Awesome day on the water yesterday here. More than 50 SUPs racing, including more than 40 in the elite 15km race. On a day with record heat (95F) mother nature cooperated with a nice SW wind which kicked up 2 foot waves building to 3 in some places providing for a nice downwind race. Conditions were perfect – not too extreme for more novice competitors and enough to make it interesting for more experienced ones. This was a WPA sanctioned national race, and as such also featured a kids race and raised money for SUP4MS.As impressive as the turnout was for a first year event, the quality of the paddling was perhaps even more so. Two former Olympic canoe athletes made their SUP racing debut – Mike Scarola (2004) finishing 3rd in 14′ elite and Max Tracy (1988) finishing 4th in 14′ elite. In the women’s elite three C1 paddlers dominated the top three – Jessica Rando 1st, Chrissy Wessman 2nd and Chanda Reid 3rd.The top three in each of the men’s and women’s elite won cash prizes and beautiful Dane Miller Memorial Trophies donated by Mike Fekete and Kayaksport.net
I can’t say enough about the quality of the organization. Derek Schrotter and Paddle Sport Performance thought of virtually everything and the way the entire day was run was really first class. Lots of prizes (included a Bark Competitor donated by Surftech Canada) and great food. There was even a shuttle arranged to transport racers from one end of the race to the other.
As a first year event we are all really excited about how it came off. SUP has definitely taken a strong foothold in the Toronto area and hopefully next year we can get some of the top paddlers to put this event on their calendars early in the year and come and join us. Based on what we saw this weekend I think I can say with certainty there will be a bunch more paddlers travelling from this area to upcoming races on the East Coast, including some pretty good women.
Here’s hoping the Carolina contingent can make it up here next year!
Derek can be contacted through: Paddlesportperformance.com