Tuesday, September 20, 2011

2011 Hennessy's World SUP and Paddleboard Championships

Hermosa Beach, California - Saturday, September 17, 2011
Over 150 of the world’s best paddlers arrived in Hermosa Beach this past weekend to compete in the World SUP and Paddleboard Championships, the event attracted thousands of spectators who packed the Hermosa Beach pier. And amazingly enough I was one of those paddlers. I had qualified earlier in the year at one of the World Paddle Association sanctioned races; actually it was during the U.S. Championships this past summer.

It was overcast and a little windy with somewhat choppy seas by the time the race started and there was just enough surf to keep it interesting.

Lots of folks from the SUP industry were there.

Lots of spectators.

It was to be a 7 mile course with a beach start and a beach finish; it actually turned out to be just shy at 6.8 miles.

Races are won and lost at the start.

When you race as with most things in life, you try and get off to a good start. If you don’t, you will basically be playing catch-up the entire time. In paddling a bad start can cost you seconds which can easily turn into minutes.

As the start of the race approaches you need to keep all of your focus on what your about to do and stick with your plan. Your goal is to get up on your board and moving at full speed as soon as possible. If you hesitate or fail to do this the other competitors that paddle at the same speed as you will create a gap that you more than likely will not be able to make up.

This was the case with my start at the race on Saturday. I floundered at the start and it cost me a couple of spots at the finish. Oh well, there’s always next time.

Other than a poor start and maybe my less than stellar finish in the surf, I had a really good race and felt strong throughout. My blood sugars were perfect and so I really can’t complain.

I feel absolutely blessed to have competed in a race with a group of the world’s top ranked Stand Up Paddlers.

I thought that I might be able to be some what competetive in this sport when I started back in January of this year, but I had no idea that I would be competing in the world championships. Like I’ve said before, “I guess God has a plan”.

Here is the link to the results.

I finished 27thoverall in the SUP Stk. Class and 7th in my age group.

Preparation is key is the key to success; I have put in a lot of time on the water in the last 9 months or so but feel that I failed to maximize my potential as an athlete. There are a number of things that I need to do in the upcoming months leading into next year’s racing season.
One key component to my continued success would be to design an individualized program, with specific attention in regards to my diet and of course to set goals related to performance and habits.
Goal setting would be critical to my future success, as would be continuing to work towards them. Setting goals can provide motivation, direction and assist in progressing forward.

Having someone to assist me and to help me with devising the best plan for training would be key to improving. With someone else helping with my training it’s more likely that I will work on specific weaknesses and my overall performance. The structure of an individualized training program will also decrease my risk for injury.
Getting out on the water immediately after a race and working on the areas in which I failed or struggled with during the competition.
Learning from my mistakes and practicing to let them go and to move on, focusing on the things that I did successfully in order to maintain an elite level of performance.
Continued pursuit of mental focus, increasing the time I spend on training my mind, visualizing my success prior to my competitions.
These are some of the things that will help me to become a better Stand Up Paddle racer and would help anyone pursuing any number of things in their lives in which they to desire to do.

Sunset in Hermosa Beach, Aloha!

Thanks again to all my sponsors!

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