Day one of the Rainbow Sandals Gerry Lopez Battle of the Paddle bring elite races and Guinness World Record attempt to Doheny State Beach

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By Andrea Papagianis

There wasn’t a cloud hanging over Doheny State Beach as elite competitors entered the water Saturday morning for the first of two qualifying rounds at the Rainbow Sandals Gerry Lopez Battle of the Paddle.

Thousands lined the beach as competitors battled for coveted spots in the afternoon men’s and women’s stand-up paddleboard races. Maui-native Kai Lenny, 20, took the men’s title in the sixth annual event, with Annabel Anderson, of New Zealand, repeating as women’s champion.

At last year’s event, more than 400 competitors set the Guinness World Record for biggest stand-up paddleboard race and attempted to break the record Saturday afternoon. On Sunday, another record breaking attempt will take place to have the most surfers ride a single wave. Contests continue through the day with the SUP distance and relay races.

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