It’s the longest continuous offshore, open-ocean race in the United States. It’s also the longest-running offshore race in the US, reaching back to the mid-1990s (that is with a short break in the mid-2000s for a couple years). It’s the infamous “Long Beach to Catalina and Back” or “LB2CAT,” and it’s a 58-mile endurance sprint to the Southern Californian island and straight back. And while the course seems pretty straightforward, navigating the ever-changing sea state, cross currents, and battling the elements can quickly turn the round trip into a struggle.
Each year, the near-insane hardcore athletes of PWCOffshore.com edit together a video recap of the past July’s LB2CAT race celebrating the Offshore National Championship Race. Since we missed our chance to participate in this past year’s event (we’re planning on amending that for next year), we had to live vicariously through the DVD. And thankfully, it does not disappoint.
Cutting between exclusive “eye-in-the-sky” helicopter footage, GoPros mounted on racer’s helmets, and pre-roll interviews, the hour-plus video goes by quickly, documenting the brutal offshore action with decent pacing and informative tech tips, provided by PWCOffshore.com’s own KC Heidler, who managed to come in third place despite coming from breaking a leg only a few months earlier.
Post race interviews really revealed the toll this race took on the riders – both mentally and physically. Some were ecstatic, energized and enthusiastic to have accomplished the feat they completed, while others were clearly fatigued, almost dizzy with exhaustion. But glassy eyes, wobbling legs and disorientation are all signs that this race will truly weed the men from the boys, and that is where competition shines.
For those interested in participating in the LB2CAT next year, this is a “must buy.” You can get yours HERE. For those looking at boning up on your offshore riding, we also suggest picking up the DVD as the various tech tips and simply observing the different riding styles in action is worthwhile as well.