It was a LONG day out there. The morning bumptopia turned quickly into a grueling 16+ mile wind-less mixed-up swell haul. It was survival. The downwind bumps were replaced with mile-wide eddys and heat. The safety crew was amazing. I had people stop and check on me 5 times, offering water, whatever. I don’t even know how they found me out there.
Everyone who stepped into the water in Lewes to cross the Delaware Bay to Cape May not only deserves a ton of respect for their courage, but for their support of the DeSatnik foundation, an amazing charity that helps people with spinal injuries.
I’m in transit back to NC, so there is a more extensive recap to come, but in short, it was one of the toughest races I’ve ever paddled and one of the most rewarding. There’s something magical about Cape May and the core paddle crew in this region. They’re just tight. Solid. Real. Serious watermen. And yet, as hard core as they can be, they were like so many of the paddlers we’ve met from Seattle and Oregon to San Diego, Florida, Michigan and Ontario, Texas, and Colorado. There is a look, a nod, a common love of the water experience. The water connects us. Every time I paddle in a different place, I realize what a huge family we’ve all become. You are part of something extraordinary.
The full results are not available just yet, BUT, the overall winner was Ryan Matthews on an unlimited prone. He really tore the course up.
(let’s go FLYERS!!)
I still can’t believe that Cape May lighthouse. It simply didn’t move. I stared at it for an hour and finally broke free of that eddy. It just stared at me, like a sentry, holding me until it felt it was time to send me on my way. That lighthouse almost broke me.