Questions from the Field: Round Bowen Race
Congratulations on the birth of your son. I am trying to find some information on the Bowen race. Is there a website with registration info. etc.Is this a good race for a first timer. I am an intermediate paddler, I have competed in endurance events marathons, x-c loppets , trail running. I would be entering just to finish and for the experience. I am familiar with the area as I grew on the north shore of Vancouver and have sailed in this area all my life. Also how would you recommend training for this race. I paddle a necky Chatham 17. Thank you
Bowen is a wonderful race! I put it on the top of my list every year. Beautiful course, great competition, awesome food after, and they do a nice job with the awards.
As for your question, “Is it a good race for a first timer?” My thoughts on the course are that you need to be prepared to handle wind, chop, strong currents, swells, and whatever else might come up. It sounds like you are comfortable with the distance. Expect to be racing 4 – 5 hours in a sea kayak. From the protected bay where the race starts, you never know what you might encounter on the race course. So, if you were a beginner kayaker, I would say it has the potential to be very challenging water, and would not be a good idea. Since you are an intermediate paddler, you may really enjoy it. I think it was five years ago where they had something like 6 – 8 foot waves on the back side… and had no idea ’til they got there!
As for training… I would get in some 20-ish mile paddles, carrying your hydration and food you plan to use in the race. When you are in your boat for 4 or 5 hours, comfort is a huge issue. Make sure you have your boat outfitted so you aren’t dealing with chafe, leg cramps, numb butt, etc. Think about this on your long training paddles, and modify whatever doesn’t work. Create a “no-hands” hydration system…even if you aren’t out there to win, if you have to grab your drink every time you want a sip, you won’t do it. If you clip a Camelbak tube to your lifevest and can just grab it with your mouth each time you need a drink… you will stay hydrated and have a much better race!
We have a bunch of training tips and ideas right here on the blog for hydration and comfort. From any page on the blog, just scroll down the side bar on the left, and you’ll see a heading that reads “Ultra Marathon Paddling Posts by Topic”. Browse through ‘Hydration and Fueling’, ‘Training’ and ‘Race Stories’. You’ll find more tidbits in there.
I hope this helps! Feel free to e-mail specific questions! I love talking kayaking! Hi Heather and Brandon,
Here is more info on the Round Bowen Race writtin in from Jeff Raymond…
Saw your recent post on the Ultra Marathon Blog…there is more information about the Round Bowen event posted on this blog…http://surfskibc.wordpress.com/.
There will be a short course race added to this years event so if paddlers like Brian decide on the day that the conditions are more that they can safely handle then they can opt out for the 8km race which will be run on a course that will have less risk associated with it.
Looking forward to seeing you at the coming races…and Hayden.
~In the Spirit of Compassion and Adventure~
Heather, Brandon and Hayden