The first annual Board the Fjord SUP race took place in Deep Cove this past Sunday (September 18th, 2011) and it was a great success all the way round!
The race attracted participants from all over the Pacific Northwest, including Bob Purdy and Stefan Idzan from the Okanagan, and a surprisingly strong contingent of paddlers from Washington, including unlimited class winner Beau Whitehead and 14′ class winner Kimo Jandoc from Bellingham. 24 paddlers tackled the 13.5km long course, and 9 paddled the short 6.5km course, for a total of 33 participants.
During the opening racers’ meeting, Bob Purdy from Paddle for the Planet announced his initiative for petitioning Transport Canada to change their rules to consider a standard surf-style board leash as a suitable substitute safety device in place of the current PFD requirement. Be sure to visit paddlefortheplanet.ca/pfd to help the cause!
The weather was looking a bit sketchy earlier on, but things gradually improved throughout the morning and by race time the rain and wind had calmed down to provide some pretty pleasant, in fact pretty much ideal racing conditions… Cloud cover kept things cool, temps were comfortable, and the tides and winds were basically a non-issue.
Beau Whitehead came in at 1:23:43 for the fastest time on the long course on his unlimited board, with Kimo Jandoc coming in at 1:28:52 to win the 14′ class. Mike Hammer won the Men’s 12’6 class at 1:41:11, and Elizabeth Schalka won the Women’s 12’6 class with a time of 1:45:08. Congratulations to everyone!
Once the short and long distance races were completed a BBQ lunch was provided, then a fun kids’ race was run right in front of the boathouse. 4 kids participated, and all looked like they had an awesome time!
Next up was the team sprint relay race on the same course that was used for the kiddos. Three teams of four battled it out over the short course, and Team Deep Cove came out with a narrow win. Lots of fun and drama with this event and very spectator friendly.. EVERY SUP event needs a sprint relay!
Overall, the event was exceptionally well planned and executed and I sincerely hope that Mike and his team continue their efforts in the coming years… Had the morning’s weather cooperated a bit more, I’m certain we would have likely seen at least double the attendance. I heard mention that there were actually quite a few pre-registrants that didn’t bother showing up (likely due to the expected weather), and all I can say is they should be kicking themselves not only for wasting their registration fee, but more notably because they missed out on a great day!
Many thanks go out to Deep Cove Kayak and Mike Darbyshire in particular who planned all the details, right down to the hand-shaped wooden trophies which he built with Kelvin Humenny. Also, big thanks to race sponsors Starboard, Icebreaker, North Shore Credit Union, and Q Energy.
Here are the official results, and be sure to check out the photo gallery at the end of the post!