Sunday, October 12, 2014

Racing Wrap Up

Fall has finally arrived and that means the end of (my) SUP race season.  Time to focus on windsurfing, SUP downwinders, and SUP surfing again.  Late summer had my family & I participating in some SUP races - the Colonial SUP Cup in New Bern NC,  the Quadzilla Race at the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte NC, the Chucktown Showdown in Charleston SC, and the Lake Murray SUP Classic in Columbia SC.  All the races were very well organized and were a lot of fun.  A big thanks to all the race organizers and volunteers...they all did a great job.  Here is a summary wrap up with pics:

The Colonial SUP Cup was held in New Bern, NC in late August on a hot windless day.  This was one of the few windless races I've raced in.  The joke amongst my windsurfing friends is if I'm doing a SUP race, they know they'll be able to go windsurfing that day.  Not this time.  My daughter and I made it a father/daughter road trip and had a great time together.

The first five photos below are courtesy of StandUp Outfitters in New Bern NC...more pictures here.

McIntyre leading the youth girls race

battling it out

finishing 4th in the 7 mile race (Men's 14')...missed the podium by 5 seconds.  I felt good in this race.

My girl finished 2nd overall in the 3.5 mile (Womens 12'6") race, and 1st in Juniors race

The very cool medal given to all the finishers

The Quadzilla Race was very unique.  Held at the US National Whitewater Center, its a team relay race with 1) 1.5 mile SUP sprint (me),  2) whitewater kayaking down the two whitewater channels (Jay),  3) mountain bike on 5.5 miles of single track trails (Jon), and finally 4) all three of us jump in a raft and paddle down the competition whitewater channel.

Had a good start but Pete (blue board) passed me at the very end when I made a mistake rounding a bit wide on the last turn.

The 400 yard run up the hill after the SUP sprint was not one of my strengths.  I was gassed!

Here we are...our team coming down the competition channel.  We got sucked into an eddy at the very end that took us about 5 or 6 tries to get out of it.  Meanwhile we got passed by another team in the process.  The only flawless performance on our team was Jon on his mountain bike.  We ended up finishing 3rd and laughing about all the high jinx that ensued throughout our race.  This was a really fun event.

2014 Chucktown Showdown in beautiful Charleston, SC - it was a family affair....including lugging all these boards for everyone.

I had been training and paddling in some humidity this summer and thought I had acclimated to it, but this day in Charleston was a whole new level of humidity.  I was sweating when I got out of the car to unload the boards that morning and right away knew I was in trouble. 

The Mens' 9 mile race start - a lot of racers made for a crowded and choppy start.

The Womens' 4 mile race start - that's my girl McIntyre out front with the hole shot.

McIntyre finishing strong - 8th in Womens' 12'6" overall and 1st in 17U Women.

About all I can say is I finished the 9 mile race - It definitely wasn't one of my best races - very tough with the strong currents, chop, and heat/humidity.  No excuses - it gave me some things to remember for next time...a good (re)learning lesson in several facets of racing, including the mental part of it.

The race course was very cool - it started in the Ashley River and took us out past The Battery/Historic Charleston, well into the Charleston Harbor and back.

It took me a while to recover after this race.  Thank goodness for coconut water!

Time for the kids race!

The start

...and they're off!

My two sons battling it out at the buoy turns

The look of determination

I am very blessed and grateful that my kids are water people too.  Sharing this with my family means so much.

McIntyre on the podium - very proud of her

Last but not least, the Lake Murray SUP Classic, outside of Columbia SC....

McIntyre (right) and her buddy Audrey just before the start of the 3.5 mile race.

The start - that's my 12 yr old son, Jake, on the left.  This was his first 3.5 mile race, finally graduating from the kids races.  I elected to paddle alongside him in this race and give him encouragement (I did the same for McIntyre in her first longer race when she was 12).   

I paddled on my Sean Ordenez Shape (SOS) Big Blue 10'10" all around board....the first board I raced on back in spring of 2008 (Coastal Urge SUP Cup spring race in Wrightsville Beach).  Makes me want to get back to the basics again and just race in the all around/surf board division.

Jake digging in

Paddling by the Lake Murray dam

Working on his buoy turns

Here is Jake closing in on the finish.  We were next to last...but he finished and did great.  He was the only kid under 15 yrs old in the race.

McIntyre finished 3rd in the Women's 3.5 mile race

My race board - Bark custom 14' - I love the outline and rocker - it works well in all conditions