Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tofino Surf SUP Race - Team Paddler, Eli Fischbuch

Check out this great write up from team paddler, Eli Fischbuch about the Tofino Surf SUP race last weekend
in Tofino hosted by Stuart and Andrew Robinson and the crew from SurfSUP

This past weekend I took part in my second race of this season, the Tofino Surf SUP race on July 19/20.  I have my new Werner Grand Prix M1000 which I was excited to test out, I’ve paddled a bit with it so far and love the extra reach that it gives on each stroke (this paddle is longer than my Nitro).   This race was part of the Vancouver Island stand up paddle board series.  This was the second out of three races of this series.  This race consisted of a short course which was on the first day of the competition and the second day was the long course.  The short course was the surf race which meant you can catch small wave when coming into the shore.  The long course was in the open ocean. 

Catching a little wave while going around a bouy photo: Taine Fischbuch
 The short course was super fun – it was made up of six bouy turns and a beach run in between each lap.  The youth, junior, surf class and masters did three laps and the open and elite classes did 4 laps.  I found this course challenging because there were four right turns and two left turns, which made it easy for goofy footed people but not for regular footed people like myself.  One of the right hand bouys was really close to the shore so you could catch small waves going into the turn and then try the turn while still on the wave.  For me, the first two laps went well for this turn but on the last I mistimed the turn and got caught by the wave and fell.  Another thing that added to the difficulty of this race was the beach run.  The tide was out, which meant that the run was extra long. This added to the excitement though – especially for the spectators!

It's a long beach run when the tide is out. 
photo: Taine Fischbuch
The second day was the 10km long course.  For this race we paddled straight out from Mackenzie beach into the open ocean, turned around an island and then paddled south towards Chesterman beach.  This was the longest and most difficult stretch of the race because the wind was coming from one side and swells were coming from the other side which made me fall in ALOT.  My board (Naish Javelin LE 12’6”) is great for flat water and I have had a lot of fun on it in downwinders before but for these open water, choppy conditions I definitely had a hard time!  This year the juniors were to paddle 2 laps of this course along with the open and elite paddlers.  After the first lap I was quite shaky on my board because of the conditions and had fallen in a lot.  I noticed a few of the open racers were going in after the first lap and thought this might be the best thing for me to do too.  I didn’t want to quit so turned away from the beach to keep racing but as soon as I did this I was back in the wind and chop and realized it was going to be too hard for me.  This made me stop after I finished the first lap.  Even though I think this was the right decision I was frustrated and disappointed to not finish this race.  Big congrats to the other juniors who had great races – especially the only junior girl, Mia, who completed both laps and still finished strong! 

First Place Junior - Evan
photo: Taine Fischbuch

Thanks again to Stu and family from SurfSUP and TinWis Resort for putting on another great event!

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Green River, UT

Green River, UT
Photo: Shawna Franklin