Friday, September 28, 2012

The Arena

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

That quote is dedicated to my friend Bill and everyone else who competed at the Lake Murray SUP Classic (SC) last weekend.  Its also dedicated to anyone who lays it on the line to compete at any level in windsurfing and SUP.

I love to windsurf and I started stand up paddling as a way to be on the water when the wind isn't blowing.  The cruel irony is that easily over half the SUP races I participate in have lots of wind and chop.  If you want to windsurf, just find out when I have a SUP race and it will likely blow that day.  We had 15mph+ wind with some knee high chop....and the 10K Elite race course had angles that gave us cross wind and sideways chop, plus refracting waves off the dam wall that gave us some washing machine conditions. The conditions were more about trying not to fall in so you wouldn't lose time versus pure speed.

My friend Bill has been pushing himself to race and has improved dramatically in the last year he's been paddling.  He has lost weight through paddling and race training, and really been stoked on SUP in general, but also seems to show up at the windiest races.  I think Bill epitomizes the quote above because he still gets out there and competes even in the face of adversity.  Keep up the great work Bill and never give up!

My new 14' Bark custom race board held up pretty being only my 3rd time on it.  I was pleased with its stability and speed, although I couldn't have done any better than my 4th place finish in Elite Mens 14'...the top 3 got away from me and put a big distance between us.  Congrats to Kevin Rhodes and Chris Johnson, both from Wilmington, and got 1st and 3rd respectively.  Also a big shout out to the 2nd place finisher - a 60 year old grandfather, Rand Perkins, from Bryson City, NC.  He came out of nowhere and kicked some serious butt out there.  That guy is in serious shape.  

I was extremely proud of my daughter, who raced the 5K race and ended up finishing 1st in Womens 12'6" and 1st in 17 & Under.  She came in ahead of several men on 12'6' race boards.  She racked up on the awards....a new paddle and skate longboard.  And it was fun to see my sons get out there in the kids race and mix it up as well.

The race organizers did a great job organizing and running the event

Father Daughter

new 14' race board...

...for the Waterturtle

Chris Johnson, Waterturtle, McIntyre, Matt & Nick Cesmat

pre-race words of encouragement

McIntyre finishing strong

Happy to have finished....that was a tough race.  The cross wind and chop was a killer.  Jeremy Whitted from Charleston (yellow board) crushed it on his 12'6" and finished just ahead of me overall and 1st in Mens 12'6".  He and I used to battle it out in the Mens 12'6" division in Wilmington, St Simons Island, and Charleston and I can tell you he has gotten a lot faster especially in choppy conditions it seems.  Congrats also to Matt Cesmat, from my home Lake Norman, who got 3rd in Mens 12'6".

The boys at the kids race start

The spoils of go girl!

No comments: