Joe Haakenson

It looks easy and fun, so more and more people are getting up on those big, sturdy boards.

Find a spot where it is flat and get out there. Stand up and paddle. Stand-up paddleboarding is common in Huntington Harbour and other local harbors, and also at beaches where the surf is calmer, like Bolsa Chica.

There are similar spots down in South County, like Dana Point, and there will be an event down there to get the stand-up paddleboard season started.

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The third annual Mickey Munoz Mongoose Cup will be held at Baby Beach in Dana Point Harbor on Saturday. The event is open to the public and will include a Waterman Expo, stand-up clinics and a barbecue.

But it's also about safety, and teaching those newbies climbing onto paddleboards for the first time what to watch for, especially in the busy harbors.

"With the continued growth of stand-up paddleboarding, there are a lot more people paddling in the harbors and waterways," Munoz said. "Safety and etiquette have become much more critical. Since Dana Point is a Mecca for paddle sports, we wanted to have an event that's message is about the importance of safety and paddling etiquette, especially in regards to local boat traffic."

Munoz, now in his 70s, is a surfing legend, having started surfing in the 1950s. He was featured in many surfing films, was the stunt double for actress Sandra Dee in the 1959 movie "Gidget" and was a pioneer in big wave surfing at Waimea Bay in Hawaii.

He'll be at Saturday's event and will sign copies of his book, "No Bad Waves: Talking Story with Mickey Munoz."

The day will begin at 9 a.m. with a Fun Paddle around Dana Point Harbor Island.

The Waterman Expo and SUP clinics will have exhibitors from the SUP and surf industry, clinics on paddling and training techniques, board repair, adventure travel, racing skills and SUP yoga and fitness. SUP pros will give instruction throughout the day giving pointers to anyone willing to listen.

The Mongoose Cup is part of the Dana Point Festival of Whales and will feature the "Luck of the Draw," the day's main event at 12:30 p.m., in which teams will be organized and will participate in a relay race for the Mongoose Cup trophy.

Each team will be captained by a member of the Mongoose Cup Safety Paddlers — an elite waterman team — who will randomly draw names from a bucket to complete the four-person teams.

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