|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 until.......my 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|
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|
MORE PICTURES WILL BE POSTED AS I RECEIVE THEM!
I can't wait for next year!!!!!!!
live, love, laugh,...DREAM!