Thunderbird Paddling Festival & BigBlue Waterman Challenge

Lake Tahoe's Most Scenic Paddle:

The Thunderbird Paddling Festival is held annually on the east shore of Lake at Nevada’s Sand Harbor State Park. This location is one of a kind and features a large sandy beach, epic scenery and miles of Tahoe’s classic shoreline sporting large formations of granite boulders and secluded sandy coves

Big Blue Waterman Challenge : Do you have what it takes to be a true Lake Tahoe Waterman or Women? The Big Blue Waterman Challenge combines stand-up paddle board (SUP), swimming and beach running. The format is a heat racing elimination where top finishers advance round by round to the finals. Consolation races and kids divisions. We provide the one-design boards to even out the field. Are you good at one, two or all three stages of this exciting and fun multisport challenge? Then come on out and give it a tri.

Thunderbird 8 Miler: Start from the sandy Sand Harbor Beach and head south along the shore keeping the buoys to your left. At the 4-mile mark, round the final buoy and paddle the quickest course you can to the finish line. Along the way pass by the Thunderbird Lodge, and the spectacular shoreline.

Thunderbird 4 Miler : Just like the 8 miler only turn back at the 2 mile mark.

Youth “GROM’” Races for the kids:  Close to shore age appropriate distances around our buoy course. Cheer them on!


SUP Surfboard, 12’6″ (Stock), 14′, Unlimited, Grom/Kids, Prone Unlimited, Prone Stock, Kayak, Surfski, Ourtrigger, All paddling craft welcome! We will score in categories dependent on entry.

Age Groups:

“based on age as of 12/31″

  • 18 & under, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60+

Required Gear:

  • PFD, life jacket
  • Leash
Thunderbird Paddle Festival & Sand Harbor Open Water Swim Schedule
Friday, June 12
4:00-7:00 PMVendors, participant check inSouth lot/beach
5:30 PMPaddling & Swimming ClinicsBeach
Saturday, June 13
6:30 – 9:15 AMAthletes check-inTrailer
8:00 AMRace start: Sand Harbor Open Water SwimBeach
8:00 AM – 3:00 PMExpo/DemosBeach/Lake

9:30 AMRace start: ThunderbirdBeach/Lake
10:00 AM – 12:30 PMPaddling Kids RacesBeach/Lake
10:00 AM – 2:00 PMBBQBeach
10:10 AMFirst Finisher 4 MilerBeach
10:50 AMFirst Finisher 8 MilerBeach
12:00 PMStart: Big Blue Waterman ChallengeBeach

Event Entries Click on an event to see who entered.

Tim Hornsby1SUP Surfboard19-29Guy
Bob Glynn2SUP 14'60+Guy
Jamie Willin8SUP 14'60+Guy
Gretchen Meier10SUP 12'6"40-49Girl
Stu Koster12SUP 12'6"60+Guy
Keith Andersen14Surfski Single60+Guy
Wayne Prouty Jr16SUP 14'30-39Guy
Sheri Noble17SUP 12'6"30-39Girl
Jennie Schaad18SUP 12'6"30-39Girl
Jeff Cleeland20OC-150-59Guy
Joe Woodman22SUP 14'50-59Guy
Michael Melville23SUP 12'6"60+Guy
Brandon Carter24SUP 14'40-49Guy
Josiah Brackett25SUP 14'U18Guy
Dave Almas26SUP 14'50-59Guy
Doug Penny27SUP 14'50-59Guy
Trent Carter30SUP 12'6"U18Guy
Zoe Carter31SUP 12'6"U18Girl
Grant Mcfadyen32SUP 14'40-49Guy
Paul Zarubin33SUP 14'60+Guy
Erica Shearer36SUP 12'6"40-49Girl
Kevin Shearer37SUP 14'30-39Guy
Jay Prigge41SUP 12'6"40-49Guy
Wendy Ackermann42SUP 12'6"40-49Girl
Sage Quinn43SUP 12'6"U18Girl
Delila Quinn44SUP 12'6"U18Girl
Julie Stevens45SUP 14'40-49Girl
Beth Wettstein48SUP 14'40-49Girl
Rebecca Paley-williams49SUP 12'6"19-29Girl
Marius Lina50SUP 14'30-39Guy
Anna Carroll51SUP Surfboard50-59Girl
Julie Munger53SUP 12'6"50-59Girl
Steve Lamoreaux4SUP 14'40-49Guy
Robert Christensen5OC-160+Guy
Helen Gallagher7SUP 12'6"50-59Girl
Charles Lancellotti11SUP 14'40-49Guy
Marc Andrews13SUP 14'40-49Guy
Phil Segal19Prone Unlimited60+Guy
Michelle Singh21SUP Surfboard30-39Girl
Cathy Huang28SUP 12'6"60+Girl
Vincent Huang29SUP 14'60+Guy
Audrey Bartlett34SUP Surfboard30-39Girl
Mike Rubio35SUP Surfboard30-39Guy
Zenin Quinn38SUP SurfboardU18Guy
Tom Logue39SUP 12'6"50-59Guy
Liam Nolan-bowers40SUP 14'U18Guy
Kelton Stevens46SUP 12'6"U18Guy
Brian Woody47SUP 12'6"40-49Guy
Ryan Zarubin52SUP 12'6"30-39Guy
Jay Valois54SUP 12'6"U18Guy
Dave Firks55SUP 14'60+Guy
Maria-elaina Bowman56SUP 14'30-39Girl
Keith Meter6SUP 12'6"40-49Guy
Ryan Delariva9SUP 14'30-39Guy
Charles Lancellotti11SUP (All)5-12Girl
Jenna Andersen15Prone (All)5-12Girl
Zenin Quinn38SUP (All)5-12Guy
Delila Quinn44SUP (All)5-12Girl

Results Select an event to view results.

Note: All live times are unadjusted and unofficial.

The Thunderbird is Lake Tahoe’s most scenic paddle. The start is at the beautiful Sand Harbor beach, a Nevada State Park.  Nevada State ParkThe sandy beach gives way to Tahoe’s most beautiful paddling area featuring clear water, large granite boulders, epic sierra views, and the historic Thunderbird Lodge.


$12 per car ($10, NV Vehicle Registration or NV Driver’s License)

Spectators can take the East Shore Express from Incline Village for $3/person. Runs every 20min from 10am.

Course Distances (all distances are approximate)


  • 8+ mile out and back, heading south along the shore and then back
  • 4+ mile out and back, heading south along the shore and then back

Grom Races

  • 1/4 mile buoy course near shore
  • Lap races based on age

Click here to view the Thunderbird Map & Legend in full screen

View Thunderbird Paddleboard Races and Event June 13 in a larger map


Sand Harbor State Park
2005 Nevada 28, Incline Village, NV 89451United States
+ Google Map
(775) 831-0494


$12 per car ($10, NV Vehicle Registration or NV Driver’s License)

Spectators can take the East Shore Express from Incline Village for $3/person. Runs every 20min from 10am.

Important Registration notes:

ID Required on Race Day

At registration, ALL athletes are required to show photo ID. Every single participant must have a photo ID, this includes all relay participants. Youth athletes without an ID must be accompanied by a parent/guardian with a photo ID.


  • Athletes may only pick up their own packets. Under no circumstances may an athlete pick up a packet for another person.

 PFD/life jacket & leash required to race


Jun 13, 2015


Sand Harbor Beach, Washoe County, NV