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!