Eastbourne

Wellington, New Zealand

Av. Rating in 586 Sessions
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Welly Paddler downwinder #2

Eastbourne, Wellington
Stand Up Paddle Boarding: Long distance
10 am - 1 pm Sunday. February 3. 2013
my rating 5 star rating
Wind Direction: NW Wind Strength: gentle breeze Swell Direction: NW Swell Size: knee Tide: Mid - Falling.

Round 2 of the Welly Paddlers Downwind series and it was a huge turn out. Maybe it was the sunshine maybe it was the mental block that Eastbourne is closer to the CBD than Mana? but there were waaaaaay more SUPs than in round 1.

With some reputations on the line today was lining up to be a great race over a 6.5km downwind run from Point Howard down to the end of the road past the Bus depot at Eastbourne.

I thought some tactics would be needed today. A we drove back from the end spot after dropping off Fabrices van we noticed that the course wasn't exactly down wind at all...... maybe more of a cross-down wind. 6.5km of paddling on one side was going to be a killer..... OK Game plane change.

The start was glassy calm and it was great to see so many SUP of all sizes lined up. the wind in the bay was giving a false direction as it swirled around and as the start kicked off most people headed off aiming for the end point.

A couple of us did it a little differently though and powered off up along the peir aiming for Matiu/Somes Island. Upwind this high the cross swell wasnt as big so we were able to make good ground...... the old sailing lay-line skills really coming into play.

Made it about a 800m-1km before swinging in an arc down wind running more at 90deg to the bigger swell and out in the stronger breeze.

6.5km isnt usually a long paddle...... but at race pace its a different story. Keeping the stroke rate up was key, knowing when to back off when you caught a runner swell and when to paddle your guts out (which was most of the time).

Taking the wide arc downwind seemed to pay off, at half way I was up with the top 3, though they were a long way inside towards the coast. By 3/4 I was even with Ned who was leading from the start.

Then I hit the wall and the two other guys clawed their way back to finish 2nd and 3rd.

about 500m from the finish I got my second wind and made up some ground but by then it was too late. 4th was my place and I was stoked with it.

Hit the beach and I had to get wet and cool off.... stoked I didn't fall in from start to finish, quietly please that I could handle the widow maker in that swell.... the Jav 14ft is an incredibly fast board, even in the heavier Epoxy construction the shape is just plane fast. But with the speed comes more than a bit of tippyness.... tame it a reap the rewards was the original comment when we got it. Now I understand.

over the next half and hour or so the rest of the field cruised in. It was great to the relieved faces and it was cool to see how people have progressed over the last 12-14 months of paddling.

Final results.

43:48 Ned Hemopo 12.6
45:48 Howie Clark 14
46.20 Glenn Butcher 14
47:19 Chris Brown 14
48:02 John Toomath 12.6
51:24 Gillian Warren 12.6
51:49 Tommy Fahey 12.6
51:50 Clark Townsley 12.6
52:24 Nick Kapica 12.6
52:44 Andrew Pigler 12.6
53:25 Chas Quin 14
54:46 Alex Dean 11.6
56:00 Fabrice Bacconais 12.6
56.10 Nicolas Ganivet 10.6
56:11 Anton Ognyer 10.6
56:44 Laura Adams 12.6
56:44 David Sweeting 12
58:56 Sonia Waters 12.6
59:37 Karl Le Quesne 12.6
60:14 Brook Rapson 12.6
65:29 Neal Luka 9.8
68:19 Ilka Kapica 12.6
74:40 Sasha Kapica 11
66:22 Ruth Highet 10.6

1 thumb up!

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