Since the race season has ended, with only time left for training and improving my technique, I would like to take a look back at last summer and reflect on the races we competed in. As well as share a few of my favorite pictures from each event. These great memories will help get me through our long winter season and keep the fire in my belly stoked for 2014s race season in the http://www.midwestsup.com
Sprint and Splash
Our Home field! The http://sprintandsplash.com/ organized by my favorite surf shop, http://www.greatlakessurf.com/ This is the first race of the season. It takes place at Lake St. Clair Metro Park and was my first introduction to the race scene. My dad participated in the 2 mile recreational race placing second overall beating out 40 other competitors on his 11’8” Windsurf board!!! I however did not race. I begged and begged, but being our first race as a family, my parents didn’t know what to expect and decided it was better for me to stay on the sidelines as a spectator and cheer on my dad.. I knew right then I wanted to RACE!!!
The TC Waterman
This was one of the biggest and most competitive races in the Series… It consisted of an 11 mile Downwinder, a 3.5 mile rec race, a kids race and a relay race. My dad competed in the 3.5 mile race on his windsurf board, and I was finally able to compete in the kids race on my mom’s Jimmy Lewis surf board.
It was a perfect day! We started driving early that morning in the rain, and by the time we arrived in Traverse City it was sunny and 80 degrees! The race took place on the west leg of Grand Traverse Bay on the beach just south of the Harbor. It was perfect!
The 11 mile Elite race took place in the morning before we arrived. Our Friend Brian of Great Lakes Surf Shop placed 4th! Great job! We arrived just in time to set up camp on the beach, and have a warm up on the water before my kids race started.
My race was approximately 1.5 miles long and consisted of two turns and a short foot race through the beach for each of three laps. It was tough! It began with a standing water start, which means at the start all the riders line up in knee deep water and wait for the starting gun. Then we push off, hop on and it’s paddle mayhem!!! We were all bumping into each other off the start, knocking paddles and boards as the we all race toward the first turn. At the first buoy turn the other kids boards were riding right up on top of each other!! with all the crashing it was really hard to balance without falling in. Eventually me and the other stronger paddlers pulled ahead. Then, just when we get in our groove, we had to jump off our boards and run a short course on the beach and back to our boards for two more laps of the same! It was so much fun!
I came in 6th place overall that day.
Then came dad’s race! It was pretty complicated course. It was three laps with one long leg strait into open water, a buoy turn back to shore and then a foot race on the beach and back out for two more laps. But this time abround a short course with three turns. The short course was closer to the beach so we can watch all the action! Dad placed 3rd in the 18-39 age group!
It all ended with live music and a pig roast dinner! My sister and I weren’t too interested in the pig roast. Pig, baked beans and pineapple slices. Dad said it was in the Hawaiian tradition, but GROSS! We filled up on cupcakes!
Overall a super cool experience! I love Traverse City, and I can’t wait to go back next year!
Check out this cool video the the TC Waterman!!! If you look close you can see us!!! http://youtu.be/Q2qWjrI3mdY
The Great Lakes SUP Classic
The last Race of the season took place in Holland Michigan on a cold clear Saturday in September. This was the perfect end to the Midwest SUP Series and my second kids race. The beach at Holland State Park is huge! There is a really cool lighthouse and a freighters coming out of the channel right next to the race course! The water was COOOOOLD!!!!! Dad Raced his first Elite race. It was a four lap course with 5 turns. 6 miles total. All the turns were close to the beach and the break wall. We had a great view and were really close to cheer on the racers! All the top competition came in for the last race of the season including some big name guys from the paddle industry. Larry Cain, who is a former gold medal Canadian Olympic paddler, Jim Terrell, A former US Olympic paddler and founder of Quickblade Paddles. Also, Joe Bark! Joe is a master board shaper whose name was on most of the boards raced that day. Including my dad’s Bark Dominator that he raced in Holland for the first time!
Dad placed 14th out of 26 paddlers in his board class. He did great for his first Elite race on a new board. We’re all really proud of him and really enjoyed watching! Then came the three mile rec race which was fun to watch as well. After that was the kids race! I had planned on using mom’s Jimmy Lewis Surf board for my race, but at the last minute Dad let me take his Bark Dominator out for a warm up. He said If I can turn it I can ride it in my race! That Made my day! I was REALLY hoping to ride my dad’s board, but he wasn’t convinced I can turn it around the buoys and it would slow me down at the turns. Well, NO PROBOLEMO with the turns!!! So dad gave me the green light! After a little warm up, I was ready to race!
The Kids Race was more like a sprint. It was a short course along the break wall. Two turns, two laps, then a running finish on the beach. It was SOOOO much fun! The first place winner was a very experienced challenger and finished well ahead of the pack. I came in second place and it was a tight race between me and the third place finisher! He and I changed place a couple times before our final stretch. Then I jumped off my board and sprinted through the sand to the finish! I was met by a big hug from my mom, and then a congratulatory hand shake from Jim Terrell!!! Mom made sure to catch a picture of that!
Overall a super fun day! With great people! A great lunch and a fun closing ceremonies! I can’t wait for next year’s RACE SEASON!!!!!!