Despite a large number of competitors showing up from the East Coast and throughout California to compete in the South Bay Dozen, it was the locals who stood out in the ninth annual event that saw avid beach goers and lifeguards battle in various contests at Torrance Beach.
Last Saturday, Redondo Beach’s Brian Murphy and Manhattan Beach’s Taylor Spivey won the men’s and women’s overall titles.
Murphy won the Iron Man and the sprint paddleboard.
“It’s real competitive this year,” Murphy said. “A bunch of guys have really stepped up their game. I’m not getting any younger. It’s getting tougher and tougher to stay on top.”
Murphy has always competed well in the two events he won.
“It was a great race (in the Iron Man),” Murphy said. “(In the paddleboard race), it was just me and Shane Gallas (in front). “I had the inside on the buoys and was able to make a quick turn and get home safe.”
He was second in the surfski sprint and took third in the surfski distance and SUP surf sprint.
Spivey revealed that she is going to compete throughout the summer and the next year to race against the best professional triathlon athletes, so this was a starting point for her.
“I just took it as more of an open water training (day) because I haven’t been swimming as much,” Spivey said. “I’m getting ready for my big race (in Chicago).”
She won the run-swim-run that she usually dominates.
“That’s my event,” she said. “Swimming wise, I still feel like I have the endurance. I just have lost a little of the speed and the strength and that affects me at the beginning of the race, but helps me in the end.”
She was second in the surfswim and third in the Iron Woman.
“This is a great start to the summer and this is always my favorite event,” Spivey said. “I’m happy to be out here.”
Runner-ups for the overall titles were Dave Cartlidge of Redondo Beach in the men’s and Kira Makuta of El Segundo in the women’s.
Cartlidge picked up a bunch of points in the three-lap dory race. He won the first race with Tom Seth of Manhattan Beach and finished second in the next race. They also won the waterman’s relay.
“We were in second to that same team (they lost to in one dory race) and got a wave on the way in and had a nice lead by the time we got to the second lap.” Cartlidge said.
There were 116 competitors, 77 men and 39 women.
The day started with the 5K paddleboard/SUP and 10K surfski race and ended with the mixed board relay.
“This was the best year for turnout and weather,” said Diane Graner-Gallas of Manhattan Beach, who has participated all nine years. “It’s more in a fun spirit today (for this event), but everybody is getting revved up and ready (for the summer).”
She raced in three events and won one event as a participant in the Taplin relay.
Winners throughout the day were: surfski distance men, Rich Sprout of Costa Mesa; dory race No. 1, Dave Cartlidge of Redondo Beach and Tom Seth, Manhattan Beach; surf swim men, Hayden Hemmens of Costa Mesa; surf swim women, Kira Makuta of El Segundo; Iron Man, Brian Murphy of Redondo Beach; Iron Woman, Kelsey O’Donnell of San Francisco; dory race No. 2, James Bray of Carpenteria and Dane DeBoer of San Clemente; SUP surf sprint men, Javier Jimenez of Mexico; SUP sprint women, Sara Messina of Santa Monica; sprint paddleboard men, Brian Murphy of Redondo Beach; sprint paddleboard women, Kira Makuta of El Segundo; waterman’s relay, Cartlidge and Seth; run-swim-run men, Ryan Makuta of El Segundo; run-swim-run women, Taylor Spivey of Manhattan Beach; sprint surfski men, Sprout; sprint surfski women and DeAnne Hemmens of Costa Mesa.
Manhattan Beach’s Shane Gallas (paddleboard), Diane Gallas-Graner (swim), Tim Burdiak (surfski) and Matty Gallas (beach run) were the winning team in the Taplin relay. James Bray, Jennifer Noonan and Rusty Lanning won the mixed board relay.