Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Rainbow Sandals Gerry Lopez Battle of the Paddle

Doheny State Beach, Dana Point, CA

SUP with Diabetes is an inspirational blog where I share my stories and adventures with Type1 diabetes and Stand up Paddle boarding (SUP). I am trying to beat the odds and turn my diagnosis and passion for SUP racing and surfing into a platform.  As a Type1 diabetic, an Elite and top age group SUP racer I am hoping to inspire and motivate others facing obstacles in their own lives, and too help the world understand diabetes.
This past weekend I competed as an Elite paddler and an age-grouper in what the SUP community considers the premier SUP racing event of the year, the 2011 Rainbow Sandals Jerry Lopez California Battle of the Paddle.

The fourth annual Battle of the Paddle in Dana Point, CA, held on Sept. 24-25, brought out the best Stand Up Paddlers in the world. The extremely competitive races drew approximately 1,000 competitors, who chased the $25,000 prize purse, as well as thousands of local spectators. The weekend’s events were broken into multiple divisions and race types, including elite, long distance, age group races and SUP surf relays.
Thousands of spectators gathered along the shore to watch the Battle of the Paddle.

From North to South the beach was packed!

My first race was the Elite race - heat 1, with only the top half of the 80 or so racers advancing to the Elite finals.
I knew I could paddle the distance without any problem, it’s the speed and intensity of the race that I had to pay attention to. My blood glucose level was about 180, thirty minutes before the start so just about five minutes from the star I drank a bottle of Hint Water combined with a carbohydrate supplement, "good to go".
I got caught up in traffic and never recovered, stayed pretty much in the middle of the pack the whole time.

After a couple of super crazy buoy turns and some massive carnage in the waves and on the beach, I was paddling hard and determined to leave it all on the water.

My blood sugars  would not be an issue due to the short distance short distance . But they could become a factor due to the extra excitement, adrenaline, chaos and the flat out speed of Battle of the Paddle.

The crazy board to beach transition, boards flying, thousands of people screaming, some of the most fun I've had in a while. At this very moment I'm living!
In the end I finished in the middle of the pack and would not advance to the Elite finals.
I grabbed my board and began to prepare for the Open Age group race. My blood glucose was at about 150, I needed to eat so I had a snack and took around 3 – units. With 2 hours until the start I knew I would peak just before. So just prior to the race I tested and was around 120. So I drank another bottle of Hint Water and carbohydrate supplement and ate a Cliff bar.
The start of the Open Age Group race.
I'm feeling great and had a great start.
The bouy turns in the Open race were wild, alot of different paddlers to deal with.
No waves on the way in.

Just about to the beach and the finish.

Jay "Sparky" Longley, Paul Zacharias and Jerry Lopez
2nd Place in the Open Age-Group Race SUP Stk. 40-49 Mens division.

Age Group SUP Individual Results - Stock M40-49

Erik Nordskog of OnIt Pro after my race. Thanks to Erik and OnIt Pro for hooking my board up with Xtreme Cream And Blue goo, its working great I feel like I am flying through the water.

The start of the Elite race.
Just over 80 paddlers who advanced from the earlier heats line up for the start of the
2011 Battle of the Paddle
The start of the race.
This is about thirty seconds after the start. These guys are flying.

This is a great shot from the water at the start.
The carnage and mahem that took place at a few of the bouy turns was off the charts!

Here a wave breaks just as the middle pack is coming around the bouy.
Boards crashing and people flying into the water, this is racing!
Chain reaction!
 Racers and boards handelers.
The run up the sand and through the flagged area.
At the finish Conner Baxter, Jamie Mitchell and Danny Ching.
The Elite awards cerimony.
Elite Race Results:

Jerry Bess, Fernando Stalla and Giordano Capparella.
Jerry Lopez
Paul Zacharias and Jamie Mitchell rockin' the Kaenon Sunglasses.
Jimmy Terrell and Paul Zacharias
The girls of "Lazy Dogs", from Key West.
Hanging with Sandy of the "Lazy Dogs'.
Start of the Distance race on Sunday.
Water start and their off!
10 Miles of fun!
Danny Ching 1st Unlimited
Dave Bohene, Chance Feilder and Slater Trout un-official 2nd place. These guys were playing around on a new board designed for three paddlers, they were named most inspirational.
Perfect way to end the day....
I met so many interesting people and had the time of my life. I learned a lot during my first attempt at the battle of the Paddle and will try to capitalize on the lessons so that next year I will do better.
Thanks to God, all my sponsors and friends and to Rainbow Sandals and Jerry Lopez for an amazing weekend of Stand Up Paddle racing.


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