Dec 24, 2012


WOW, 2012... what a year.

It started in China where we continued to work/travel/take in all that the Chinese culture had to offer. After a year working in China we returned to Canada in July and had an awesome homecoming in Whistler for a Canada Day mountain biking extravaganza (in the rain). It was amazing to be back with friends, on bikes, and in BC.

As we were still renting our apparent until the end of August, we kept moving and landed ourselves in Ontario visiting the Augaitis gang. While enjoying family time, a stand-up-paddleboard race, and the Augaitis cottage, we managed to sneak in an awesome five day back-country canoe/SUP adventure in Algonquin Park. We still had some time to kill before moving back into Vancouver life, so at the end of July we packed the car (which miraculously survived a year languishing in the parking garage) and headed south on a road trip with mountain bikes and SUPs. We rolled through WA and OR with stops to check out some trails along the way toward out target of Stanley Idaho. We spent a week in Idaho and just loved everything about Stanley and surrounding areas. The scenery, the people, the weather, the lakes, the rivers, and most of all the trails. Fast, smooth, long, alpine style mountain bike trails. On the "way home" we ended up in Moab, Utah in the unbelievably hot off-season. There was still great biking to be had, but only in the early hours of the morning. A few brief detours in California and Oregon on the way home (really this time) saw us back in Vancouver and moving back into our place.

As our stuff was all in storage we took the opportunity to tear the place apart and make use of the ideas that have been rattling around in Andrew's head for the four years since he moved in. We're really pleased with the results and are enjoying having a bit more space to move around (and Andrew's enjoying his workshop). Lina has had the chance to travel to Mexico (twice!) since we've been back to paddle and race SUP and enjoy the beach lifestyle. Paddling back in Vancouver is a little less warm, but still possible even if you don't drive standard and your car is a standard...

Something we missed in China was a real winter. Some may argue that Vancouver doesn't have a real Canadian winter (and they'd probably win that argument), but a couple of hours up the road we can find all the snow you could possible want for a day exploring the mountains on skis, which has again brought us back together with all our outdoorsy friends and should keep us entertained until the spring comes and the trails start to dry out.

Our best wishes for 2012, whatever it brings you. May your trail be dry and your snow be crisp.

Lina and Andrew

live, love, laugh,....DREAM!

Dec 12, 2012

MEXICO with Pacific Paddle Surf

What a grand time so far.... I will write a proper trip report when I return home... but some quick updates
Pacific Paddle Surf Crocodile Classic Race: really fun and a total success! Sprint, distance, and short courses... beginners and some of Mexico's Team SUP paddlers!
Daily dose of happiness includes:
beach running every morning followed by ocean swimming followed by paddlefit..... some chill time,... surfing,.... all with amazing people, delicious food, and a beautiful SUN!!!!!

check this out:
Paddlefit classes in Mexico HERE!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Dec 3, 2012

Can't drive the car, can't get the board through the door....

BUT I want to be a stand up paddler?!?

Parking the load

I did not pick the greatest sport for lack of car and small living space arrangements.... but I like the sport  and want to paddle.

Creativity, will, determination, desire, and mental prowess are all things that are helping me solve my great dilemma of getting out on the water and of course.... friends and sponsors!

It is impossible to store  a hard board in our little amazing loft condo. It can't get through the sharp corner to fit through the door and if it could I don't think I'd want to keep trying.... damage on both ends would ensue for sure.

I know I should just suck it up and learn how to drive a stick shift car but ... I really really don't like it, the stress I think would kill me.... since it is currently our only vehicle I am very often sans vehicle...

I stopped by Trident Performance Sport to see if I could demo the new 2013 Starboard Inflatable Astro Touring board (12'6" x 30"). I first tried to strap the board on my rear rack of my bike.... it was a little unstable but doable.... but a little too labour intensive and not that reliable...

Then, I decided to just put the pack on my back and cycle that way to the water. My cycle time to the closest legal paddling water is about 20 minutes (with the board on my back). It is about 30 pounds I think... I have a 3 piece Werner nitro paddle that I stick in the bag along with the pump, leash, inflatable pfd and whatever extra clothes I need. I lock up the bike with my helmet walk down to the dock and pump up the board.... I need to carry everything with me on the board which is a little inconvenient but unfortunately living in a big city I just don't trust that anything that I leave behind no matter how well stashed will still be there when I return from a paddle. So I carry the pump, bag, and whatever else extra I brought with me. Luckily the Astro Touring comes with bungee system that is simple and convenient... I then head off to paddle,... I know I should be training on my race board without stuff on the board and not with a three piece paddle but my racing Werner grand prix paddle... but sometimes you can't have it all... right? At least I get to paddle! AND for an inflatable board, the Astro touring board is pretty nice to paddle on flat water... the shape and dimensions create a more race feel than other inflatable boards. I still feel quite stable so am not worried of falling into the very cold water but also there is not so much stability that I feel like I am not moving forward at all.... I give the Starboard 12'6"x30" astro touring board thumbs up. I hope to do some actually touring on it in the near future...I know I will want more bungees in order to carry more gear for a longer day or days....

 Upon my return from my paddle, I deflate, pack everything back into the bag, put it back on my back, unlock bike and ride home. For me, I know I need to add approx one hour total to my paddle workout for traveling and pumping/organizing needs....

The 20minute bike ride is about max for me until it gets really quite uncomfortable having a huge heavy bag on my back while cycling... so Andrew, my amazing hubby found me a cheap Wike trailer. I use bungee to strap the board onto the platform. It is best used without the bag for less bulk and also it means one less thing to carry on the board with me while paddling.

It takes a little longer to set up and take down before and after my paddle BUT is way nicer to ride with... so for longer commutes to a paddling destination that is a little further away  I will definitely take the little trailer...

I am excited that I figured out a way to still paddle even without a car and a place to store a hard board. I know it is not ideal and I am working on trying to get a hard board near water so I can bike to it and paddle from there.... and here is to hoping something works out.

If I want to pursue my goals for 2013 I do need to sort out the ability to actually get on the water and paddle!

Heading back to False Creek

I am sure it will all come together.... I just need to be a little more creative, a little more determined and maybe endure a little bit more than most to get myself and a board on the water. At times it is tough, especially doing it all alone... but I guess that is that internal motivation/drive in me....

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Dec 2, 2012

Yes, Please!

The rain was arrived, the air is brisk, and the clouds are grey..... winter is here.
SUP season is on the down low,  not that many people want to brave the freezin water temperatures combined with the freezin air temperatures and risk the uncomfortableness of it all. Luckily, I DO! HA BUT first things first.....

 Earlier in November, my two part time jobs (thank you Deep Cove Canoe and Kayaks and GreenHeart: totally loved working for both companies and appreciate the support!) came to an end as the season changed from pleasant in the city to dreary in the city....The last 3 weeks: I've been trying to find a way to support my new SUP RACING hobbie with some sort of income/job.... Yes, I have moments of doubt, moments where my confidence is on the fence and about to drop off and crack, and yes I feel like an idiot sometimes..... I am 32 and looking for a job again.... hmmm... I am at that point in my life where, I don't think I want just any old job ( I have career ambitions/goals....) but am also at a point where I want to train loads, race lots, and plan and execute expeditions, ane spend time with my hubby and friends...... It is a true struggle...

Funny enough within 1 great day I found 2 jobs that will provide me with new work, fun (I hope!), exciting goals, and income for at least 6 months... Fortunately, they are jobs which are providing me with an even stronger base/experience towards something very exciting (I hope!). I am truly excited to see where these jobs lead me in all aspects of ME but am also nervous about how they will affect my goals for my SUP racing year of 2013... Already, I can not make one of the races I was truly looking forward to: the ISA World Champs in Peru. I was super stoked to paddle for CAN but the timing does not work anymore. What a tough internal decision this was for me. I have to think about sooooo many things and sometimes in life you just have to choose and hope your choice was the right one for you. I had to choose between a job that I can see myself doing and loving for awhile, or at the very least help provide me with amazing experience for future employment opportunities and a race I felt would help me further develop the athlete in me. Deep down in my gut I knew I could not pass up the job opportunity that has been given to me, a job that I so badly was hoping to get the opportunity to try. I had to look at the race in Peru in a different light and although my heart wanted to go I could see there were other opportunities for me to race and pursue my SUP goals for 2013. Sacrifices....

Since my return to Vancouver I have been enjoying all that I was missing while working and living in China. One of those is crossfit. Crossfit Vancouver (Tbear and Kelly) are awesome and it has been such a pleasure to get back into the gym, sweat, push myself, and feel the soreness of a hard push.... I missed it last year,...

I am trying to figure out a schedule for on water/off water "playing" (some would call it training but I prefer the word play) its tough without knowing what my schedule is and that it could change at any moment. I have been able to train more than a working individual these last 3 weeks which has been AWESOME! I love it love it love it.... I am nervous about the next 6 months when I begin work, how will that affect my training? my energy levels? there will be so much to balance: work, family, training, friends, preping for teaching, commuting, relaxing(....who needs to relax?!?haha)... BREATHE..... I will figure it out and love it...

Its funny I sometimes don't realize how successful I have been in my area of expertise. I love live music, plays, musicals, theatre, dance shows, etc.  I just recently got to experience 2 concerts and a contemporary dance show that a friend was a choreographer for. I look at these people on stage and think, geez that is so incredible that they were able to find a gift, and deliver and share it with all these people.... COOL.... I wish I had that...  then I have to step back, reflect and realize I get to do this as well. I get to do it my way in the form of athletics.... EVEN COOLER! HA....

I am looking forward to hopefully securing my secret weapon for 2013 to help me break through and reach my goals. He is am amazing person who inspires me through his passion and his ability to take that passion and his dreams and create an amazing life for himself and others by just getting out there and doing it. I am taking a leap of faith in myself, putting myself out there and hopefully I can make it happen for myself and for others. I want to prove to myself, and especially to others that if you want it badly enough, no matter your situation, with passion, drive, love, determination, and creativity you can also make it happen. We all have gifts, we all flourish in our ow ways, .... love and enjoy your own and then share it! I love learning from others, and being inspired by others!

I like to ensure I take every/most opportunities that are given to me in life... I saw an opportunity to further develop as a person, athlete, and teacher and I grabed it. I am soooooo looking forward to spending 1.5 weeks in MEXICO with the amazing Pacific Paddle Surf family. I met Adam and Vero in Cabo and their spirit, kindness, and passion rubbed onto to me and I needed more of it. I will be off training, teaching, learning, and of course taking in the warm sunshine! THANK YOU Adam and Vero for this opportunity and thank you to Andrew for supporting me in these random acts I do!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Nov 6, 2012

SUPin' in the SUN at the WPA Hennessey's World Champs, Cabo, MEXICO

SUP Mexico Classic and WPA Henessey's World Championships

friday evening race package pick up

turtle release

3.5 days of SUN, warm water, SUP, guac, salsa, and tortillas!!!!!!!!!  I love Mexico!

The distance race was Saturday. I was hoping for fairly flat conditions not necessarily because I think it is the most fun but mostly because that is my strength. Unfortunately, for me the wind gods were hungry and they started howling. The ride there was an adventure in itself, we drove on some crazy dirt desert roads with no real direction other than we were following a red truk with some boards on top of it hoping they were actually heading to the race start: Punta Gorda. We finally arrived at the start to only have to wait in the heat, watching the wind get stronger and stronger for the bus with the rest of the athletes to arrive. Adam drove Vero and I in their awesome van!
Adam and Vero's Pacifc Paddle Surf Van....

We finally started the race an hour or so later than the intended start which was fine except for the WIND and HEAT! I had one of my worst starts EVER but no biggie as it was a long race and drafting would be difficult with the chop, waves, and wind! I was feeling physically strong, and ready to attack but for some reason something was off with my mind/board flow.... it could have been the rough conditions or it could have just been a mental blah on my part but I was NOT one with my board. I felt like I was battling with it the entire race... I tried to be nice to it, I tried to swear at it, I tried to sing a mantra, breathe, love, get angry but nothing was seeming to work for me... OH well, I suppose these things happen... so I came in a respectable 5th place and managed to squeeze myself into the last money spot for the distance race! I did have fun and I loved being out there and my frustrations only last a little while... I was quickly enjoying the sun, the beach, the people, and the fact that I was at the WPA Hennessey's world champs in Cabo, MEXICO!

Sunday was the technical short course and the wind did not give up on this day either, if anything it might have been even wilder than Saturday, so wild in fact that they had to change the course format for safety reasons! The open racers headed out first and they had three laps of a upwind, downwind, side shop triangle course with a beach touch! Adam from pacific paddle won  the Open race! He smashed the course!

Vero, Adam, and I enjoying life and being at the event!

Warren Bruce, came down from La Ventana to join in on the festivities!

We, the elite went after the open race, the race moved the buoys out a little further and increased our laps to 5, and reversed the direction. We headed straight into a head wind, the head wind got stronger as we neared the buoy, we then turned the buoy and had a downwind, the last buoy took us to a side wind and then we rounded the fourth buoy on the beach with our boards.... The first lap into the wind I felt good but then once I hit that first downwind section I kept falling off my board and getting frustrated with myself. Needless to say the second half of my first lap sucked! HA.... I managed to gain a little more control on the second lap but still fell in a bunch and the last three laps I found myself on top of the board (thankfully) but I think it was a little too late.... I again crossed the line in 5th. It was a tough course but it was really fun in a weird kind of athletic/racer kind of way:)

Kristin Thomas and I with our Werner paddles!

Me doing something funny with Werner paddle, Ryders sunglasses, etc!

For both races I was on the 2012 BOP Starboard Carbon board 12'6 x 26.5, with my Werner small Grand Prix paddle! I used the Vestpac with Nuun for hydration.

I managed to get on what  I think was the BEST relay team there! Janet Jensen from Snell Real Estates, who is originally from Vancouver as well but now lives in Cabo had two local Mexican surfers and myself on her team. We got to wear these fun referee uniforms and just have a blast! We came in second to last but who was counting!!!! :)

Celebrating post relay race with Janet Jensen of Snell Real Estate!

Sunday's event celebration and awards were held at Don Sanchez restaurant in town. It had good food, awards, and a really great dance party!

Top 5 ladies at the Hennessey's WPA World Championships. Cabo, Mexico!

WIND/WAVES/SURF: I will love you in a race in the near future..... just let me have some more time to practice.....

It was great to reconnect with racers I have met in the last 3 months and in addition I got the opportunity to meet even more fabulous new racers/people in the SUP industry. The more I am getting myself involved in the SUP community the more I am feeling such warm welcomes, and a great vibe. I really loved stepping out of myself for a moment on the dance floor at the event after party and enjoy the scene of people from different parts of the world, at different ages, with different backgrounds together on the same dance floor celebrating the SAME PASSION---- SUP..... it was beautiful:)

I have many thank yous....
*Adam and Vero at Pacific Paddle Surf. Thank you for letting me join you and your beautiful family for the weekend. Thank you for making me feel like part of a team. Thank you for your amazing spirit and inspiration!
*Kristin Thomas. Thank you for being positive, accepting, and an amazing role model and ambassador for the sport of SUP!
*Trident sports/Starboard SUP for the continued support and for creating and distributing such fine boards!
*Nikki Rekman Sales/Werner Paddles for the continuing support and for creating such a great product!
*Ryders Eyewear for comfy, stylish sunglasses on and off the water!
*Laiph Clothing for taking me on as an ambassador, for keeping my stoke high and making me feel a whole lot of awesome!
*WPA and SUP Mexico for putting on a fun event. I could have done with a little less wind but by ordering the tough conditions you kept me on my toes and certainly made the paddles more adventurous! I look forward to many more events!
*Crossfit Vancouver (especially coach Tbear) for the support and motivation to stay strong, fit, and healthy! Thank you for constantly making me feel sore:)
*ANDREW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the best hubby in the world!

Thoughts about the last 3 months
2012 is coming to a close and the last 3 months have been a whirlwind of awesomeness! I had a year away from SUP while working and traveling in China and I came back eager to race and see what I could do on the international scene. I surpassed my vision these past 3 months, I have met great SUP women paddlers. I have learned a lot by watching, racing, failing and succeeding and I find myself in an exciting spot. I definitely have room for improvement, development and growth but I am not so far off the top women in the sport... I am excited and ready to see what I can accomplish.

My focus for 2013
SURF, DOWNWIND, surf, downwind, more surf, more downwind..... haha... its not so bad that these are the skills I need to practice and improve to make it to the next level. I WANT to get better at both of these skills. I will do my best to find every opportunity to practice, play, and learn so that in 2013 I can get excited about a downwind race instead of cringe and sigh and wish for flat water.... I want to be an all around paddler. I think my strength will always be distance flat water but I would love to be hot on peoples heels in a downwinder or technical surf race:)

Racing 2013
I am in the process of figuring out a plan for racing, expeditions, and travels for 2013. I have many ideas at the moment BUT I also have many unknowns and other things to consider as well: time, finances, job, family, to name a few....
What I do know is I will keep following my heart, my dreams, my goals, and hope to continue to be a part of the SUP community, find my spot within it and spread the stoke of this awesome sport. I hope I can give back as much or more than my share... There are so many inspirational and wonderful people that have already helped me soo much in my life and I hope I can return the favor to others!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Oct 30, 2012

Port Mann Bridge from a new perspective

Friday we had a little house re warming party! Andrew spent the last 1.5 months building, creating, and fixing our little home. Check out his blog for PICS etc

SUP and Port Mann Bridge

Saturday morning we joined Johnny and Marc on the Fraser River. It was pouring down with rain so out of our sport options paddling seemed like the most sense AND Johnny thought of a cool adventure. I am always up for exploring new places... I wanted to get out for a SUP anyways and paddling with others is always more fun! Johnny and Andrew were in Johnny's skin on frame canoe, Marc was in the evo surfski and I was on my Starboard BOP SUP. We were quite the scene launching out near a construction site underneath the Port Mann Bridge! We headed not too far upstream into the Coquitlam River. Here we paddled until basically the current got too strong for us to make significant headway. I kept getting little waves of dizziness whenever I looked down as we were heading the opposite way to the current and it was fairly shallow waters so I could see the bottom rushing past in a weird direction.... it was kind of trippy! I was enjoying the "resistance training" of the current and also trying to keep up with a surfski:)  The paddle down the Coquitlam was much quicker than going upstream... we explored the Fraser river some and then headed back under the Port Mann and took some time looking up through the gaps of the bridge... again definitely a little tipsy standing on a river looking up at traffic whizzing overhead:)


Saturday evening we enjoyed some Halloween celebrations and after a well needed lie in, on Sunday afternoon we headed out to Cypress to explore some new trails. We decided to only take our running shoes as we weren't too sure where the trails we were looking for were and in what condition they might be in! We managed to be out there for about 3 hours and found some trails but not the one we were looking for:) We will be back as it is a whole new area of trails that we have yet to discover/ride/enjoy:)

Sunday night I got called into Deep Cove to guide a full moon tour! Love the full moon tours!!!! Sunday ended up being a wonderful day that we spent in the outdoors:)

Now, it is time for my body and mind to get prepared for the last BIG SUP race in awhile.... Off to Mexico to battle it out at the Hennessey's World Champs!

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!

Oct 22, 2012

Doing many different things......

I've been busy in a really good way lately!

I have missed out on writing about some recent adventures so I am going to summarize.  Adventures keep popping up lately and I am loving it but its tough sometimes to keep on top of all of the other smaller but really important parts of life:)

Winthrop Thanksgiving weekend
The crew at the top of Angels Staircase

Biking the ridge of Angel Staircase

There was lots and lots of sunshine... lots and lots of really great mtn biking, lots and lots of amazing food.... fun people, slacklining, and good times.
We rode 4 days: all over the area of Winthrop and still managed to ride some trails that we had never rode before.  We also rode some of my favorite classics like Cutthroat and Angels Staircase.
I am one for traditions and this is one tradition I hope we keep alive for a long time coming. THANK YOU Chris's parents for lending us your cabin for a weekend, WE LOVE IT there! I also love it when you bump into someone on top of a mountain in the middle of what feels like nowhere... Great to have bumped into you Dale! It truly is a small world...

Andrew at top of Cut Throat Pass

Me biking down Cutthroat Trail

me slacklining behind the house

andrew and I at the top of Angel Staircase hike a bike

I got to finish the weekend off with a SUP in Bellingham Bay. Andrew dropped me off and I paddled the bay and he picked me up about 45 minutes later! It was great to beable to get out for a little paddle. I was on the Starboard Astro Blend Inflatable SUP board! Great for packing it up in a small space and quick to pump up and put together!

Bellingham SUP

Bellingham SUP

Bellingham SUP

Slipstream 90 Hour Wilderness First Aid Course
Following a great weekend of mtn biking, food, and friends I headed straight into a 9 day intensive wilderness first aid course. The days were long, the information plentiful but interesting and useful, and the nights full of readings and review. Although it was intense and tiring it was a great course. I met some really awesome people and learned a lot about myself and first aid! A double winner in my books! I just have to finish an online multiple choice test and I am officially done...well for the next 3 years at least! I totally recommend Slipstream if you are ever thinking of doing a more intense first aid course!

Birthday SUP Surf weekend in Tofino
Birthday at Chesterman Beach

I wanted to go surfing for my birthday. My birthday happened to have landed on a friday and I managed to get that friday off from work.... SO, Andrew organized a birthday weekend in Tofino. Its a process getting over there.... the ferry line up, and the ferry itself, then the drive across the island. Luckily, it was worth it:) We got three days of mix of sun and rain, and am happy to say it was mostly sun! The waves were a perfect size for Andrew and I. Thank you Trident Sports for lending us the boards. I really love surfing on the Starboard Whopper board. We also had a Starboard Blend and Andrew was looking solid out there on that board! We stayed at a greta little guest house called Tofino Travellers. It was very peaceful and FUN! It was just what I needed after a long 10 days of class! THANKS ANDREW for the perfect birthday weekend!

my mad skills:)

Now, its time to gather my thoughts, do some soul searching, and figure out what is next for me. I have many ideas and desires but they are a little unfocused, and I can't do it all in one go. I have to pick and choose and frankly I find the choosing tough... tough when there are many great choices and I have no real indication what the outcomes of each choice can be.....

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Oct 3, 2012

Battle of the Paddle: Dana Point California

View from the Starboard team House. I heart beaches

When I came back on the scene of SUP after a year away in China.... The BOP was not on my list of races to do this fall. I knew I hadn't surfed since probably two years ago and so much of the race depends on the ability to read waves, catch them and ride them.... The BOP is a really great event but it does cost A LOT of money to enter the races. I spent money on getting there etc but I still couldn't bring myself to lay down the $$$ for the elite short course. I just wasnt mentally confident enough to regularly catch and surf in waves most of the time. Right now catching and surfing a wave is more in the hands of chance than skill. I am hoping to practice surfing throughout the winter and change this.... So, the money bothered me BUT I wanted to be on that start line up BUT it would show me nothing other than I could finish and I know I could finish.hmmm... I had to make a choice....

lots of people on the water...

The OPEN race.
A whole bunch of craziness!!!!! What happens when 400 paddlers paddle around a circle five times?.... I think you need to experience it yourself to fully understand. Some called it a huge human whirlpool and others just plain chaos....
At the start of the race, I didn't even get butterflies in my stomach.... no pressure, no tension, no nervousness (other than not really understanding how it would actually work with so many paddlers out on the water at the same time?!?... ) The start signal went and I just hammered away.. I wanted to sprint out of the mess from the start:)  Luckily we only had a minimal amount of small surf breaks to get out to the first bouy, unluckily for some paddlers they managed to get caught in a big pile of a mess around the first bouy... I stayed WIDE and far away from that scene as I didn't want any part of that. I consistently paid attention to others and tried to react to their movements in order for me to stay upright and not get caught in a battle field of people and boards. I did fairly well until on the last length a man in front of me fell and tipped me in.... oh well... its all part of the game!...and then again I fell on a wave riding in to shore but did manage to catch the next one and rolled in with the ever so famous Gerry Lopez. I found myself with a first place prize and my confidence boosted!  I was on a Starboard carbon BOP 12'6x26.5 board. A board I enjoy in the chop and swell. I find the BOP board light and stable yet maneuverable. It was my first race with my new Werner Grand Prix Paddle and so far it felt good in my hands. The shaft is slightly longer than I am used to and I think it helped with my reach which is great!  It is super light weight and think it definitely helped me get out in front throughout the start of the race.
Start of Open Race Photo by Jason Lexa

Open race madness Photo by Jason Lexa

Photo by Shannon Bell Running in with Gerry Lopez in the background!

winning my 1st place prize for Open race with Sparky and Gerry Lopez

Karly and I with our prizes. Photo by Mike Darbyshire

Open Race Award

The DISTANCE race.
Coming into the BOP event I knew the distance race was the event where I had a better chance to flourish and really test myself against the best. Less luck would be involved and more just hard good ol fashion grit and mental tenacity. I kind of expected to finish somewhere around maybe 10th or so and would have been content with a top 10 placing among the elite women. The start was a water start and it was a little mental with people sneaking forward, the officials making people move back, forced to sit, and the skidoos infront of the line making waves and then somewhere in the mix of all that there was a GO! and...we were off. I truly just concentrated on my stroke, my balance, my hydration and going in the right direction. Once we started, the waves and people made it too difficult to concentrate on anything else but staying upright on my board. After the first few minutes of banging boards and crazy waters I kind of fell into a rhythm... I looked up and then saw Jenny Kambalch, a truly accomplished SUP racer right there beside me.. My first thoughts were "oh she must be having a bad day cause I am so close to her"... I then saw Brandi Baksic, another amazing SUP racer, just ahead and got some jitters as I realized it would be kind of unlikely that they both were having bad days at the same time...maybe I was having a good day:) So, I got on the end of the drafting train behind Jenny and some boys. In this race anyone could draft anyone.... I was gettting excited and maybe got a little too exctied because the next thing I knew I was in the water and the fast train had just pulled away from me :( I shook it off and got back on my board and just put my head down and started to paddle again.  I got some drafting here and there but it seemed as though I was in an empty space with not too many guys or gals really around to draft.... hmmm... I sipped my NUUN more than usual... the heat was getting to me and my stomach was growling. The water was tough throughout the entire course, swell and random chop made it tough to keep a straight line. I rarely get sore legs but I was feeling it with all the micro movements needed to stay on top of the water rather than in the water. Slowly though I could see Jenny and Brandi and their clan moving farther and farther away from me. It was frustrating as drafting really does help and there just wasn't a train for me so on I pushed by myself. I rounded the last bouy and sort of luckily for me I was in between sets. This did mean I had to paddle all the way into shore without a free ride form a wave but it also meant no carnage...:) My Werner Grand Prix helped me paddle hard into shore. I proudly found out I was the 5th girl across the line. 5th elite women!  It felt really good. I am totally stoked!
Comin in at the end of Distance Race photo:Jason Lexa

Distance Race photo: jason Lexa

Running into 5th place women elite photo:Jason Lexa

Pretty Stoked after the distance race photo: Jason Lexa

I heart Team Canada! Mike Darbyshire, Norm Hann, Gary Parsons and myself created a Team Canada for the relay race. We raced on a starboard BOP 12'6x26.5 carbon board. I wanted a leash so Mike D created a system that I could take on and off the board as the other badass surfers didnt need one! One day maybe I will be confident enough in the surf that I won't need a leash either:) I loved the relay race! The carnage, the crowds, the team aspect... all of it! Team Canada came in 10th out of about 50 teams! YAY CANADA!

Team Canada Relay Team: Gary, Mike, me, Norm photo by Karly Cox

Me waiting my turn photo by Karly Cox

Mike running photo by Karly Cox

Gary photo: Karly Cox

Heading out to paddle photo: Karly Cox

most of the Canadians at BOP but not all... CANADA ROCKS!

*Trident Sports and Starboard for helping me out with boards and accomodations and for being a really fun cool team to hand out with!
*Nikki Rekman sales and Werner Paddles for providing me with a stellar Grand Prix Paddle that helped me get to where I needed to get to(start line to finish line..) quickly!
*Ryders Eyewear for protecting my eyes while chillin on the beach and at the beer tent:)
*Laiph Clothing for bringing me on as an ambassador to what seems to be an amazing team. I look forward to being part of the team!
*Mike Darbyshire for driving us around and just being awesome
*Dan Gavere for organizing us athletes getting us boards, food, and ensuring we were having a good time
*All the amazing people, the community, and the stoke!
*ANDREW my hubby for encouraging me to go to the race and being awesome in every way possible! LOVE YOU

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!


Sep 17, 2012

Triple Crown on Saturday? Why Not? SUp race on Sunday: should be interesting... Funfilled weekend of outdoor fun!

This week has been GORGEOUS! Wow Vancouver is beautiful in the sun and there just isn't enough daylight to stack everything you want to do in a day. I was lucky enough to be working outdoors at Deep Cove Canoe and Kayaks all week. I was teaching SUP and taking people out on kayak tours and got to guide students from Mulgrave School for a wonderful three day adventure on the Indian Arm. Upon my return on Friday Andrew invited me to join him and Paul on a local adventure for Saturday. We were to climb and descend all three local mountains on bikes in one day....

Triple Crown

climbing my seymour

top of mt seymour

We met at 8:30am at John Henry Bikes. We started off with riding our road bikes to the water for a true beginning of the sea level to mountain top ride. We first rode to the top of Mt Seymour. We all felt good, chatting away. We were a funny crowd: Paul looked like a road biker with the proper attire and bike, I was half way there with the carbon bike and spandex but sort of ruined it with my camelback, Brooks seat, and mtn bike bike shoes, and Andrew looked like a commuter on his frame he welded himself, straight bars, handlebar pouch, baggy shorts, and mtn bike bike shoes!.... I was drinking nuun and had some trail mix as my food/nutrition while riding. It seemed like the ride up Seymour was easy with all the chatting and sunny weather. I get nervous on steep curvy descents on my skinny road bike tires so I let the boys go ahead while I enjoyed using my brakes!
climbing the last bit of Grouse

Top of Grouse

Following some cinnamon buns and lunch at the car we switched bikes and headed up Mountain Highway to get to the top of Grouse/Fromme. We rode up the road until it switched to gravel, a place we were familiar with as it is where we have ridden many times for mtn biking.  We then past the highest trail all the way to the very top of Grouse resort and onto the top of the peak chair near the windwheel. Grouse was rockin with tourists and tourist attractions from ziplines, to bear and log shows, paragliding, and hiking! We took a quick break and then made our way back down the mountain. I managed to fall on some of the gravel road so felt a little shaken and passed on the first actual trail down (the boys rode seventh) but then joined the boys down bobsleigh and then all the way back down to the water/cars.
Top of Cypress

We took another food break and switched bikes for the final mountain: Cypress.. It was the farthest one out of town and had quite the climb from the water to the highway. Once on the hill climb I was starting to feel little pains in my back and neck... I needed a couple of quick breaks to get things stretched out.. Paul was a machine and zoomed ahead while Andrew and I plugged away pedal stroke by pedal stroke. It was very rewarding making it to the top and I was getting excited for our celebratory beer and food but we were still quite a ways from our car... we needed to get all the way down and across the north shore..... After a quick stop at Ambleside we finally made it to our cars at about 7pm! LONG DAY! It was about 10 hours and 20 minutes 3200m elevationa and about 140km in length! WHOA! I feel like I am now part of a special club.... Another CHECK OFF THE BUCKETLIST for sure!

Ambleside Beach

In hopes of a quick recovery I kept myself hydrated with NUUN and beer! and filled my tummy with delicious Banditas burito! I wasn't too sure what else to do? I needed to recover quickly: in 14 hours I had a 15km SUp race.... I figured food and whatever rest I could get would be the best thing....

Pictures by Paul (thanks!) and a write up by Paul HERE

Board the Fjord SUP race
The wake up call came and I was nervous to see how my body felt. I surprisingly felt pretty good, just a little tired and really hungry.  After coffee and some granola, fruit and yogurt, we were off. Andrew being the best hubby in the world dropped me off in Deep Cove. I kept hydrating with nuun throughout the morning and ate a banana about 30 minutes before race start as I remembered getting really hungry during round the rock last weekend. Following the race briefing I jumped on my Starboard BOP 12'6x26.5 carbon board (Thanks Trident Sports!) and did a little warm up paddle. It was flat out there... there were 8 females in the 12'6 category so some competition to be had! It was gonna be a constant push all the way to the end on the flat water.... I found my start position just beside the dragon boats... I was happy with that as there weren't too many people right around me and thus less chance of bump and grinding off the start line. I had a decent start and managed to stay in front of most of the mess. I found myself a rhythm and went at it. Being on a 12'6 board I was naturally slower than the 14s but still I found myself surrounded by a bunch of 14 boards which is cool. Eventually the pack spread out and I was kind of on my own for most of the race. Not having anyone around to chase or get chased by I did find myself day dreaming a little but was able to snap myself back in the game once I realized I was thinking about other things. The body felt alright, my back was a little sore throughout the race which was definitely from biking as I have never really experienced back pain in SUP race, and my arms felt a little more tired than normal but the legs weren't as shaky as I thought they would be and my energy felt pretty good. I kept sipping on my nuun and focused on my breathing. The weather was perfect really and the course stunning! It was a wonderful race all in all. I got to meet some new folks from washington state which is awesome and also enjoyed the company of fellow canadian SUPers...
I managed to win the 12'6 category which felt good, I am gonna have to keep on top of my fitness as the competition is growing! Thanks to everyone at Deep Cove Canoe and kayak Centre for making this happen and for all the SUP athletes coming out to support and race!

Pictures HERE

Thanks Nikki Rekman for my new Werner Grand Prix Paddle...can't wait to use it on the water!

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!