I signed up just hours before this race, so happy I didn’t have to work that Saturday and got to compete instead. My last race didn’t go too well, which makes me super eager to get out there again. The race was about an hour from my house at Manasota Key, a place I’ve never paddled before.
First thoughts: it was cold (first cold front in Florida), windy, and an unfamiliar place so I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. The race director changed the course due to conditions, which actually shortened the course by over 1 mile. That’s okay with me!
For breakfast I had a lot of water and a Quest bar 2 hours before race time. I also tried OX Endurance formula for the first time before the race. And I really liked it! I think it gave me an extra boost! It did hydrate me as well! I felt good throughout the length of the course, which is awesome.
The start of the race was not too good. No one knew when to go, there was a warning horn that some thought was the starting horn and then with the confusion, the race started. It was a mess in the beginning but thankfully, I started in a good place. But others weren’t as lucky.
This race had some different rules then most. You could not draft any watercraft until after the first buoy turn, which was over 1 mile away. This rule definitely helped me, I’m not a huge fan of pulling people, so I tried to snag a lead early. And then, the race director said you could draft anyone of any board size or class. I ended up getting right behind a guy on a 14′ and then had a guy on a prone board behind me.
Overall, the race was well done. There was a decent BBQ afterwards and vendors. It was a lot of fun. The location was great and it was easy to unload your boards. The race had awards for Top Finishers and a raffle afterwards. Not too shabby.
I ended up placing 1st in the Women’s Elite 12’6″! Woohooo
My HovieSUP team did really well! Having multiple riders place in several divisions.
- Brad Ward: 1st place in Men’s Elite 14′ and Overall
- Kieran Grant: 2nd place in Men’s Elite 14′
- Brian Hovianian: 1st in Men’s Open 3 Mile on a 14′ and Overall
- Francesca Morrow: 1st in Women’s Open 3 Mile on a 12’6″
- Will Marston: 1st in U17 Elite on a 12’6″
Here are some links with more information Paddlefest:
More info on me