The last post on my surfski year ended in April with the start of race season, and recognising how much I kicked ass in the first few races! I do realise that that was definitely a result of my consistent training compared to others who may have not paddled until the first race, and were still finding their feet that is anyway.
Knowing that my goal for the summer was the Gorge Paddling Championships in July, I knew that I needed to keep up throughout the summer despite other fun things getting in the way. Taking part in the surfski training for the Indian Arm Challenge was an awesome way to keep motivated both on and off the water, and while I couldn’t take part in the race itself as one of the race organisers, I felt like I was getting stronger and could handle such a distance.
It was also super motivating to take part in the Big Chop and Jericho Wavechaser Races, having never done either before through a misguided notion that I had to be really good to take part. Everyone was super welcoming, and it was interesting to see the different crowds that participate in the races compared to the Tuesday Night Races that we run. I did some of the races solo, and some of them with partners in the Epic V8 Double surfski which was super fun. I also got to win prizes which I never get to do in Deep Cove!! I had now progressed from the Epic V8 Pro to the V10 Sport which definitely felt sleeker and faster but was still manageable in the more choppy waters in English Bay!
My favourite races over the summer were the ones where I paddled with another racer, chased another racer, or tried to keep up with another racer! I found that those occasions made me push myself further than I knew I could, and also let me know my limitations. I’d like to thank Marshall House for constantly amusing me with comments and encouragement, and Cynthia Wonham and SP Smith for being my paddling heroes and the ones that I can only aspire to be as strong as!
Check out my next post which will be all about my experiences at The Gorge Downwind Championships…