Sunday, 16 October 2016

Dutch Coast World Series Surfski Race

After the European Championships in Italy we went to Bournemouth for a few days and it was great to catch up with everyone. I also managed to squeeze in a downwind in really decent conditions. After a few days in the UK on Friday 30th Sept I would fly out to Amsterdam to race in the Dutch Coast race for the first while Pete would fly back home to Tenerife.

I entered the Dutch Coast, firstly because Joep kept on telling me that I must not miss this race and secondly I was in the UK so it would make an easy trip across to Amsterdam before I head back to Tenerife, it was going to be a very quick trip - Flying in Friday evening and leaving early hours Monday morning.

Joep is 100% correct, this is a race not to be missed. Thank you for persuading me to come and helping me find a place to stay and of course the great hospitality shown by the guys who make this event happen.

I flew in late on Friday evening so unfortunately missed the pre-race dinner. Rick Daman, my host for the weekend, picked me up from the airport and we went to his place so I could get some much needed rest before racing the next day.

On Saturday we arrived at the race venue and it was a bit cold, well for us from the Canaries it was colder than our coldest day in winter! There was not much wind but a nice swell left over from previous winds during the days before. Windguru was predicting wind, so the organisers decided to wait a little and to race at midday in the hope of the best winds. What a good call, as we were waiting around, drinking coffee, setting up boats, collecting goodie bags and generally catching up with friends the wind gradually started to pick up. Race briefing done, now it was time to get changed and put a dry set of clothes on the pre-arranged cart/trailer that would be at the finish.

                                                 Team Carbonology Spain - LIVINGSEA

We all lined up for the start and at midday the start gun went and we were off. The race runs parallel along a massive flat beach, so there is a safety car on the beach following the race as well as safety boats on the water. We race 19km up the coast to a town called Hargen. The first part of the race the runs were small, but I was having loads of fun linking runs. The wind picked up through out the race and the runs and swell just got better and better. I had a great race and was having so much fun. As you can see in the photo below, we were all smiles. Downwind conditions = happy paddlers, and everyone had a smile coming off the water......some were tired but still smiling.

                                           Top 3 - Angie - 1st, Myself - 2nd and Sara 3rd.

So apart from the great downwind, at the finish for the ladies we had our own truck/changing room so we could get into dry clothes. They thought of everything!

As soon as the first bus was full we headed back to the Club for hot soup and the prize giving.

After the prize giving there was a huge dinner that was prepared for us along with a few drinks. It was a great time to catch up with everyone.

The next day we had double sit-on-top kayak sprint races. This was a huge amount of fun and I teamed up Raquel, we were the only all female crew and just had fun.....getting pounded on the way out and then surfing in on some awesome waves. We managed to get to the semi's and then got knocked out, not a bad thing as we had a hot shower before watching the final and then we gathered for a final prize giving and more much needed hot soup at the Club Zand.

This race is a great race and well organised. The guys who are behind making this race a great event have put so much into it and I will definitely be back next year, only next year I will be staying longer.

Thank you!

1. Sean Rice (South Africa)
2. Jasper Mocke (South Africa)
3. David Slazchta (France)
1. Angie Mouden (France)
2. Chloe Bunnett (Spain)
3. Sara Rafael(Portugal)

Full results:

Next up in a few weeks (5th Nov) is the Pete Marlin World Surfski Series Title Race in East London - South Africa.

As always thanks to LivingSea Carbonology Sport Vaikobi KnysnaRacing for your continued support.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Gold & Silver at the Spanish National Surfski Championships 2016

This years Spanish National Champs were held over the past weekend in Castellon. It was a great turn out with around 400 Surfski Paddlers taking to the water. There are races for all age groups, held at a different time to the Seniors,U/23's and Master's, so it is great to be able to support and cheer on our club mates.

I arrived on the Friday evening and we were only racing at 4pm on Saturday, as to try and get the best possible wind and the Juniors would race after us.

This weekend there was heatwave on the mainland of Spain, and it was extremely hot. The race went off at 4pm as planned and there was a section of about 2.5km of flat to get out the harbour. After which we would go for 5km directly into the wind and then turn back and finish where we started. The wind had virtually died and we were left with some waves to catch but it was hard to work the runners that were left over and no time to rest. I had a good start and tried to break away after the harbour wall, Amaia and Aurora were strong and after a while were back on my tail. The heat was intense so I decided to rest on their tail for a while. Going up to the turn it was difficult to recover from the heat and I knew I was going to have to work hard all the way back. Aurora managed get away and created a small gap. I worked hard to close it all the way back to the harbour and when we hit the flat she was too strong and I could not match her pace. Well Done Aurora you had a great race also well done to Amaia, it is always great to race with you.

Big congrats to Sara, my club mate, who came in 4th - great race!!

Ladies Final Results:
1st - Aurora
2nd - Chloe
3rd - Amaia
4th - Sara

On Sunday we raced doubles on the same course, we raced at midday so it was, once again, really hot. I raced with Sara and we had a great start, followed by a very hard but fun race. We took Gold in the overall Ladies. Thanks Sara, it was great to race with you.

A big thank you to my club, Club Amigos de Piraguismo, it was a great weekend and everyone from the club raced so well and we placed 4th overall in the club points and first in the medal table.

As always thank you to Living Sea, Carbonology Sport, Knysna Racing and Vaikobi for my awesome and reliable equipment.

Next I will be representing and joining the Spanish team in Sardinia, Italy for the European Championships. They will be held between 21st and 26th of September.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

DOWNWIND in Gran Canaria

Last week we travelled to Gran Canaria to join in a week of paddling, downwinds, beer, wine and good food.

Sean Rice and his fiancĂ©, Emily McGrath, were also in Gran Canaria doing PaddeLife workshops and talks. It was awesome to catch up with them and we went on some epic downwinds. Thanks to Esteban and Sara from Living Sea for arranging all the downwind transport and a ski for me to be able to join in the fun. If you want to go on a paddling holiday with downwinds, warm water and sun then look them up and get yourself there. Las Palmas is the city in Gran Canaria where it all happens, there are skis for hire and downwinds start right at the club in the city on one of their great beaches. Depending on your experience and fitness you can choose how long (or short) you would like to go downwind. We did 30km and 20km runs. The guys then went on a 44km downwind, so really you can do pretty much anything.

Anyway check out my clip below to see how much fun you can have. I will edit and post our inland island tour so you can see its not just all about paddling and a great island to visit.

I hope you enjoy the clip.