|Me at Wrightsville beach sunset|
As the race date was getting closer and closer to being real the race seemed to be getter bigger and bigger. When I first signed up for the race it was big but not HUGE.... Carolina Cup turned out to be HUGE.
My schedule has been super fun but a little crazy with the time changes and flights everywhere. I love every moment (well the moments when I am not sick...). I love the adventure, the new places, the new people, the paddling, and the camaraderie. I am truly living my dream, I can't believe it.... and I have so many, too many people to thank for their support and positive vibes. THANK YOU!
The plane ride... I flew to North Carolina with my board. Not ideal but I needed it in Abu Dhabi and before. No time to ship. United Airlines is usually really good with boards so that's why I chose to fly with United. We had never wrapped my board so well before. it was bomber or so I thought...
I arrived into Raleigh with a huge hole through the bag and the foam of my board. I also met my good friend who I hadn't seen for about 3 years at the airport. We headed straight down to baggage services to report the damage. I thought the damage was the nose of the board. I didn't take the time to open the entire board up right there at baggage as it would have taken time and effort we didn't really have and I couldn't see that there was any other obvious damage. I was bummed about what I thought the damage was but knew it would be okay with some minor repair work. I got to spend just less then 24 hours with good friends Marg and Andy, we rode bikes, ate good food, and caught up on life. It was just grand.
|Plane destroyed board... this isnt even half of it... more to come|
|Me, Andy and Marg at their cute house in Raleigh|
On Wednesday Danny from Werner came to get me and we drove down to the coast. It is about 2.5 hour drive... It was really great to catch up with Danny and John from Werner as I really don't see them very often at all. They are great folks and I am so proud to be a part of such a good group of people at Werner paddles, and they make stellar paddles... so double win!
|Some pics of my broken board|
When we finally made it to the coast and found the SIC house... I was dying to get out for a quick paddle. I thought it would be a quick fix on the nose of my board and off I would go.. When I opened up my board a shock wave fired throughout my entire body... I could not believe my eyes.. My board was pretty destroyed... garrett the amazing rep calmed me down and took me and my board to the closest shop Carolina Paddleboard Co and they hooked us up with Chris from Glass Roots Surf Boards. Chris performed some magic... Lucky, lucky girl I am. After I calmed down for a bit, I enjoyed a great dinner at Tower 7 with Danny and John from Werner. Tower 7 is an awesome mexican joint and I would recommend to anybody... it was packed solid every night!
|Me at the Werner tent..pre race photo: Shelby|
|Fiona and I on the Werner Boat Photo: John with Werner|
Thursday and Friday were difficult for me, waiting for my news from my board, stressing about not getting to practice on it, stressing about lots of things... I was a stressball period... ha.. looking back its funny because I think having a broken board getting repaired that I couldn't paddle actually forced me to rest and not over think or over paddle before the race. I am a little crazy when it comes to resting... it is so bloody hard for me to do. Even though I know it is necessary it feels wrong. Georges, Braly and I went out for a paddle on Thursday (I was on the x12pro). We checked out part of the course which was awesome. I also got the lucky opportunity to go on a boat twice! Once with SIC and once with Werner. This course is so technical with many different types of water, current, tides, sand bars, etc etc it definitely helps to check out the course. ALSO, I just love being on boats and the waterways in Wrightsville are pretty darn cool. Boats are almost as common as cars... you can get to so many places by boat... So I mostly just loved the freedom feeling of the boat... yAY!
|SIC boat ride... it was cold photo:Braly Joy|
Friday was a big demo day for the industry folk... it was nice to walk around and see folks I knew and meet new people as well. I tried to rest and relax, but its difficult... so i tried to read, be on my computer, talk to ppl, and just try not to stress as much as I could. The day before the race is always hard for me... waiting game... but nice to relax too! Friday night I was part of the pro athlete poster signing... it was my first ever... pretty sweet feeling helping to inspire others... I was nervous at first, I felt like I didn't belong... The experience of being a pro is still so knew for me! After the signing team SIC went out for dinner... I had fajitas.. delicious!
|The Pros that were part of the poster signing|
|Pros Poster signing photo: distressed mullet|
|Canada in the house (Larry, me, Simon) Photo: Erin F.M.|
Saturday: race day! 13 miles of ocean, flat, current, tides, shallow, deep, waves, side chop, etc etc etc...
My board was fixed.. it had the speedy white stripe across the nose...I was anxious to get out and practice on it.. I put the Larry Allison Hybrid Gladiator fin on it for some extra stability and it was perfect... felt fast under my feet. I applied my pre race OnIt Pro for quicker glides and wax on my werner paddle.. Applying Onit Pro is also a time where I can bond with board and sort of meditate. I also made sure I had all of my race liquid and food ready. Thank you Feed the Machine for products like Nuun, Multivitamins and more. I also started using Vitargo for pre race and post race fuel... I also remembered my good pre race warm up routine thanks to Ultimate Potential...
The start was a beach start... I am nervous before the race start but once we line up my mind goes blank and I am just waiting for the start gun. Once the gun is shot and we are off it is race mode for me.... I had an okay start and was 4th place going into the flats. The girls started behind the men and we quickly were able to catch and pass some of the slower men... which is great but sometimes a little annoying as we are not allowed to draft them so sometimes tough to get through and by them without adjusting our course too much. We were also on a shorter board length than the men so by default we are slower then men. About a third of the way into the course I caught Sonni. We stuck together for a bit but I was feeling hungry and good so decided to make a move to catch Jenny out in second. Somehow I managed to catch her and from there we worked together to try and reel in Annabel who was in first place. We had a tricky section getting out of the inlet with breaking waves, shallow sand bars and moving current... I managed to stay on top of my board and then we had about 4 miles left on the ocean. I knew Jenny was stronger than me on the ocean and I was surprised when I was able to keep up with her.. we were neck and neck working hard with the side chop and all.... and then all of sudden there was Annabel... not that far in front of us... we were closing the gap... My heart was flickering with excitement. I was trying to stay calm as the worst thing I could do was fall off my board or something of that nature. I had a little surge of energy and got in front of Jenny... My board felt really great. I was shocked at where I was in this race... Top three and anything could happen.. ME, side by side the fastest girls in the world... AHHHH... We rounded the last buoy and it was a straight shot into the beach... It was too short of a section to catch Annabel and to my disappointment Jenny caught a wave that i didn't and glided right past me... So 3rd place is where I came in BUT 11 seconds behind Annabel and 5 seconds behind Jenny!!!!!!! Bittersweet ending to a long 13 mile race. I am happy though... This race created a hunger and motivation that is increasing after each race...
|right before start.. concentrating photo credit Shelby|
|me racing photo credit: Shelby|
|me behind sonni 1/3 through race|
|women start photo cerdit Lizi Ruiz|
|coming into finish photo: Lizi Ruiz|
Celebrations by all.. Sonni on team SIC was 4th, Georges was 2nd for the men, the rec guys were all on the podium. Kelsa from Werner was 6th and Fiona 8th... Proud of my teammates
|Podium me, Annabel, Jenny photo credit Lizi Ruiz|
Sunday was packing up and heading home time..... I got back to San Clemente at 2am...whoa... long day..Now it is off to Nicaragua for the ISA World Championships
|Team SIC Sonni, me and George|
I am learning from every race and enjoying the people I meet and the places I see. Living my dream!
I want to take a moment to thank some special people I have met in the last 5 weeks here in SoCal and beyond....the list is long because I am surrounded by some pretty amazing people... feeling blessed. I haven't really thanked these people enough. There are many people helping me everyday and you know who you are...and THANK YOU! Ryan from Foundation Fitness San Clementewho has one of the coolest gyms I have been to with a positive vibe that is infectious to anyone who walks through the doors. Thank you for your time, your knowledge, your push and expertise and your impeccable ability to read me. Mike Eisert and The Paddle Academy team for the early morning SUP workouts on the water and your efforts and help off the water. Your knowledge, enthusiasm and good nature has provided me with added confidence. Garrett SIC rep for helping me with my broken board and just our team in general in North Carolina at Carolina Cup.... Chris at Glass Roots Surf Boards for working all day and late nights to fix my board and have it in amazing shape for Carolina Cup. Vitargo for hooking us up with magic. AlsoPaul Romero at Ultimate Potential for the amazing confidence boosting talks and knowledge about training and nutrition... Braly Joy and SIC MAUI for the unbelievable support. I could not ask for a better board company. Sonni Hönscheid and Georges Cronsteadt for being awesome teammates and killer athletes.. Andrew Dye for being the best hubby and best friend a person can have... Werner Paddles for the support and making damn good paddles, Onit Pro for the faith and the product, Season Five for making me feel and look amazing, Larry Allison Fins for ensuring I got the tools I need in any condition, Crossfit Vancouver for allowing me to be a part of the community and train to get strong and powerful, Kalavida Surf shop for the support from my homeland, Nikki Rekman Sales, Pro Lite, and everyone sending positive vibes, notes, hugs, and congratulations you keep me going and push me to keep training and racing hard.... it is a team effort... I am one lucky chica. The SUP community never ceases to amaze me! I love being part of such a great sport!
|photo credit: Shelby|
Results here at SUPracer.com
live, love, laugh,...DREAM!