Round the Rock 2010
I looked around on the starting line at the ‘who’s who’ of SUP racing, and saw guys with names like ‘Chuck the Truck’ at yesterday’s Round the Rock SUP race around Mercer Island in Seattle. The 13-mile race had drawn about 15 elite racers plus another 150 or so entrants racing open.
I packed a fanny pack with about 72-ounces of fluid with a hose clipped to my shirt for easy hydration. I added a couple of Clif Shots to the easily accessible pockets of my fanny pack.
At promptly 9:00AM we were off. The start was a bit of mayhem, racers bouncing around and some even swimming in a side wind and chop. I was once again racing the 12’6″ Starboard New from Kite Paddle Surf and had my Kialoa Pipes paddle, both of which were beginning to feel like old friends. The New handled the side-chop nicely and I quickly fell into a comfortable groove.
Racing for two, I started at a steady pace, one I knew I could maintan the entire 13-miles. I made it a priority to stay hydrated and fueled. Elite female Brandy Baksic, a firefighter from San Diego, had passed me around mile 5. She was tough, strong, experienced, and not pregnant. I watched her go and stuck to my race plan.
We faced a variety of wind directions and strengths as we rounded Mercer Island. Side wind, head wind, and finally at mile 10, a tail wind.
At this point I was in a pack of about 10 guys, with no other women around since Brandi had passed me early on. I felt good, and I hoped some of the guys around me were tired. At the Paddle Grand Prix I learned that the Starboard New loves to pick up small winds waves, so I decided I could move up a few places by the time we reached the finish. I ate my second Clif Shot and turned on some horsepower I had been saving for the finish. Over the next 3 miles I passed about a half dozen of the pack I was in. I pulled into the finish in just over 2 1/2 hours, 2nd woman and somewhere around 15th overall.
Fellow Bellingham paddler Beau Whitehead had an awesome race and came in second overall. Also representing the Bellingham crew were Dale Plant, Allan Lipp and Kimo Jandoc. Official results will be posted at www.roundtherock.com
A HUGE thanks to my dedicated shore crew… Brandon and Hayden!!!!
Next race on the calendar… Lake Samish Salmon Row on Sept 25th where Brandon, Hayden and I will team up in Double Joy for 6-mile family throw down!
See you on the water!
Heather, Brandon and Hayden