Sep 30, 2013

Battle of the Battle 2013: 3rd place in the distance race!!!!!!!!

Top 5 ladies of distance race Fiona(5th), Jenny(4th), ME(3rd), Karla(2nd), Annabel(1st) photo by:Paul Romero

Wow! What an event: the best athletes in the world, waves, hundreds of exhibitors, tons of spectators, and amazing performances.....

Where to begin? The thanks this time because there are a lot of people who have helped me get to where I am.....
First and foremost special mention goes to ANDREW DYE, my husband.... he has been there for me in more ways than I can even explain. I would not be at BOP and doing as well as I am without him. I love him so much! THANK YOU ANDREW!

A huge kudos to Mike Darbyshire for driving, loading, unloading, dealing with boards, taking my stuff down to california and being such an amazing friend. He was my board handler extraordinaire, relay team mate and also rocked it himself in the elite short course.....Lookout for him, especially on the rivers..... YOU ROCK Mike!!!!!!!!!

Danny at Werner Paddles treated us like kings and queens with beds, food, paddles, and general taking care of us and making us feel strong and ready. THANK YOU for taking care of me this weekend and for providing me with an amazing PADDLE that I totally believe in and love!!!!!!!

Nikki Rekman for helping me get to the BOP races, for being such an amazing supporter throughout this and the entire year. She is not just a rep she is a strong part of the paddling community and a great friend.

Trident Performance Sports and Starboard boards for making fast fast boards that I love to paddle!!!!!!!!!!!

Chacos sandals for believing in me and making great product for my feet. I live in my chacos..... I wear them everywhere, all the time.

Ryders eyewear: they are local, they are friends and they make the best sunnies EVER!

On it Pro: they took care of my board, cleaned it, prepared it, and allowed it to be as fast as it could be. Great group of people: I am so stoked to be a part of their family.

Pro Lite: I met them in the summer and totally love their product. Functional and great looking bags for boards and paddles, lightweight leashes, and more. I am so stoked to be using their stuff.

Surffur: Met them at BOP and they design the coolest thing ever. It was made for cold people like me who padle throughout the winter in Canada and change in parking lots.... It kept me warm throughout the chilly mornings here in Cali! This jacket is killer!!!!!

Paul Romero: so excited to have connected with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love your energy and excitement!!!!!!!! and I cant tell you how stoked I am that you were there, helped me out and I think our future will be bright!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Paul Romero and I at finish of distance race

Kristin Thomas: She is the most positive supporter and she saw something in me early on..... I guess what she saw is coming to fuition.... thank you Kristin for having faith in me!

Sweet Waterwear hooked me up with some sweet little shorts that I demo'd during the distance race... AWESOME!

I met some new great folks who carry awesome product this weekend as well: local honey, Virus, Indo boards, Supreme clothing, KIND bars,...

The Canadian SUP community has been my backbone... their positive comments throughout my adventures leading up and throughout Molokai to Oahu and the entire race season there after. I love getting the shout outs, positive comments, and updates! You keep me going! I love paddling with all of you and sharing this amazing passion we have!


Luckily, my job allowed me Friday and Monday to travel and get ready. I arrived Thursday night. Mike D picked me up but unfortunately LA traffic exists even at 1am on Thursday evenings. We needed to drop off boards etc so didn't actually get in until 2:30am..... Luckily, I got to sleep in a little on Friday before hitting the water and practicing in the waves. I was actually surprised on Friday with my ability in the waves.... Due to focusing on my Hawaii adventures this summer I did not get a chance to get out in the surf and well it showed..... I have a definite weakness.... lucky for me it is going to be a fun ride working on it as really I get to be a surfer girl for the year..... more on that later....
I was happy to have gotten out in the waves on Friday.. it gave me slightly more confidence going into Saturdays short course race.

The short course:
I was in heat 2 paddling the 2014 12'6 x 25.5 allstar and using my 74" Werner grand Prix Paddle. It was great to watch heat 1 battle it out trying to make the cut off to continue onto the final race. The short course race is not all that short! HA. It is about surfing, fitness, timing, luck, and skill..... You paddle in and out of breaking waves, do lots of buoy turns, and multiple beach runs. I knew I didnt get to prepare enough for this race but I was hoping my fitness and paddling strength in combination with some luck would get me by and into the final. I felt good going through my heat. I chose to wear a leash (many ppl don't). it is definitely slower on getting on and off my board but the thought of loosing the race because I fell and had to swim because my board got pushed to shore doesn't interest me one bit.... I played it safe with a leash... and its a good thing! I didn't kill it throughout the heat but pushed hard, had some luck, and felt good. I made it through to the finals no problem.
We had a couple hours of rest where I tried to stay in the shade, drink and eat a little. I totally dont have a plan or a strategy (hoping to change this with some actual organized training:)) but I drank some coconut water, ate a banana and a KIND bar. I felt recovered going into the final.
I had a great start and was leading the pack to the first buoy turn.... I was in 3rd coming into the hammer bouy turn and then 4th on the first run. I held my spot in 4th/5th pack luck ran out and my wave skill was tested to its max....I fell at the wrong spot.... I fell at the beginning of a set of big waves coming through.... I got beat down every time I tried to get back up... 3 times in fact... all in a row.... I just saw a whole crowd of racers pass me.... I got up and felt a little demoralized... I couldn't believe it.... I had to shake it off pretty quick as there was a whole other lap to go..... I got my head together and could the pack in front of me.... I was on my way to catch the next pack when I had an oops at the hammer buoy one last time:) by the time I got up they were gone.... I just needed to paddle into the finish. It was tough to swallow at first.... I think mostly because I felt strong and was up there in the mix for top 5..... but after some time and all the positive kuddos I got from this amazing community I saw the positive in it all and thanked everyone and wanted to concentrate on the distance race...

The Distance race:
I felt pretty tired Sat night so skipped out on a dinner I really want to go to with a bunch of Canadian folk down there... but lucky for me I was on facebook when good buddy from my adventure race days, Paul Romero gave me some pointers on nutrition and strategy.... PAUL THANK YOu! Sunday I was nervous, I felt like I had put too much pressure on myself to do well on the distance race... It in fact is my strength right now.... I hooked up with Paul right before the race and he gave me some pointers, helped with my fueling and then we were off. I was nervous. The gun went off and a set was rolling in... I fell on the second wave going out... I was angry:) I got up quick and paddled my heart out. I took a more outside line just because it was where I was... I didn't get to draft very much out there.... but eventually our lines merged and merged right behind Fiona Wylde a wicked young phenomenal athlete and Werner teammate. I tagged onto the back of a board that was hauling and he took me past Fiona to right behind Jenny Kambalch, a friend and crazy fast lady (she got 2nd on Sat), I couldn't believe, I knew then that I must have been up in the front pack of ladies but wasn't too sure exactly where....I somehow managed to stay with this board through the mid bouy turn around and could see karla Gilbert(Australian superstar who got 3rd on Sat). and then I was right behind her.... WHAT?!? I was freakin out a little bit.... I was getting so nervous that it would be so me to just fall off my board right there. I quickly changed my thinking to ONLY POSITIVE thoughts and focused on her board in front of me... we had some switchs, but I just focused on staying with her..... We eventually got to the last bouy turn... I was hoping for NO WAVES:) but we got a small one.... and I caught it... I was stoked we were riding it in together for 2nd and 3rd place... then typical me and my lack of surf skill I fell off right before the beach, she had a clean run up and by the time I got to my feet she was through..... I got 3rd PLACE at BOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The biggest race in the WORLD!!!!!!!!!!I could not believe it!!!!!!! I was in shock for awhile there.... ha.
My oops at the end of the distance race photo: KT
Running to finish of distance race photo:KT
Teammate Fiona(5th place) and I at end of distance race photo:KT
We still had a team Werner relay race to do. Mike D, Dereck, and Tony were my teammates. We decided to enter the open relay race. No prize money but still prizes!!!!!! We killed it.... We managed a 3rd place finish..... Yay BOYS!!!!!!!!!!!

So I had ups and downs, I had good luck and bad luck..... I met amazing people and had such an grand weekend.... It was a Battle of the Paddle kind of weekend!
Fiona and I with our awards!!!!!! photo: Danny



I can't wait for next year!!!!!!!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Sep 16, 2013

The marathon of Races is coming to a close: Board the Fjord complete. One more left: BOP

I love local races because I love the local crowd of SUPers. Deep Cove Canoe and Kayaks (Mike D and Karly) put on the 3rd annual Board the Fjord SUP race this past weekend. It was a great turn out this year with nearly 100 paddlers ready to paddle around islands and through mystical mountain mist.

I personally have been feeling the weight of stress/lack of sleep/poor nutirition:full time work...essentially I have been experiencing the difficulties of being a full time teacher teaching new subjects, trying to be a top elite athlete and trying to still spend some quality time with others (namely my main man!). I think pushing hard, and not getting time to recover is starting to creep over me. I need to play my cards right and be smart these next two weeks or BOP won't be the race I want it to be:)

 I had to make some choices this weekend. I really wanted to support two local paddling events this weekend but I knew my body and mind could not perform well in both. So I made a choice to not race in one of the events but got the opportunity to give back and enjoy helping others seek success in their first races. I helped out with the little chop race that was held in conjunction with the Big Chop and Super Chop races on Saturday. I was so glad I could be part of the event and really enjoyed being on the other end of the organization:) Thanks Bryan Tasaka for providing me with this opportunity.

Sunday was Board the Fjord and after two nights of at least 8 hours of sleep (which has been not the case in the last two weeks) I felt much better but still was not 100% percent. I decided to slightly strategize on this race. I wanted to race strong but not as hard as I possibly could. I feel like I achieved this but it was hard at times. I wanted to push as hard as I could like I usually do and found it hard seeing people(anybody) pass me. I ensured I held the first female placing but other than that I just enjoyed a good paddle along side some different folk. Andrew raced in his 2nd SUP race and did so well. He managed a 4th place finish in the 12'6 board length and totally crossed with a smile on his face:) Love it!

I suppose my favorite part of it all though was chillin with the deep cove gang and Nikki R, mark and Andrew afterwards. I don't normally get the time to just hang out at the race site with folks. I really do love the Deep cove crew.... I feel lucky!

Well, I have raced every weekend since Jun 29th. It has been a whirlwind of mostly amazing experiences.... and I am sure I will miss it but it will be nice to have  a rest. One big race left for at least a little while:)

thanks to everyone for all the support. I love you all!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Sep 10, 2013

Round the Rock, Seattle SUP race

Photo by Andrew Dye

Round the Rock was this past weekend. A grueling and beautiful 13 mile SUP paddle around Mercer Island. Last year I raced on a 12'6 in attempt to beat all the 14ft boards... I managed to come 3rd overall.... This year I went for a different approach of paddling the 14ft and go for the record:) 

I am sooooo busy with work right now that this will be quickly written in efforts to go to bed before midnight:) 

Andrew and I headed over to Seattle to meet with good friend and photographer extraordinaire Colin Meagher. He cooked us a lovely meal and we caught up over food and drinks(mostly water for me:)) I was feeling beat from the hectic week at work and tried to head to bed at a reasonable hour. 

The next morning I got myself organized in the usual manner of applying Onit Pro to my Starboard, drinking some Nuun, waxing my Werner paddle, and general stretching and mental prep(I dont actually do anything specific for this:)

At the start line I got myself to the outer buoy away from folks and hammered off the start to try to escape the crowds. Then I just paddled hard and tried to keep the lead pack of guys in my sight. I had no one to draft but had some guys around me to help me focus when my mind started to wander. I wasn't sure how fast I was going but at some point I thought I could maybe break the record, and I wanted to stay in front of the pack of guys right behind me so I just paddled hard. I think I may have broken the record? I for sure stayed in front of that pack of guys and I for sure came 10th OVERALL and 1st female overall... I am super stoked about everything. I think I am feeling slightly drained as I am still quite sore but totally happy and  proud. 

It was great to see folks from PNW, meet new people, and of course give high fives to my fav BC folks.... Everyone from BC paddled really well this past weekend and I am so proud to be part of that group of fine fine paddlers..... 

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Sep 3, 2013

Queen of Kalamalka and 14ft Women's Canadian Champion: A good way to start off September.

I never finished my post from last weekend.... Time flies when you work full time:) Last weekend I managed to win the Vancouver SUP Challenge which also provided me with the BC SUP Champion in the 14ft women's class. Gary and Shannon put on a fun event! Once again I was so proud to be  a part of such an amazing community of stoked, wonderful people. I raced well despite feeling fairly ill throughout the day.  The following week was my first week back at work and it's been hard to adjust to the lack of time and increased stress load.... I tried to ensure I got some exercise in when I could and to stay as positive as possible although I did notice the number of hours of sleep decreasing and my nutrition got all screwed up... I have to work on these but I don't think it will happen this month;)

Leading up to Kalamalka Classic and Canadian Champs I was feeling nervous. I was scared that with the extra stress of work I wouldn't perform as well. I was nervous as I wanted to reclaim my title which I lost while I was in China. I was nervous because it was the first Canadian Championships... I am feeling strong out on the water and a summer of racing has definitely helped me be in race mode.,... but I am human and as I continue to find success in the sport the pressure slowly builds (mostly pressure that I devise...). I love it but it can be a handful at times....

Andrew and I arrived in Vernon at about 1am Sat morning.... We set up camp at Dutch's Campground and tried to get in some decent sleep. The next day was pretty awesome. Kalavida Surf Shop did an amazing job running the event. There was always something exciting going on, things were on time and people were involved. The opening prayer and circle set the ton and boy was it a positive one. It also always helps when the sun is shinning and its warm out:)
The clan photo: Nikki R

Wikiholo Short Course:
The short course had two rounds for the women. Both rounds counted for points and the second had a larger weight value. The start we did is my favorite way to start a beach start (even though it was where I made a big mistake in Tahoe earlier this summer...). We get our boards ready on their sides and our paddles in the sand. At the start gun you run to your paddle and then pick up your board and run it into the water and jump on. The first round I wasn't sure what to expect. I had an awesome start and just hammered out to the first bouy. Thank you Dave Billeness for the board lend (2013 Starboard 12'6 Sprint). I got to the bouy first and just kept hammering until the run. Once I could kind of figure out how much of a lead I had I was able to take it slower on the second loop. I cruised into the beach in 1st place. I was happy with my paddle and result but it wasn't over. We had to wait slightly longer than I anticipated and decided to forgo eating a lunch even though it was about that time. These shorter races are the pukey ones and having food in the stomach does not feel good.... I just kept hydrated and snacked a little. The mens race was really fun to watch... some really good competition where it could have been numerous people taking the podium.... Our second and final round was the one that really counted so I wasn't feeling relaxed until we could get that over with. I was going into it with more confidence and knowledge but was very careful not to be too confident.... I once again had a good start and managed to get to the first bouy first. I had a solid first loop and run and provided myself with a decent lead. On the second round though something happened I fell on my second bouy turn... I have no idea what happened and it totally shocked me... I got up sooo quick and just paddled my brains out... I was so scared that I had messed things up but luckily it was a mistake that didn't cost me the win. phew.
Start of Wikiholo photo: Andrew Dye

I like to participate in all the events so I took my turn at the inflatable Naish sprint races and we put together a fun WERNER relay team (Andrew was part of it!YAY!)... The team relay was a great way to finish off day one. We enjoyed a social beverage at the Tiki bar and dinner on the beach.... I love the races that allow us to be social, meet new people and enjoy everyone's awesomeness!!!!!!!!! As fun as the evening was the BIG race was lingering on my mind..... The crossing and the Canadian Champs.
Team Werner relay team. Photo: Nikki R

Kalamalka Lake Crossing.
First off: Congrats Andrew, my amazing hubby for paddling in his first race and his first crossing of the lake. He killed it! I am so proud of him and so happy that he liked it too! YAYAYAYAYA

Second:  thanks Nikki Rekman and Mark for the shuttle and for being a wonderful supporter and friend.... I love that you were there and I love your stoke and love for all things paddling, people, and community!!!!! We are lucky to have you!

Third: I am a Canadian Champion and doubly awesome once again the QUEEN of Kalamalka Lake.... So, The 14ft racers started last.... I had a decent start and found myself heading into the channel in 4th overall... I had my sites on Stu, Norm, and Mike.... my goal was to stay as close to them as possible.... I was feeling pretty good, the heat was not bothering me and I really did not get that sore. I tried to work on my stroke, remember to drink, and to try and look around a little (it is sooo beautiful)... I managed to pass Mike and then I wanted to catch Stu and Norm but they were too speedy and there was no chance:).... so I just wanted to paddle well.... and I did! My Werner Small Grand Prix paddle rocks the house and my 2013 Starboard 14x24 Sprint is fast and comfortable..... Two pieces of equipment I definitely could not do without.... Also I wore my photochromic/polar Ryders Eyewear Strike sunnies and they sooooo worked... no fogging and clear views.... YES! Chaco sandals is what I wear on my feet before, after, and always.... love them
coming into finish of long course photo: Mark and Nikki

1st place women 14ft CAN champs

So in the end I got to reclaim my QUEEN of the lake title and add a 14ft Women's Canadian Champion to my name... Not a bad weekend if I say so myself....
King and Queen photo: Nikki and Mark


Again, this SUP community is just sooooooooooo amazing, the people are generous, happy, supportive, stoked, fit, fun people to be around.....

The racing marathon is almost coming to a close..... still some more racing in September but it's been an amazing wild ride and I could not have done it without my hubby, Andrew LOVE HIM!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!