UK SUP Clubs Series – Stage 5 – (WeSUP The Ultimate Paddler Technical race)
The WeSUP event joined forces at Carbis Bay with Oceanpaddlesports to have one almighty paddle sports cometition.
The SUP race was a technical course, perfectly arranged to take advantage of the wind direction giving two good downwind legs but some super tough upwind too. With 7 turns & a 300m beach run each lap it was going to be a tough race.
I was racing 14′. My board although not suited to the ocean really due to super narrow & flat waterline worked amazingly well in the up & downwind sections.
I got off to a good start (Le Manns Style) comfortably in the top few heading out to the first turn mark. About halfway there one of my buddies shouted my leash had come off & was dragging.
(Background: In the race breifing it had been specifically discussed that leashes HAD to be worn at all times & if it came off & you didnt re-attach it you would be DQ’d.)
My only option was to stop paddling, get off the board, fish the leash out, re-attach & get going again. This was the worst time to happen as the entire field passed me & I was in the horrendous chop. It’s times like these you find out what you’re made of… I really, really wanted some solid series points & didnt want to throw the race so the only option was to work. I started my attack, picking off the other competitors one by one, bullying my way through I was back to 5th by the final turn into the beach from lap one, next came the bit I hate, the run… Any of my training partners know how much I loathe running & up aead of me, Ryan, Ollie, Mark, Damo… all excellent runners.. .GREAT!
Still I ran the matra through my mind… MTFU, MTFU, MTFU & got stuck in… pushing hard I hit the water second lap a couple of hundred meters off Damo who was in 4th. I had to ease back a little for lap 2 as I had really pushed hard lap 1. I was still catching Damo though which was positive. By the time we hit the beach run for lap 2 I had gained 30m. After run Damo had pulled the gap out again to about 75m but he was slowing down on the water… It was now or never…
I felt I had enough in the tank for another hard lap & stepped it up. I made huge ground on the long downwind leg catching right up to the tail on the final turn, I fluffed it a bit in the chop from Damo’s board & he pulled away again. This was the toughest leg thought back into the wind to the beach. His stroke rate had dropped & I felt good so once more picked up the pace & smashed it as hard as I could… With 10m to the sand I pulled alongside & past… But I had the final run up the steep sandbank… I knew Damo would come on strong here so I grabbed a deep breath & hit the sand… about half way he came shoulder to shoulder… the crowd was screaming (so were my legs) but I couldnt let this go easy…I dug in & launched myself at the finish… the official verdict a tie breaker…
What an AMAZING finish. I was so pleased with the ground I made back in that race, an epic & well deserved finish & couldnt think of a better way to end it than a tie with Damo, we both gave it our all & it’s races like that that make all the training worth while.
Straight after that race I went into a 9km OC1 race… Very very tired I managed to swing a 2nd place too… EPIC weekend.