I have had a whirlwind start to 2015, lots of travelling. I have learnt about how to plan our travel and more importantly, how not to plan our travels ;)
I kicked my 2015 European racing season off with one of my favourite races, The Eurochallenge in Villajoyosa in Spain. I felt good for the race and quite prepared. The race was hot and flat, great wind on Monday and Tuesday and then it just disappeared. So it was a really tough race and I placed 2nd, being very competitive I always want a win, but I raced well so I am pleased with my race.
Then a week later I was in Sweden! I was invited to coach the Ladies on the Swedish Surfski Spring camp. With over 60 Surfski paddlers here for a camp and a pre-season get together, it was so great to see. There were lots of keen ladies from total beginners to canoeist who have been bitten by the Surfski bug. It was great to pass on any knowledge I have gained over the years on to some really enthusiastic paddlers. Thank you to everyone who made me feel so welcome and I will definitely be back next year.
Now this season is slightly….well actually totally different to my past few seasons, we are now based in Tenerife in the canary islands. So first up when we got settled was the Canary Islands Championships in Fuerteventura, Such a great race, really enjoyed racing here and had lots of fun finding a few reefs to surf on the downwind leg. When you have so much fun in a race, you kind of forget you are racing, but only kind of! I was part of Club Amigos del Piraguismo and they really made me feel part of the team, I won my race and then the club won the championships overall. So pleased I could help them take home the Canary Island Club Championship.
After that I had less than a week to try and prepare for the GB Ocean Surfski race in Poole, we flew in on the Friday and after a delay we only got to our hotel on the South Coast after midnight. At 7:30am I was in a random field on Studland doing one of Sean Rice’s Paddlelife workshops, it was worth the early morning as we had a beautiful location and awesome warm weather. At 2pm it was race time and the wind had picked up, it was perfect…..wait were we back in the UK…..sunshine, warmth (well warmish) and a perfect downwind, a 22km downwind as well. And so it turned out to be a great downwind.
One day to recover and then onto Italy for the Allwave Cup, which is the second World Series race for me this season. It is in a fantastic location. A resort right on the beach with everything you need. It was hot in Italy, when we arrived and were picked up from the airport to be taken to our resort, there was so much lightening from the humidity and heat – absolutely stunning. The build up to this race was mainly focussed around the pool and the coffee shop…..oh yes and great dinners around Micky’s van!!
The race was going to start at the venue and then finish 22km down the coast on another stunning beach. The day before the race we tagged along with Gus and his parents to have a look at the finish beach and it is an untouched beach in a nature reserve. Really wild and beautiful. On race day there was a bit of a delay due to some athletes arriving late to the venue, but at about 2pm we had collected our GPS trackers and were warming up. The start was a water start, and it went off without a problem….well I thought it was pretty good. Unfortunately the wind had died completely and the race turned out to be a tough race, there were still some runs out there but you had to work hard the whole way. I was really pleased to win this race, I enjoyed it and I will be back – hopefully we will have more wind next time. It was a great effort by Roberto, Mario, Allwave and their team to set a great and challenging course to race on. Well done to my friend Sara Trujillo on her second place.
Well Done Sean Rice (1st) Esteban Medina (2nd) and Danny Sanchez (3rd) in a fierce mens race.
Now we are back in Tenerife so that I can train and focus for the Nelo Summer Challenge in Portugal at the end of August.
Thanks as always to Carbonology Sport for making sure I have a great surfski to train and race in. Also to Knysna Racing for always supplying me with a great set of paddles. Having support from two great equipment manufacturers really helps.
See you on the water
Thanks for reading and following our adventures. :)