Here’s a delayed update from the Duke’s OceanFest 2009 SUP Race held last August 23-29. I was pretty excited for this race and trained for it by paddling a few downwinders a week. Last year’s conditions provided winds that seemed under 10 mph and I wasn’t sure what the tide was. My time to finish last year was 1:55 so I thought that if I could get anywhere between 1:40 to 1:45 I would be doing fine. What I didn’t realize, is how much better the competition would get.
I didn’t get much video from this one but I’m sure someone else did. I was pretty focused on the race and doing my best.
This year my brother decided to race with us and wanted to use my F-14 so I raced on the F-18 which turned out to be the right board for the day. The wind was pretty consistent around 15 mph or so and we got a good tide. The SIC crew and Mark Raaphorst flew over for this race and then left to the event in Holland.
The course was around 9.5 miles. There were 2 buoys to go around, one at the beginning (blinker) and the other a hundred yards or so outside of the Duke statue. Getting out to the blinker buoy is easy. Rounding the finishing buoy is a chore.
It wouldn’t be a race in Hawaii without Sam Pa’e. I have to get a picture of him at every race now.
For some reason, I was really nervous during this race. It also could be due to the caffeine I consumed in the morning since I normally don’t drink coffee. I don’t know why, but my legs were shaking a bit and it was throwing off my balance. I fell at least 5 times during the race. My last fall was the worse one bc I was so tired by then that it was really hard to get back up. That’s pretty sad for a short race. It’s not like this was the Molokai Channel. I was kinda disappointed with the falling.
For about 3/4 of the race I managed to stay with Doug Lock. I’m not really sure how that’s possible, especially since I paddled with Doug a few days before the race and he was 20 minutes ahead of me. Doug was paddling a 12′6″ board and I was on an 18′er. The big difference is that I was paddling as hard as I could to keep up with him and it looked like he wasn’t even paddling at all. Around Tongg’s I fell and he pulled ahead. That’s when I decided to take a different route.
Since the wind was blowing pretty strong that day I had the strategy to cut inside around Outrigger Canoe Club and hug the shore so that the wind would be blocked by the buildings. That was a bad move. I should have stayed on course.
The thing that blew me away was that I paddled a personal record time at 1:34. I beat my last year’s time by 21 minutes and still placed 43rd overall. Before I started beating myself up though, I realized that this was my best time so far and I should be ok with it.
The winner, Scott Gamble finished in 1:25…unreal. He beat Guy Pere’s 2008 time by 12 minutes. Awesome!
Although the race was fun, I somehow hurt my shoulder and had to rest a few days. I’m back in action now and need to get out there and get better.
Duke’s OceanFest Paddleboard Race Results:
MALE STAND-UP Less than 12.6 ft
|16||64||Hawaii||Us||ROBERT NORTON JR.||2:21:12|
MALE STAND-UP Less than 14.6 ft
|16||124||BODO VAN DER LEEDEN||1:36:45|
|29||83||Puerto Rico||JAIME TORRES||1:51:23|
FEMALE STAND-UP Less than 14.6 ft
MALE STAND-UP More than 14.6 ft
FEMALE STAND-UP More than 14.6 ft
|4||45||Hawaii||Us||MARY JO GUMBERT||1:50:03|
MALE STAND-UP 19 years & Younger