Water Skiing to Catalina Island

It's one of the most unusual and enduring showdowns of summertime.

POINT A TO POINT B: If you want to move through space, covering distance, whether that distance is made up of a few feet or a thousand miles, there are typically an array of transportation options to consider. For example, making the journey from Northern California to Southern California, or vice versa, might entail an automobile, a bicycle, some train/bus action, or, if you had some time and wanted to commune with the coast or Central Valley, your walking shoes. But when Point A to Point B is covered by a goodly amount of ocean water, transportation choices rather narrow. You've got your classic boat, or a plane, or a helicopter, but if you're one of the intrepid competitors participating in the LA-to-Avalon Catalina Ski Race on Saturday, July 16, you've got your water skis. 

TRUE, TRUE, the distance between the mainland and Catalina Island is a pinch under 30 miles of beautiful ocean, and, true, we landlubbers often associate water ski action with lakes or coast-close settings. But the 68-year-old race takes on the open Pacific, in all its powerful glory, offering 20 classes in which to sign up. Oh yes, and one more consideration: The race is there-and-back, so the total miles covered top out at around 62 miles. It's some truly epic stuff, in the truest meaning of the word, and about as California a pursuit as surfing and downhill skiing. Want to simply watch? The place to be is near the Queen Mary, in Long Beach, very early in the morning on July 16.

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