WeSUP Ultimate Paddler SUP Race 2014 – MTFU!

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.

le manns start
le manns start

(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.)

Heading out just before my leash came off
Heading out just before my leash came off

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!

Cutting through the pack (Photo Maurice Guy)
Cutting through the pack (Photo Maurice Guy)

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…

2mo-guy

Hitting the water for lap 3 (Photo Maurice Guy)
Hitting the water for lap 3 (Photo Maurice Guy)

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…

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The finish sequence...
The finish sequence…

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.

Finish OC1 race - 2nd
Finish OC1 race – 2nd