One of the oldest races in Tahoe is the Jam from the Dam. The race actually started as the Jam to the Dam and would run from Carnelian Bay to Tahoe City on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. After a couple years of running the race to the Dam in Tahoe City and constantly battling the upwind paddle they decided to run the race from the Dam to Carnelian Bay which would be more of a downwind. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any wind the last few years so it has always been a hard flat 6 mile grinder of a race. With the lack of a solid snow pack the lake is pretty low this year and because of the shallow waters off of Tahoe City the race organizers decided to run the race start and finish at Watermans Landing in Carnelian Bay.
The race was set up as two 3 mile loops all in front of Waterman's Landing. The day started off with flat water and warm temps, it ended a little different! We could see the wind line when the race started and hammering off the start on my stock commander paddleboard the upwind start was slapping me in the face. I had a solid start and was in 3rd at the first turn buoy. I had set the course so I knew what we were in for on the downwind leg. I stayed in 3rd for most of the race and focused on staying as close as possible to 2nd place who was on an unlimited Bark. 1st place was pretty far ahead but I noticed that I was closing a little on the second lap. The upwind section on the second lap took forever, I have never been slapped in the face so many times! Finally we were on the turn buoy and it was downwind time! I took full advantage of local knowledge and the Bark/Surftech Stock Commander. The Commander works so good in the bumps and the stock length sits perfectly in the trough. I took over 2nd place pretty quick and set my eyes on the orange 14′ custom Bark out in front. I hammered and used the bumps to catch the leader just before the turn buoy that would lead us in side chop to the final turn buoy and the finish. I relaxed and paced myself with the orange Bark board and just before the final turn hopped to my knees and hammered past him. I took the inside on the buoy turn and put in a big effort to the finish and came away with the win! It was a great race and I am really happy the wind came up and gave me some help!
Thanks to Phil Segal for putting on a super fun and well organized race! Thanks to Surftech and Bark for making such an incredible paddleboard and everyone else that helps and supports me! I am looking forward to my next few races but especially the Catalina Classic, 32 miles of fun on my stock commander coming August 30th!! Thanks to Ruben Sanchez for the awesome photo’s!!