European Championship SUP race in Saint-Maxime, France
Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 May, the European Championship Paddle race took place in Saint-Maxime, the bay of Saint Tropez.
A total of 103 Paddlers came together from California, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Holland to compete; a very great turnout.
On Saturday, the day started with a relay race.
The relay team is put together with 4 people; with a minimum of 1 woman.
Chuck Patterson, Byron Kurt and Xavier Masdevall were looking for 1 girl, so I joined them -- using the Starboard 12'6"x26" Surf Race (a board Pascal lent me. Merci Pascal!)
Our team; with a mix of champs became first, which is a good way to start an event
The 2nd race of the day was the 7 km distance. (12'6" and 14" foot)
The competitors paddled rounds around 6 buoys. After each round we had to run with our boards, about 20 meters over sand before entering the water again for the next round.
It seemed that the concept 'the Battle of the Paddle' in California was copied, a fun way to keep the paddlers close to the public and spectators.
Very good vibes from the water and land mixed together in how the SUP sport is being received during this first European event here in the south of France.
The wind was very light and the paddle conditions were good.
The board I could use for this race was "The Pin 12'6" by 30 -- a design from last year -. (Merci Marc!) Compared to the "Surf Race" it was a bit slower. I ended 2nd place after Fabienne D'Ortoli; pro kite girl and since 2 years stand up paddler from France. Nicole Boronat from Spain, a long time-respectable pro water woman, became 3rd.
The 3rd race was held on Sunday, the 30th; a long distance from 14 km.
The conditions of this day were pretty rough with winds reaching gusts of 25 knots. The race was being adjusted for safety reasons; again rounds around buoys, but now bigger rounds. We were supposed to SUP from the bay of St. Tropez all the way to St. Maxim, but this route was not safe enough -- big chance we would 'fly down to Corsica -
The headwinds we would endure half way each round reminded me of the SUP 11-City Tour last year; where we had long hours with 'just that'.
I focused on each stroke and a steady rhythm, which I could keep the entire race.
I ended up fist from the women and also left some guys behind me, which is always fun. The board I used this day was again "The Pin".
For video images and more results of the men (there were many men results; 15 podium places to share between classes of 12'6", 14' and unlimited),
visit site: http://www.micromax.tv/film.php?idvideo=343
Anne Marie Reichman