If you have never experienced the Kal Classic SUP Festival then you need to put it on your calendars right now for next Labour Day weekend. Kevin, Mel, Allan and the rest of the crew at Kalavida Surf Shop put on one heck of an event. There’s something for everyone from your World Champion (like Lina Augaitis), to your weekend warrior, to your 4 year old child and everyone in between. It was great to catch up with paddlers that I’ve met over the past two seasons and hang out.
This year did not disappoint with mother nature even coming to the party on Saturday with a mess of wind for the Wiki Holo Finals! But she failed to give us that kind of wind for the 16km down Kal Lake on Sunday.
I finished third over the weekend behind World Champ Lina Augaitis and amazing paddler Shannon Bell (who also has had great showing at the 2013 ISA Worlds). It’s a privilege to be able to line up with these two along with the other fantastic women that were there this weekend.
I had a rough start to the Wiki Holo technical course heat. Thank goodness it was two laps! I was 6th off the start and managed to make it up to fourth by the end of the first lap and third by the second buoy of the second lap and held on. I was stoked with my pivot turns!
The finals was just one lap but worth double the points! The competitive women got to watch the rec classes and competitive men battle the waves on the course before we got our turn. Instead of pivot turns that went beautifully in my heat, I tried to play it safe with cross bows. Well, after 3 or 4 swims I was thankful that I’m strong in a headwind as that’s where i was able to make up a lot of ground to battle for third again.
The relay races to end the day lead to a Naish One Inflatable SUP being awarded. Absolute blast with my team!
Sunday morning saw 100+ paddlers going down the length of Kal Lake. With a little headwind and Debbie on my tail for the first half, I knew I had to stay strong. I never looked back to see when I dropped Debbie off my wash but I knew I couldn’t hear her anymore. I also knew that if I let up that she would be working her way right back up there! Thank goodness for my hydration pack filled with Vitargo. I wasn’t thirsty per se but I knew I needed the fuel to keep going that hard. It did not disappoint, I didn’t cramp, I didn’t bonk, I was able to keep pulling even after I could feel the blisters on my fingers break open. My official time was 2:02:01 on my 12’6 Bark Competitor. Not to shabby considering last year I was 1:57:18 on my 14′ Think XoR with no headwind.
One more race and then my season is complete. What a year it’s been for my “year off, just paddling for fun and not training.”
Thanks to Mark Klein, Neil Gibson and Dorine Berube for taking such great photos!