December 11-13 was in Gran Canaria SUP event Dunkerbeck SUP Challenge. It was part of Canarian SUP Circuit and european PRO-AM circuit.
The 3 days event started on Friday with nearly 11 km downwind from Arguineguin to Puerto de Mogan, Saturday in Playa de Amadores technical race around buoys and Sunday Long distance race from Puerto de Mogan to Playa de Amadores and back. The event was really well organized and level of participants was high. I was competing too. It was my first SUP race in my life ( ideal age for first competition is 42). My objective was finish all 3 races and try to not to be last one. I did it. But! First in the start of downwind I was really surprised with the start of other racers....they just jump to the water and paddling like it is 100 meters sprint and not 11 km downwind. As I got my race board just one day before the event without possibility to try the board the first day of racing was difficult. I was to close to the shore and others more out on open ocean enjoying the advantage of wind.....After 5 km I got somehow somethow better paddling technic and start enjoying the race watching the back of other competitors.... The last km from Taurito to Puerto de Mogan changed everything.....I start feeling pain in muscles in my rear foot and fell to the water like 4 times.....Finally I was in the finish and I was not the last one. My time was 1h 23 minutes and first one Czech Branislav Sramek has finished at 1h 3 min. I was tired but happy.In the evening I have hoovered everything in the fridge and fell to the bed at 9 pm.
Second day was in Playa de Amadores with technical race. Start of open category was at 3 pm which I was little bit worried about because it was a really windy day. The organisation explained to us that we will do just 2 rounds ( 1,8 km each one)...part was in the Amadores beach and one buoy was outside little bit upwind as the organisation said. Ready for start....Start.....first buoy turn....then along the beach , second turn.....first time in the water....arround the rocks turning outside the bay, second jump in the water and what a surprise....wind blowing 15 knots contra and the last buoy somewhere in the open ocean.....thanks that I was between the last competitors and I just followed them...in one moment I was looking to the shore and realize that I mostly stay in the same place.....so paddle harder.....proper technic disappear...just paddle somehow upwind....finally turn and downwind back to Amadores Beach.....small run on the beach and one more....second round was better as I knew what to expect....and finish....and again was not last one.
Later in the afternoon was sprint in teams but I try to safe energy for next day for long distance race so I had a few small beers with my new friends which I made during the event and quickly went home.
Sunday morning I woke up early, load the board to the van and at 9 AM I was in Puerto De Mogan. Competitors meeting was at 10AM and the start a little bit later. First part to Amadores was upwind. Not really strong wind so I tried do my best. Leaving my friend Claus behind me I was sure I will not be last one so why not to try get better position. In a turn in Amadores Beach I catch up with Josef ( and he was fast) aand take little advantage against him just because he fell to the water. I felt like a king......and start catching up with Bjorn Dunkerbeck. After few hundert meters I found out that going downwind is much more difficult than upwind....the small chops from the back and side sometimes obligate me to stop paddling to get propper balance again. And I saw Josef paddling at the Robocop frequency just on the left side of me...trying to follow Josef without good results. I was thinking, ok, lets finish the race quietly. Josef has dissapeard in the front and I tried following Bjorn. Last one km from Taurito to Puerto de Mogan I was closer to him, so I said let´s try it....paddling faster and faster.....chops from left side...jump to the watter.....on the board, go go go.....again to the watter. Ok Bjorn....this race I will leave to you but next time I will catch you up!!!
Overall I feel really happy to finish all 3 races and not on the last place. Now is the time to work on the paddling technique, force and downwind technique.
After all races come to me Czech paddlers Branislav Sramek and Petr Klima and told me that this race was unofficial championchip of Czech republic and I was 3rd. WOW.....
I would like to say thanks to all organisation for such a nice event.