Oct 14, 2014

Bad Luck, Good Luck and a lucky twist of Fate at the Turtle Bay World Series Finals Race: World Series Overall Champion

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover." Mark Twain

You should read the article Chris parker wrote on SUPRacer which sums up a lot very well.....thanks for taking the time to recap:)


Casper photo by StandUpMagazin

women's final photo by StandUpMagazin

Me during final coming into finish photo by StandUpMagazin

This weekend I got to spend the end of the race season back on Oahu but this time on the NorthShore at Turtle Bay Resort for the last of the World Series Races. This year I raced in Abu Dhabi, Germany, Hunting Beach CA, and Turtle Bay HI with the SUP World Series Race Tour. I started off the year at Abu Dhabi(race #1 for me but race #2 of series) then I found myself in Germany on a last minute whim and then again in Huntington on a more strategic whim. Then, due to points and a battle for the title I found myself at the finals at Turtle Bay....

After the epic weekend of Battle of the Paddle at Salt Creek... I was mentally and physically beat after BOP. I think I put it all out on the table at BOP and it paid off...still kind of riding a 'I can't believe that was me high' from BOP:) To race again the next weekend in Hawaii was hard to even think about after a weekend like BOP.

I was lucky that my SIC teammate Sonni also wanted to come to Turtle Bay so we could share accommodations, car, etc, support each other and have some fun too:)

Sonni and I photo by SUWS

We stayed at the Backpackers Hawaii at Waimea, rented a sweet SUV with racks and got our boards to the island in one piece. We were both on the production SIC X12'6PRO. We arrived, our boards arrived and the swell and wind also arrived in full force. I was not too stoked about the conditions when we arrived...Pipeline was going off, it was very Hawaii Northshore, kind of happy to watch the surfers strut their stuff in the big waves from the beach...haha.. By the last race of the last day of the weekend I realized that the waves were not that scary and I think my confidence grew a little more from this past weekend. I still have a long way to go in the surf and in downwind but each time I am out there it is more practice and I get just a little better...

found a Harbour Surfboard at Surfer Bar Cafe

Saturday was the long distance course... a hefty 11-13miles depending on your route. Unfortunately for me this day just didn't go as planned for many reasons some my own and some not... The waves were still pumping, the course start changed many times. I was real nervous before the start of the race as the start really did not look inviting or possible... I got convinced that the start through the channel was safe and the good way to go.... WHEN, first I felt something funny under my visor and when I pulled it off I flicked a huge brown spider from my hair onto my board and had a minor breakdown... I am terrified of spiders....) then at the last minute and I mean last minute my world turned upside down for a bit, the start changed to going straight through the waves but with a lot of confusion and no time to explain the gun went off, to say the least I was frazzled, got smashed by some big waves, turned around and was ready to call it quits when I realized I really wanted to paddle... so after the useless lifeguard couldn't tell me where the channel was I went in search of it while  most competitors were already out through the surf and downwinding their way down the course. I eventually found the channel and got out and just paddled the rest of the course for me as I knew I was out of any contention for anything... I crossed the line with a combination of anger, relief, sadness, and just some blah... haha. I thought the title was over and tried to deal with it... Sonni, my teammate was the best, we enjoyed Thai on the beach foodtruck and she was the best support ever... THANK YOU!

Me finish of distance photo by SUWS

Sunday I felt like I truly had nothing to lose after Saturday's “race” so I kind of went in without much of anything.... haha... fate, luck, and determination played a role in the events that occurred. I needed something really crazy to happen for me to take the win and in racing the motto is never give up 'cause anything can happen....
Start of women final photo by StandUpMagazin

photo by SUWS

halie and I photo by SUWS
Women final sprint photo by SUWS
After a crash with a ski trying to place one of the buoys everything got delayed for about 2 hours... I was starting to get relaxed.. haha.. Once they got eveyrthing organized it was close to 3pm. My first heat I didn't make it through and had to race the repocharge to move on. I had success going out but then got pretty smashed coming in... I was tired and not feeling the mojo I normally have... In the repo heat I got lucky had a pretty clean exit and pretty clean return coming in behind Sonni who had a great heat... I was feeling much better but still figured my title was gone and it was just about getting through the finals... Two things needed to happen in the finals, I needed to have a great race and Angie needed to have a bad race for me to even have a chance at getting the overall championships... well, who would have guessed it but I pulled it together and happen to have a great final in the sprints coming in 2nd and at the same time poor Angie saw it all fall apart (mostly her board...but her title for 2014)... We had a huge set roll in on our final and I was lucky enough that I was out in front and just got some whitewash whereas the girls behind Halie and I got nailed by a HUGE set and Angie's plug blew out of her board and she lost her board.... and that was the end of her race... So due to each of us having a pretty unlucky and terrible day at the two day event mine was just slightly less terrible and gave me the overall title for the year. Racing is kind of crazy like that:) I held it together in the sprints and put in a solid performance when I needed it most and it turned out well for me. I was stoked but also felt so bad for Angie,... we had a great battle throughout the year and she really is one of the best competitors I have ever met, her attitude and work ethic is something to aspire too... so thank you Angie for teaching me loads throughout the year...

huge set in the women final photo by StandUpMagazin

So there you have it a nice way to cap off my first year as a PRO SUP athlete with the World Series Champion 2014 title...

Connor and I accepting overall win trophies photo by SUWS

What a year...there were a lot of successes but some of the ones that stand out for me are: ISA gold in the distance, Fastest Female Paddler on Earth title, BOP distance and overall champion and now the Overall World Series Champion... phew... time for a rest:) and to think a year ago I was still a teacher teaching full time.... a lot can happen in a year if you put your mind and passion to it.

thank you Andrew Dye for being the best hubby ever!!!!!
SIC Maui you guys build great boards and are just the best family helping each of us get to where we are...
Werner paddles and Nikki Rekman Sales: I love my paddles
Season Five: technical clothing that everyone needs to try out, comfortable, functional and fashionable:) love this stuff!
Ryders Eyewear: local pride, great sunnies, love Ryders sunnies
Onit Pro: ensuring I have the glide I need
Larry Alison Fins
Nutritional needs: Feed the Machine, Clif Bar, Vitargo
Training: MadLab Crossfit Vancouver, Ultimate Potential, Olympus movement and mobility
Body health: Moveo, Barb Tyers RMT, Jenny Wesanko
Pro Lite, Surffur, Indo Boards,
SUPRacer, SUPtheMag, SUPConnect, StanUP Magazin, and all the great media that help promote SUP around the world

"Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it." Oprah Winfrey

live ,love, laugh,...DREAM!


Oct 9, 2014

BATTLE OF THE PADDLE 2014: the BIGGEST race weekend in the WORLD: Salt Creek Beach, Dana Point CA

Where to begin?!?! A fairtytale finish to my first year racing as a PRO SUP athlete. I really never even imagined this would be ME! A year ago, I was struggling with an internal feeling that I could do more in SUP... but with a great job (tough to find), not being "young", having no clear idea how to make it happen,  it was a tough call to leave my job and take the plunge.

Life lesson: Live with no regrets.

My goal this year was to travel, race at lots of international races, do well, and get myself in the game.

I never thought I would find success so quickly in my first year....

This weekend it all came together for me. I conquered many fears, doubts, and challenges. I pushed myself to a different place I have never been. I didn't think I was as hungry for it as I was but when the gun went off I turned into beast mode and conquered. :)

At Huntington two weeks ago, I learned a lot but in these last two weeks I learned more than I ever thought possible in such a short time.
Going into BOP I was already content with how amazing my trip to California had been with the new people and community I was meeting. The coaching from Ian and the Paddle Academy and the lovely people helping me out in every which way possible.

Ian Cairns took me under his wing and taught me about the ocean, different surfing skills, and a lot about attitude. I can remember our "first lesson" we sat in a truck talked, watched, learned for hours. It was amazing. He took me from knowing very little about the surf, being pretty frightened to hang in the surf zone/break zone, and not really have much skill at all; to understanding how to read the ocean, learn to understand where to be in the surfzone not to get pounded but be in the spot to catch waves, and much about the skill set needed to actually surf the wave... Now, I am far from being a good surfer,.. that will take time and practice but I am better than I was, and am having fun out there catching waves and going for it:)

The Paddle Academy has helped me with training...  Their guidance on and off the water has been huge for my training and confidence AND they are an amazing group of people:)

Going into BOP weekend, I spent the week at the SIC house with Georges, Sonni, Kenny, Chinois, Tamarua, Pilou, Majory, and Heilani. It was been great team bonding as we shared ideas, strategies, laughs, and stories.

I was feeling excited, nervous, tired, scared, driven, and a little just unsure of what to expect throughout the week. You could feel the vibe heat up as the weekend came closer and closer. Sure I wanted to win but at the same time my confidence in the BIG waves just wasn't up to par and I just couldn't wrap my head around how it would all come together. I did know I was physically ready and with a season full of racing becoming accustomed to the mental side of racing. I actually had a strange calm before the storm about me.

Saturday Course race day:
The ladies didn't race until 3pm but I wanted to be there at 10am for the first heat of the men to support and WATCH and learn.... It was HOT and long though so it was important to find shade, keep hydrated, and stay relaxed... There was carnage, and it looked tough and the waves were pretty big... Once the men heats finished it pretty much was pre race time for us. 3 hours before race time. I was trying to stay calm but nerves were starting to flutter in... I got myself prepared with fuel, had my SIC X12'6PRO get a cleaning from Onit Pro and eventually got myself on the start line. It was time to attack. Our start was tough with the whistle blowing as a huge set rolled in. I am not sure what I did exactly but it was a combination of being in the right spot, right strategic moves, and good push over the whitewater that allowed me to be out front with Fiona Wylde to the first buoy turn, Fiona went slightly off course and it was my chance to get out in front. I managed to surf a wave in and by lap two was mixed in with Candice, Annabel, Fiona, and Jenny... I am not exactly sure what went on each lap but I know I caught a few bombs and surfed them in (which I still need a picture of) had some luck going out and paddled hard hard hard. I tried to stay focused and hoped for some goodluck. Candice had a solid lead and i was just a second off of Annabel coming across the line in 3rd. Due to a technical penalty given to Annabel I got bumped up to 2nd for the official results of day 1. I could not believe it. I was riding a huge high. I was hoping I could come down for the distance race but.. there were a lot of emotions on Day 1 through to the morning of Day 2.

Sunday Distance Race:
It was an early start  and the waves were still pumping. I was paddling the production SIC X14PROlite and got off to one of the worst starts I could have had... literally in the back of the pack but then something possessed me and I just paddled like a maniac and didnt' get tired. I managed to go from almost last to paddling up to Annabel(who was in 1st) before the last turn. I would see a pack of people and decide I would catch them and then when I did, I would find my next group to try and catch. As we turned the last buoy on our way to the finish another huge set rolled in.  I didn't catch the first two waves but caught a smaller one and rode it in while Annabel caught one of the bigger ones but then fell. Without knowing she make a mistake I surfed in to a beach crowd yelling RUN RUN RUN and ran my way into first place! I could not believe it....

With a 2nd and a 1st I ended up winning the overall champion for the event which is called the most combative award. Dreams do come true:)

Congrats to EVERYONE who participated at this year's BOP Salt Creek. It was a lot of gnar out there... You are all champions:)

Could not have done all of this without my husband, Andrew, family and friends and the help of my sponsors.  SIC Maui, Werner Paddles, Nikki Rekman Sales, Season Five, Kavu, Ryders Eyewear, Larry Allison Fins, ClifBar, Feed the Machine, Crossfit Vancouver, OnIt Pro, Vitargo

Live, Love, Laugh,....DREAM!