Jul 22, 2014

SUP WORLD CUP Fehmarn Germany: World Series #3

Overall women

I made a last minute decision to get myself to Germany for the third stop of the SUP World Series. I was in Colorado working with SeasonFive and despite it not making much sense I had four days of flying ahead of me. I headed to Maui for about 24hours where I was lucky enough to spend it with Sonni and Belar. We enjoyed good food, beach runs, a Maliko downwind run, and sun. It was definitely difficult to leave Maui so quickly but at least I knew I was coming back:)

Although I flew for pretty much 1.5 days it was actually quite okay. I slept most of the time on the planes and had perfect amount of connection times... I left Maui Wed night and arrived into Hamburg Friday morning where Phil, the SIC Rep for Germany kindly picked me up and we made our way to the island of Fehmarn. I didn't have time to get accommodations worked out but luckily, Mike from Season Five lent me a tent, I had brought a thermorest already, and Branislov kindly lent me a sleeping bag: I was set for a weekend of camping, racing, beach time, etc etc. Luckily the weather was perfect and so tenting totally worked out. I actually love sleeping in a tent and was pretty zonked that I just passed out both nights despite loud music surrounding us... haha

Friday Day 1 

Charity Race. 
We arrived at Camp David SUP WORLD CUP and the set up was pretty unreal with loads of tents, stages, beanbags, volleyball courts, BMX tracks, lights, booths... etc etc it felt really professional. We arrived just in time for me to be signed up for the charity team relay races. I had no idea these were going on but decided to join. My team consisted of Dominic Boeer, Tobias, Bertl, and myself. Each team had one professional racer and three "celebrities". We were all on inflatables: My team was on the SIC 12.6 x30 inflatable which worked out great as there were people with different comfort levels and slightly wavy conditions.... In total because we rocked it we raced four times... To make a long story short we won all the races and therefore won the overall and even made the front cover of the local newspaper:) We also got to donate 3000 euros to entertain sick children at a local hospitals. It was a great start to the weekend and was a great way to meet new people and get new people on boards and get ppl stoked. Really well planned and laid out:)

Sat Day 2

Sprint racing. I usually find sprint racing fairly stressful, as little mistakes can really affect the standings. It is short and can last the whole day... so nerves keep building and building as the day goes on... I really like waking up racing and then being able to enjoy the rest of the day so mentally these short, many heats over the entire day events are tough for me and something I need to work on managing mentally. The course was an M shape course about 500m long with a run to finish it off due to shallow waters. The ladies had three rounds and the best of 2 counted. Luckily there was a good headwind section to start where I was able to gain a lead and then a small downwind with a tough turn followed by headwind and downwind to finish it off. On all cases I was able to get out in front at the beginning and with the first two rounds hold on. The last round I don't know what happened to me but I fell 3 or 4 times and just couldnt pull it together.. Maybe as i won the first two something in my brain shut off? Not sure but I need to work on that:) it all matters:) haha. I managed to win the sprints for the pro women!

Sun Day 3

With strong winds, last minute changes were made to the course to ensure the use of the conditions were properly used to showcase the amazingness of the island. The course ended up being a 1km up/crosswind, 4km downwind and then 2x a triangle of 800m upwind, 200m sidewind, 1km downwind. I was happy to have the variety in there but did not expect such a challenging upwind section. I didn't mind it too much but it sure hurt and was pretty extreme. Basically, I went backwards every time I tried to switch paddling sides.. haha... it is one of those times where you just have to put your head down and paddle. I managed to win the distance race and therefore the overall title. 


Thank you Phil Mandeau from SIC for all the help! I could not have done it without you! 
Thank you to SUP World CUP, Watermanleague, and all the people organizing the event! I look forward to next year!

Back on Maui getting ready for M2O!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Jul 17, 2014

Season Five Summit Games: Frisco, CO

The Summit Games is not just a bunch of races it is a full blown festival amidst the beautiful mountains of Frisco, Colorado. 

SeasonFive puts on a stellar weekend that is fun for all and you don't even have to be a water person to enjoy the festivities. 

The Season Five Summit Games have live music, fly casting clinics, slacklining and acro yoga clinics, triathlon with a twist (SUP, mtn bike, trail run), SUP races, SUP clinics, SUP demos, Dog runs, booths, food, drinks, and an amazing venue. 

This year, I got the chance to be a part of it in a variety of ways. I helped set up the course, give my input on SUP related aspects of the racing and clinics. I got to race, teach, meet new people, and learn different skills.

My first event was the Triathlon. This was not your typical triathlon. It was a 1.5mile SUP, 8 mile mtn bike, and 3mile trail run. We started with the SUP which was great for me. I was on the SIC 12.6XPRO and paddled with my Werner small Grand Prix Paddle. I blasted out in hopes to give myself some extra time on the bike and run. Although I mtn bike and trail run in my spare time its been awhile since I raced these two events. I was also at 9000feet in elevation and on a borrowed bike. Any how, I was able to get to my bike in first place overall.. hahaha.
Alpine Sports kindly lent me a Specialized Rumor. I didn't bring bike shoes with me so I went for old school flat pedals with running shoes, no gloves, and a borrowed helmet. I also didnt' have a water bottle with me so I just decided to stick a Vfuel gel and a ClifBar block in my tights as emergency. The bike course was really fun actually. Lots of single track and lots of up and down. I was breathing hard from the elevation and probably could have used some water but it was all good. I was having a blast. The views were stellar and only about 4 or 5 guys flew by me.
I forgot how hard it is to run at the end of a multisport event so I just took it nice and stable. The first part of the run was a pretty big climb, I ran it but at a pace I could hold. The rest of the single track run was cool with small up and downs and we finished with a huge downhill. I managed to cross the line as the first female and in 1hr35min. I loved it all and hope to see more of these styles of triathlons popping up around. Maybe I should get one going in BC... perfect venue for it!

I didn't stop there: learnt to cast fly fishing style (I failed at the target competition but definitely by the end got the rhythm of the swing). I taught a SUP stroke clinic, followed by participating in a SUP team relay race, and finished off the day with another SUP clinic. Long but great day.

The second day was SUP racing focused. We started the morning off with a SUP distance race of about 6 miles. It was a fun little flat water course where we got to round an island. I always love going around islands:) After the distance race I decided to give some other women a chance to win and decided to help out with the sprint race instead of racing it. It was great to watch from the dock and cheer people on. I had a final SUP clinic where I got to teach some newbies to the sport, pretty fulfilling to be able to provide the excitement of learning something new.

My last day in Colorado I spent in Breckenridge where i got to explore the ski hills on a trail run up the mountain, walk around town, and finish off some shooting and filming for Season Five. All in all a fabulous time exploring a new place and meeting some new people. Thank you to all who made the Season Five Summit Games a success and people should mark this one down on their calendars for next year.

Next up is a little whirlwind around the globe for a week.... curious how the body and body will hold up on this little mini adventure to Maui, Germany, and back to Maui...

Live, love, laugh,..DREAM!


Jul 10, 2014

Do one thing every day that scares you. -Eleanor Roosevelt - The KOOTENAYS River SUP

Try something new. Chances are you'll enjoy it more than you think.

Team Nikki Rekman Sales photo by Mark Klein

This past weekend I got the amazing opportunity to get to the Kootenays for the second of the BC SUP CUP races but more importantly to experience something very new to me. I was excited, and nervous all at the same time. I was excited for the place we were heading, for meeting new people, and for trying something new. I was nervous as I wasn't sure if I could do it, didn't know the danger level and therefore was slightly nervous on the possibilities of injury. 

Mike Darbyshire from Deep Cove Canoe and kayaks and friend gave me a lift up to the Kootenays along with SUP friend Jen. We arrived to Endless Adventures on Friday early afternoon which happened to be just in time to go out for a "practice run" with Mike so he could learn the river for the courses.  Jen and I were lucky enough to be able to join him before we were going to take the course... sounds backwards but it was awesome. We were both slightly nervous but it turns out the upper Slocan is great for learning to river SUP on... fast moving with nicely spaced waves that are not too intimidating.

SUP River Clinic with Mike Darbyshire

Mike is a great teacher with tons of knowledge and has a way to keep you calm when you are feeling slightly nervous about what you are going to embark on. We learned the safety equipment required for river SUPing, which were kindly provided by Nikki Rekman Sales such as helmet (I loved the predator helmet I used), Kokatat PFD, Whistle, and I had a quick release leash on.  The water was deep enough for the possibility of a leash but if you do not have a quick release leash then you should not wear a leash on the river as it can be extremely dangerous on the river. I also enjoyed using the carve Werner paddle and got to try out different boards designed for the river. We learned the safety signals, how to ferry across the river, to move across eddy lines, to surf into a wave and try to surf it.... as well as paddle through some bigger rapids. I felt calmed and excited to learn in this course with Mike. THANKS for sharing your knowledge.
all geared up for the river photo by mark klein

mike teaching us the ways of the river photo by nikki rekman

Jen and I were hanging around Endless Adventures while we waited for Mike to run his second clinic. We lucked out with the chance to go down the lower Slocan in a raft with some of the staff. Jen and I were nervous at first but then realized how much fun it is.... I am so glad we got the opportunity to enjoy the lower Slocan with such a talented group of raft guides... couldnt have felt safer out there! OMG,  I am a little excited about rivers and SUPin them!!!!! 

SUP BC CUP Race #2 Racing on the Columbia River

Before the race I joined Andrea on her SUPniss class which was a blend f SUP fitness, SUP yoga and SUP Paddling technique It was really nice to stretch and move the body as well as calm the mind before racing down 17km of the Columbia River. 

Before the race we also got to participate in SPIN to WIN on a small little badfish river surfing board... it was so fun to watch and I think relaxed ppl before the race. Jen killed it with 12 turns and Matt with 13... Good spinning you two! 

The 17km Downriver Race

Prepping my board with OnIt Pro photo Mark Klein

Lead Pack going down the river photo credit?
Awesome fun!!! we got headwind, whirlpools, boils, rapids, some crazy eddy lines, fast moving water,.... It sure was an exciting "flat water race"... I had fun trying to chase down the top three men on my SIC 12'6XPRO.... I never caught them but at least they gave me a line to follow... I managed to sneak away with the overall women win and also stayed dry for the race... There were many close calls but I never went in:) 
FInished the downriver race... still dry! haha photo by Mark Klein

River SUP Cross

AMAZING! FUN! DIFFERENT! The FUTURE! The course was set on the hardest part of the upper Slocan river. It was the section on friday where I was nervous to venture down (but did).. now I had to make bouy turns down it?!?! I was quiet and nervous as the course was explained. The rapids looked bigger, the current stronger than Friday....
Luckily we all got to float down the course to ease the nerves and it totally DID. After the float I wasnt as anxious as before and just experienced the normal race nerves. Brilliant. The men got a semifinal heat and a final and the 5 ladies went down for a final heat. We got to watch the first 2 heats of the men which was a great learning opportunity. We got to see how it flowed with 4 ppl going down the course at higher speeds. THEN it was our turn. I was on the Boardworks 9ft Badfish which was a really great board for me, stable but quick enough, I had the Werner Carve paddle and of the course my kokatat pfd, predator helmet, and quick release leash. I had a good first buoy turn, then as I crossed the river to the second buoy something didn't go as planned and I landed a little too far down river of the buoy and had to do some upriver paddling, Jen hit it perfectly and squeezed by me. I was lucky though after the turn I found some fast moving water and regained the lead for the 3rd buoy, here Jen was on my tail but her fin got caught in the eddy line and flipped her, so I made a little break away. I was aiming hard for the upper waves but I got my angle of the board a little off and drifted a little below the buoy but did managed to stay upright where Jen went for an even more aggressive line but had a second fall which secured the win for me. It did show me that anything can happen out on the river course and the playing field is a lot more level which is soooo exciting. Awesome work to all the ladies who completed the course as well as the males. A big shout out to the men finals Mike D in first, then Norm Hann, Eli Fischbuch(who is 16yrs old) and 4th was Kevin O'Brien who found his competitive fire out on the river... Too awesome to watch... Can't wait for the next one! 
SUP cross ladies start photo by Kevin O'Brien

heading into the last buoy photo by mike grant
Jen and I at the last buoy photo by Mike Grant

SUP cross on the river photo by Scott Burton

Kalavida Kids Camp

I got the pleasure to run the Kalavida Surf Shop kids camp for three days. It was such a blast. We enjoyed the outdoors and the outdoors did not disappoint, we learned about safety, environment, different games, different movements on the SUP and had too much fun together. The kids rocked the camp and the other staff made it an unforgettable experience for all (including me). Thank you to the staff and the Kalavida Shop. Every kid should get out there on a SUP and explore the beautiful clean water we are blessed with here in BC! Can't wait for the next one! 
Doing our part for keeping kal beach blue: spelling the word BLUE! with garbage we found on the beach. We then put the garbage where it belongs (in the bin)
Next UP is Frisco Colorado where I join Season Five for the Summit Games. There will be tons to do from SUP triathlon, SUP racing, I totally want to try fly fishing.... AND I will be teaching several clinics as well!!!!!!! 
photo by mark klein

live, love, laugh,....DREAM!


Jul 2, 2014

Live for the moments you can't put into words: Europe continued

Lake Garda

Circolo in Torbole

Lake garda mtn view

My magical place.... For most, Hawaii or a tropical island would feel like their magical spiritual escape... right now, for me, it is here in Lake Garda. I don't know what it is about this place but it definitely has me excited from the inside. I feel its air and spirit like it is part of me, I am full of energy and just want to go explore the water and mountains, as well as the old historical buildings. I love the Italian way and people, although I may need a little detox from gelato, wine, and pasta.... I could not not enjoy these things to their fullest while in Italia...

This lake and area is full of outdoor potential. I mean there is everything here other than SURF surf... There is mtn biking, trekking, climbing, skiing, road riding, windsurf, kayaking, sailing, etc etc... the list goes on. I will focus my memories surrounding our adventures on the lake as it is the reason I found myself at Lake Garda in the first place. This is already a windsurf haven with consistent winds everyday, safe surroundings, and the town stoke surrounding the sport. After playing on our SUPs for the last week we found out this lake has the potential to also be a downwind mecca... The wind is consistent, fun, and manageable and the water a refreshing temperature. In the mornings you can enjoy calm waters if that is your thing, we found a beautiful waterfall while it was calm and explored the shorelines that are full of hidden treasures. If wind is your thing then all you may need to do is wait a little and it will come. We enjoyed downwinding in a variety of ways which is too rad and was so fun to experiment with. We did the normal driving shuttle/drop off; we paddled up the lake in the calm, had lunch, coffee, and waited for the wind and then downwinded home; we just plain old paddled upwind then downwind and then last of all we took the ferry from Torbole to Limone (upwind) and then paddled downwind back to Torbole... AMAZING!

We found a waterfall photo by Cristian Dessi

found an old tunnel in the mtns on my bike ride....
Almost every night we got a lightning show, one night in particular it was spectacular. We were driving back from this amazing little restaurant in the mountains called: and we HAD to stop to enjoy the rain, the lightning, the backdrop, we were mesmerized with the power of the sky. When it showered on us during the day we were blessed with rainbows galour!

We spent most of our time exploring the towns of Torbole and Riva Del Garda but also ventured out to Arco, Bolognano, Limone, and Malcesine. We also did a photo/film shoot up in the mountains where I got to test out some mtn bike trails and enjoy the unbeatable views.

Flora Gelato was the best

Our home for the week was La Colombera (Riva Del Garda)
I totally have a little girl crush on Paulo, the owner of this magical sanctuary. It is a restaurant, hotel, and winery, rich in history and full of delicious goods and kind people. I love Paulo's spirit and well his eyes as well.. hahaha.. I MUST return here, hopefully with Andrew, hmmm maybe when alpine skier superstar AKsel, Paulo's friend returns for his annual summer training camp... haha.. But seriously some pretty amazing moments were spent here from eating some fine fine italian deliciousness, drinking some of the most unbelievable wine and having the most romantic and rich chocolate dessert one can have... (I really needed Andrew here for that one:)) We watched Italy lose in the World Cup:( I was cheering for you Italia, with all my heart along with the rest of the country. I learned about the production of grappa, a strong after diner drink that maybe I had one too many of this past week:) We also used some of their common bikes to bike into town and get us some of the finest gelato there is at Flora (Riva Del Garda). Sunset Power was my staple gelato filled with goodness such as Acai, mango, strawberries, blueberries and more it somehow felt justifyable to eat because it seemed just as healthy as a freshly squeezed juice smoothie... For my second scoops I mixed in some different flavors each time to test out different options.. This place was constantly busy and totally amazing, gelato ice cream will never taste the same again... not until I return to lake Garda and Flora for more:)

views from la Colombera

Arco, the climbing town surrounding Lake Garda. I would like to come back here to explore the climbing area even though climbing is not my main outdoor pursuit anymore... it just seems to be too amazing to pass up. Here we walked around town and saw the church Helgo got married in and visited another amazing restaurant.

La Allegro?(cant remember exact name) (Arco). This restaurant has history.. For me growing up in Canada all this old stuff, rich in stories and history is pretty unbelievable... This particular buildin has paintings on the wall that have been uncovered dating 3000 years ago: my mind was blown to bits....
The food once again was amazing. In Italy, you eat a lot. We always have bread on the table, you start with starters that are usually cold and meaty ( I am starting to become a met eater....haha...love it), then you move onto some pasta dishes, then you have your meat/hot vegetable dishes... during all of this you enjoy wine and water to wash it all down with... THEN there is dessert, cafe, and grappa....

the crew Alessandro, Sonni, Helgo, me, Cristian

The meat restaurant in the mountains.... It was sooo cool... We even had one of the most amazing thunderstorms on the way home from this beautiful place

Talking about coffee. I love that all the rest stops/gas stations actually have coffee bars where you go order an espesso drink it at the bar and then keep moving... the whole concept is so different then back home where you bring your mug and get a BIG coffee/Americano and drink it in the car for the next hour or so.... different is fun for sure.. I will miss having espesso in Italy with Italians... haha

Bolognano (Marcos) restaurant
For my last dinner in Lake Garda, after a long drive back from Croatia and before a long travel schedule home, Helgo took Cristian and I to one of his old favorite restaurants close to an old home of his. Again, this restaurant had character and the owners were too kind. I definitely enjoyed my last meal before heading home in style.

A song that reminds me of my time at Lake Garda with Sonni, Cristian, Helgo, and Alessandro (thanks for the song Alessandro)

Croatia Race Report: SUPER Surfmania Elite SUP race
We had planned for me to do a clinic on the weekend but very poor weather and a small turnout meant we were forced to cancel... So instead, Cristian, Helgo, and I took an adventure to Porec, Croatia for a new elite SUP race, SUPER Surfer Challenge. I was pretty stoked to check out a new country, race a point to point race on the Adriatic Sea, and meet a new community of SUP enthusiasts.
The race was a 13km point to point race from Porec to Lanterna. We first rounded a small island and then followed the coast to the finish. I really enjoy point to point races for distance racing, as it really feels like you are on a journey and going somewhere for all that hard work and effort. Also, when you are in a new place point to point races allow you to see new, exciting aspects of the area you are paddling where otherwise you might not get to experience. Needless to say I was stoked on that aspect of the race and understand the logistical difficulties it could produce but in my opinion always worth it. The race was also on the warm, clear, and beautiful Adriatic Sea which I have never been on or in.

There weren't too many of us racing as it was the first year for this elite race but there was still some good competition and great potential to make it a larger race. I still paddled hard throughout the race as a race is a race... and it is an amazing excuse to give it your all... if anything it is always great training.... I had a great start and pushed to try and be with the top group of men, and I was for a bit until the person I was behind fell behind and before I could really react the front group was already a distance in front. So, it turned out to be a race with just me and the sea. It was pretty fun though, with some different bumps and waves to keep us occupied and focused. I was pretty much following the boys in front while trying to get some glimpses of my surroundings. I was on the 14ft SIC XPROlite model and it was perfect for the conditions. I finished in first for the women and 5th overall! Helgo won the Open class at the age of 62 (this man is a machine)... too proud! Following the race and awards helgo, Cristian and I went to explore the old town of Porec. This place is full of old old buildings... it was amazing to walk around the small side streets with crooked stone roads... we managed to find a sweet little restaurant for food but the best part of the evening was the locals “pub” we found... where we enjoyed maybe one too many grappa's! We were sitting outside on the corner of an old cobbley narrow street.... a little bit surreal coming from Canada. Loved it.
Thanks for the great race and giving us a reason to explore a little piece of Croatia.
finish with Helgo (he won the open race) i won the women elite photo: Cristian Dessi

top three ladies photo by Cristian Dessi

Old town Porec

Harbour Porec

cool old stuff Porec

Add caption

Now, it is time to head back home to Canada for some more SUP adventures in the interior!

photo by Cristian Dessi

Live, love, laugh,..DREAM!