A big group of enthusiastic paddlers are talking about this great event and first “real” World Championship in the surfski sport. Who wants to go, what to do, where to sleep & many other questions are following in the months before the WC. But one thing we know: we need to be there!!
And what a luck, it’s in Portugal! Nelo, probably the best to organize this event, has the privilege to get it “done”. They set the date, 12-14 July 2013. A good date to be in Portugal, tropical temperatures, big Atlantic waves and a good atmosphere is what we can expect or what we are all hoping for.
But before our trip to Portugal we have some other things to do, most important is a Surfski-Holland house, although that’s what we want. Through Nelo it’s possible to get a place to sleep, Hotel or small house is a possibility. Rolph comes with the great idea to rent a house for the S-H group and we all like this idea. Rolph found a 10 person house near the event so we can start planning the rooms. One evening later and all rooms were booked and still more paddlers wanted to go so Rolph arranged an extra apartment at the beach close to the finish. Next thing is to get our names on the list, next to the big surfski names: Sean Rice, Oscar & Herman Chalupsky, Mocke brothers & Tim Jacobs are just a few of these champions. So we got a place to sleep, are on the big list (350 paddlers), can we chill out now? NO WAY! It’s just getting started. We are all so excited about this event, and we want to show the World our Dutch power. Every training/downwind we are working hard to get even fitter than we already are, can I beat the guy at the WC who’s faster than me now?
The WC is getting closer and closer, we are all ready for action, the only thing is the transport of our ski’s. From our local kayakclub “de Zwetplassers” we can use a big trailer for the 13 ski’s that we take with us to Portugal. A ride of 2200 km that Rolph & Emiel are more than happy to arrange . Thursday the 4th of July they start the long ride and only 2 days later they arrive at the S-H house.
We are one week before the big race when the paddlers can join the lifesaving races (800 mtr. Sprint). Athletes take place on the beach behind a line, have to run about 20 mtr to the ski, jump in the braking waves with the ski in their hand, than they need to get into the ski as fast as possible, paddle 400 mtr to the turning buoy and paddle 400 mtr back to the beach. When you are lucky you can get a wave so you can surf back to the beach, finish is after about 20 mtr run over the beach.
Emiel & Rolph represent Holland during this race and we can be proud on our guys. Rolph makes it to the semi-final and Emiel gets into the big final. Unfortunately during his start the rudder jammed so he couldn’t steer the ski. A 10th place overall for Emiel is an amazing good result, although we know that with a working rudder it would be even better!
A few plane flights later we are all in Portugal, settled and getting ready for the big race. With just 2 days to go before the race we can enjoy the nice meat & fish from Portugal, the great atmosphere at the racecourse and some downwind paddling sessions with many athletes. Well downwind???!!!
Saturday 13th of July, Race day!!
Today it’s gonna happen, the first real World Championship Surfski! You can see the tension on everyone’s face, but this is what we have trained for, this is why we came to Portugal, this is the moment to fly and show the World that the Dutchies are here!!
First we have to get in one of the busses that Nelo arranged for all the athletes, during our trip to the start we are having big fun, our group looks relaxed but we are all nervous and pumped.
We arrive at the start and all our ski’s are already there, we only have to pick the ski up and bring it to the beach, again thumbs up to the organization.
Now we are all starting to get nervous, some jump into their ski for a warming up while others stay at the beach and try to control their nerves. What we have been waiting for is now so close, only a few minutes before the start, ski’s are on the beach, paddles are in the locker and André let us know that the start will be in 1 minute! Through the speakers they simulate a heartbeat what makes our body shake even more and “bang” we are off!! What a start, about 350 paddlers, men & women are running over the beach, grab their ski and are still running or jumping into the Ocean. First to a turning buoy about 2 km into the Ocean, and then a long way to the finish. It should be a 22 km downwind, fantastic surf conditions….but it was more a little wind push and a surf fantasy. If you can go really fast it’s possible to get a surf but for the most among us that’s impossible. So a very long 22 km indeed! What a start, what a race, what a finish & what a great event! During the race a helicopter is flying above us and a live streaming on YouTube gives the people at home a fantastic view of the race.
Sunday it’s time for another race, the same distance but in a double ski.
In the morning the Double Men race and in the afternoon the Double Mix race. The procedure for the start is the same and again some Dutchies are at the start.
For the double men race it’s Robin and Arjan. The double mix race will be done by Joep & Hedy and Thijs & Antje.
Ofcourse we are very proud on every paddler but especially on Joep & Hedy, They finished as ski number 4 and after a disqualification (of number one) they ended up as number 3 of the World!!
Surfski-Holland wants to congratulate all paddlers who made it from start to finish!
Also the new World Champion Men: Sean Rice & World Champion Women: Michelle Eray.
Well done to you all!!
Many thanks to the organization, Nelo kayaks, Epic kayaks and many more!
Following the results of our Dutch group:
1:35:42 Joep van Bakel 16th of the World
1:43:11 Robin Koenders 55th of the World
1:46:55 Emiel Beukenkamp 86th of the World
1:50:46 Rolph Overvliet 141st of the World
1:52:48 Arjan Bloem 169th of the World
1:58:29 Thijs van der Veen 219th of the World
2:02:09 Patrick Groot 250th of the World
2:04:18 Barend van Herpe 255th of the World
2:09:31 Jan Willem den Hartog 275th of the World
1:52:29 Hedy Pol 8th of the World
1:29:35 Robin & Arjan 11th of the World
1:26:00 Joep & Hedy 3th of the World
1:44:17 Thijs & Antje 2th of the World (in their age group)
Posted on January 23, 2014 by pG