A great day, getting first in the long distance in France on the Starboard ACE 14'x25"
More than 100 competitors from all over Europe came to compete in St. Maxime SUPCUP 2011
Racing is getting big in Europe and Stand up is starting to explode.
But first things first. After a long 36 Hours flight from Maui, through LA, San Franscico, London, Amsterdam, to Nice. Yannick, the president of the Cigale surfclub and organizer of the SUPCUP 2011 and Nini (his friend) picked me up in Nice and took me to St. Maxime right oposite of St Tropez. They gave me place to stay and showed me the area. Even took me on a Giant Speed boat.
On Friday I met with Team Starboard France. Joining us was Sebastian Catalan ( world record holder Kite speed), Ryan James (No 1 England), the team manager france, Pascal Pouget and the French importer for Starboard Sebastian. We went for a paddle on the cape and had a nice meal in St. Tropez.
The whole Starboard team Sebastian, Sophie,Pascal,BArt, Ryan and Sebastian
My favorite Race board the STARBOARD ACE 14'0" x25"
I had a difficult start. The counting in French wasn’t very clear and to 5 instead of 3. So after a slow start in 15th place I managed to get to the outside bouy just in 2nd with no#3. 4 and 5 right behind me, I went after Eric Terrien who was in 1st.
After one round (of 4) I was comfortable in 2nd and 30 meters behind Eric. At the second time at the outside bouy I had some strange chop from passing boats while turning around the bouy and I fall in, after that my comfortable 2nd became a 4th place.
I had a NEW 12’6 which worked OK going out with its wide nose it got a lot of resistance against the chop of the light 6 knot head wind, but going in zick zack around the 5 bouys the board worked well. In the 3rd round I waited and checked out my options to get passed them. We stayed close together going out against the wind then going in I could pass #3 with small glides and hard paddling. In the fourth round I did the same stayed right behind #2 until the outside bouy and worked hard going down through the bouys to get 1 or 2 glide. In the end of round 4 I could pass #2 Geatan and finish in 2nd. I was hoping to battle with Eric for 1st but because of my mistake falling in, it became a battle for 2nd.
1St Eric Terrien (Nidecker) Spain
2nd Bart de Zwart (Starboard) Hawaii/ Holland
3rd Geatan Sene ( Mistral) France
4th Dulou Ludovic ( F-one) France
Sunday The LONG distance 15KM
There I knew who to watch for and listened carefully to the French count down. A good start with Eric Terrien, me and Ryan James in first, 2nd and 3rd.
The wind was 5-15 knots against us most of the way along the coast until the halfway turnaround buoy. So hard work but my kind of conditions. I passed Eric and got a few meters on him, Ryan also passed Eric. After Eric shot back on a tiny downwind part and Ryan fell in. During this downwind part I felt I was strong and knew I had to gain the most on the long stretch back downwind. Eric stayed right next to me all the way to the halfway buoy, testing every so often my strength and paddling hard for a minute. But every time he back off again when I showed I could stay on the same pace. Eric wanted to take off right away at the downwind home stretch and got a good glide and passed me. I took my time and made some space so I could look for my glides without Eric directly next to me. This worked out great I passed him, and worked hard to get the most out of the small glides. I gained more and more distance on Eric and paddled hard to the finish line with a minute on Eric. Ryan James paddled really hard too, making a 3rd place and making up for a few mistakes the day before.
1St Bart de Zwart (Starboard) Hawaii/Holland
2nd Eric Terrien ( Nidecker) Spain
3rd Ryan James (Starboard) England
4th Nika Leonard (Naish) Italy