Thursday, September 16, 2010

Stand Up Paddle Racing: My Mistakes at the Chainsaw Massacre

A couple of shots from Saturday's race (thanks Coronado Mike and Liza):

Photo: Getting ready to start- I got trapped in the middle of the pack at the starting line and couldn't work myself over to where my friends were starting. When you paddle from the middle, you're boxed in and the water is choppy. Mistake #1: Don't start in the middle of the pack.

Photo: There was a little too much of a westerly head wind so I phoned my buddy the Admiral and had him move one of the Navy's newest multi-billion dollar wind blocks into place. It's good to have powerful friends.

Photo: Here's our finish. Notice I'm the most downwind guy there? That meant I had to paddle upwind to the buoy. Mistake #2: Pick a good line to the finish buoys.

Photo: See that kid in front of me- he was one of three people who passed me at upwind mark. I chased that kid all the way to the finish- unfortunately for me, he snagged a wave and rode it all the way to the beach. I farmed it on the next little bump and the board broached- throwing me off in front of millions of screaming fans (well, maybe not millions)- how embarrassing! But, that's racing- I guess.

Photo: Mistake #3: Once you're near the beach, ditch your board and sprint for the finish. Sting rays be damned! See that guy behind me (Dave?), well he actually finished in front of me because I was too worried about getting my kit all in order. Reminder: When the finish line is in site- don't stop moving forward.

Photo: Coronado Mike- bringing it home. When it all comes down to it, you're really racing against yourself. Your head says, "Why are you doing this to me" and you've got to say, "Just keep it moving!" while your body says, "I hate you".... now doesn't that sound fun?

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