Apr 29, 2014

Carolina Cup: a difference of seconds

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

Werner Ladies

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! 


Apr 24, 2014

Abu Dhabi: World Series Race

This trip did not start off on the right foot. It was one of those beginnings where I wish I had never left the ground and just wanted to be back in Vancouver with my hubby. It started with my arrival to the airport. I was getting denied the ability to fly with my race board. I had to make expensive calls, cry, pray, be patient and nice, but I was so stressed out inside. Finally,....after a while of being unsure if I would even be going on the flight as I needed to fly with my board one of the managers let me check my board in but did not guarantee a return trip with my board and I had to pay a lot of money... but at least the board was getting on...

It was a 15hour flight and I was in the middle seat. BUMMER but I guess someone's got to be in the middle and this time it was me. Lucky for me though I had two very nice older people on either end of me who by the end of the trip were so concerned and so helpful with their desire to want to help me out. THANK YOU special ppl. On the plane, I knew things were still not right with my stomach. I had been battling some sort of stomach bug for nearly a week. With serious bathroom and cramp issues I was not able to really eat very much food. After trying to sort of pick at a couple of things on the dinner food on the plane I started to feel very uncomfortable in my stomach.... I was having slightly more cramp pains than I had in the last two days so I got up to try to go to the bathroom... The next thing I was doing was lying on the ground in intense abdominal pain. I had three flight attendants looking after me forcing me to get up as I was not allowed to lie down. Eventually I was getting my vitals checked, the flight attendant was talking to the doctor on the satellite phone, I was getting pills, and eventually thankfully due to a good bathroom time the cramps were subsiding to a manageable level. I went back to my seat and just held it together until we landed. Upon landing Andreo and the driver were there ready to pick me up. Thank goodness.

Andreo is working with Sun n Surf a company out of Lebanon that is distributing SIC in the middle east and Gulf countries. He was in Abu Dhabi to help me out and do some business. It was nice to have some company while being so far away from home and in a really unfamiliar place with many unknowns ahead of me.

We arrived to the hotel late at night. I didn't bother opening the board as I was told by people whom I have communicated with that I should go see a doctor about my stomach. Well, after getting settled we took a taxi to go find a hospital. Once at the hospital I found out that they would not accept my travel insurance card and I could not reach them by phone so we just went back to the hotel. I kind of just prayed that my stomach pains would eventually subside.

The next day we opened the board bag to find 2 very big cracks in the board. I was pretty sad about the whole affair as it is a one of a kind prototype.... SAD face. I found some stickers I brought and did my best to tape up the cracks and hope that no water would enter the board for the event. There was not much more I could do. At least I could still paddle the board.

We went into the city centre so Andreo could do some work and to just look around but I was still not feeling too great so it wasn't all that much fun in the end.

It was a little strange as we had not heard anything from the race organizers or seen any racers or anything. BUT on Wednesday slowly ppl were beginning to arrive. We still did not know much about the event and I really wanted to get on my board to practice but no taxi would take us.... so we had to wait. Luckily we met Olivia at breakfast. She is a great racer from France and she had a rental car. She kindly invited to give us a ride later in the day when her board might arrive. SO, we walked down to Yas Beach which is a private beach... a little piece of paradise amongst construction and nothingness.. it was a very strange place... with hookas, cabanas, white sand, blue water and enclosed with nothing really around...

Later in the afternoon close to dark Olivia gave us and my board a lift to the marina where the race would be held. We did a quick paddle and then found out about a special deal to try out the flowboarder at the water park. Flowboarding is this crazy standing wave where you can body board or stand up surf it... it takes some getting used to as it is not exactly like surfing but we picked it up and it was totally fun. I was still not feeling 100% so I took it real easy and didn't try it out too hard as I didn't want to waste precious energy that I probably lacked from not eating for a week and a half AND I didn't want to get injured! I think I did the smart thing and tried it out a bit but mostly watched and chilled!

Thursday was the distance race. Because it was SO HOT (45Celsius) they pushed the race back until 4pm for the ladies and 5:15pm for the men. It was odd to race so late in the day. I had never really done it. So it was new to me on what to do and eat before the race. I relaxed mostly, stayed out of the heat and ate a fairly big breakfast and a light lunch.
Our briefing was at 1:30pm and we were explained the course and the rules etc etc. It was an interesting distance course.... 6 loops with about 8 turns in each loop. Hmmm.. not really my style or what I like for a distance race but you gotta just go with it sometimes. So, I turned my negative mind off and got the positive one on and got on the water to practice some turns:) haha.. Off the start I just went for it to get to the first buoy first and make the turn on my own and clean.. Well, I managed to stay in front until.... I had my first brain fart! I was so focused that I missed an entire buoy. Before I got tooo far the girls shouted out but by the time I turned around and went around the correct buoy I was in third going into the second lap. I pushed hard to catch up behind first and then recharged behind her before I just went for it and passed her. From then on I was in front, no mistakes and just ensured I had a decent lead on second. I didn't know how she paddled or if she would get a second wind so I was just always aware where she was and ensured that I had a safety net of distance. Well in the end I WON! And all was good. For the first time in a 10km race I drank ALL my water... incredible, it really was so HOT!
The guys went next and lucky for them they finished their race with sun going down and the temperature cooling off. Oh well!

Friday was the sprint races. Again we started in the afternoon but slightly earlier as we needed to get through heats of the course. The ladies had four heats and the men more as they had more people. The course had 3 turns and was somewhere between 500m and 1km long. It was not playing to my strengths at all but again it is all about positivity and learning. The first two heats were fine for me, I was in front and felt good. The final heat I had a little bit of a slow start off the gun and was not aggressive enough on my buoy turns. I got second and was okay with it as I knew it would secure my first place overall standing. It was good for me as I learned what I need to work on for the next races... I am stoked.

SO with a first and a second I placed FIRST OVERALL for my first ever World Series Race. YAY! I am stoked!

Saturday, in the morning Andreo and I and two of Andreo's friends went to Yas Waterworld to enjoy the rides... It was grand! It is so fun to feel like a little kid again! Later in the day we had some fun relay races at the Abu Dhabi Yacht and Sailing Club. After the fun it was time to get to work.  Andreo and I packed the board, then repacked the board after getting some additional tape from Ikea, we had an adventure getting back from Ikea, then had to sort out bills at the hotel, pack my normal bags... by the time it was all said and done it was 1am and I was getting up at 4:30am to catch the taxi to the airport...

I enjoyed a much more pleasant plane ride home (not being sick helped a lot). Wow, what a place Abu Dhabi was.

Thank you to all people who made this possible for me... SIC Maui you make amazing boards, and are an amazing family. I feel so lucky to be a part of this team!

Werner Paddles, Nikki Rekman Sales, Season Five, Ryders Eyewear, Surffur, Crossfit Vancouver, Feed The Machine, ClifBar, Ultimate Potential, Kalavida Surf Shop, Larry Allsion Fins, OnIt Pro, Pro Lite THANK YOU for your support!

World Series website!

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!

Apr 8, 2014

California Dreamin'.... Livin' the dream!!!

SIC X12'6 PRO Lite and me wearing my Season Five with Werner Paddle... getting ready to get on the water
Here I am in sunny California. I feel so lucky to be able to be here to train, learn, race, meet new ppl, have loads of killer fun!!!!!

California Coastal Relay
Last weekend Braly Joy and I participated in the California Coastal Relay Race. What a cool concept... relay along the coast and use our cars to transport each other along the course. Everyone was in good spirits and the vibe was just full of stoke and good times. You could feel the comraderie among the spectators and racers. We raced on a SIC X14 PRO. It was the right choice for the conditions we had on Saturday. The conditions ended up being a mix of everything from flatwater to head wind to side chop, tail wind, and some good 'ol churned up crazy water... We used an SIC 9.9 inflatable to get us out to the on water exchange points. This was also a great choice as we didn't have to worry about banging it around with the other boards and could chuck it in the truck quickly to get a move on to the next exchange point. We finished in 4th overall and 1st in our category! woohoo! The after party was held a Henesseeys in Dana Point! I used Vitargo before and between the exhchanges as well as Nuun. I felt great throughout the race! My Werner Grand Prix paddle also proved to be quick and comfortable.

 before the race start photo Onit Pro

Exchange during race photo Mike Muir

me stoked in my Season Five tank photo OnIt Pro
Awards: 1st place! photo Mike Muir

Last week I also got the fine pleasure to meet Ryan from Foundation. He is currently Braly's trainer and I am getting to jump into his magic while here in California. I love love love the concept of his gym. Adults get to play while working hard, and getting fit. Ryan has put us through some awesome interval circuits with movements that will aid us in our SUP goals.

I have decided that I am going to spend the end of every SUP work out with some pivot turn training. Lucky me SIC is hanging out with Mike Eisert who has a killer set up for interval training... beach runs, pivot turns, sprints all included!

actually from florida but it is a pivot turn!
I feel lucky that I am learning lots of great new skills that are fine tuning my body and mind. Sarah Joy is a pilates and yoga instructor and she is great. She has taught me some valuable mind and physical skills by taking me through a pilates workout. We also hit up some hot yoga which has been great for the body. I love the crosstraining I am getting with both pilates and yoga. The body needs to learn to move in different ways.
Pilates work out with Sarah Joy
Gonna hit up some SUP surfing today! woohoo! Thanks for the surf Jaecey!

San O with Jaecey!
The weather has been splendid so am looking forward to the rest of the week of training here in SoCal.

Back home
Vancouver news: Vancouverites killed it at the Gig Harbour race last weekend. Way to go boys... looking forward to some battles (if I can keep up ) when I return!

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!