I couldn’t quite tell what was making me nervous, so I ran though the list in my head: thousands of people watching, ice cold water, news cameras or the smoke laden para-gliders whose drop zone we were standing in. A couple of nights previous I signed Linzay, Reon and I for the first ever Winterfest standup paddle-board race. If you dont know, Winterfest is the huge (huge for New Zealand) kick off to winter and paddle-boarding is an old school hawiian way to surf.
Ask me how much I know about stand up paddle boarding, go ahead. Answer- Nothing. I was coached through it once in Aus. by the amazing Alexandra of Pizza Capanna, and that was mostly about not getting stung by jelly fish. Now here we where getting ready for a Quicksilver race.
Game faces for the team.
Our event was after the jet boat race and paragliders but before the Undie-five-hundy. I was up first, I came out second in the run but quickly found myself in a mess of people paddling out into the lake. What I thought was a race had turned into an aqua demolition derby. I pushed one kid laying down on his board out of my way with my paddle. His snapped paddle was floating somewhere by the first turn.Our procession started to look more like a riot. Ten teams scrambling to make it around.
At the hand off, we where looking like a steady second. Reon had never
even tried the sport and he was still holding a solid lead when he passed to Linzay. In the crazed scramble Linzay thought we dropped to fourth, it wasn’t until the last turn of her last lap that she was passed twice, dropping us from the podium. But hey, at least we got free board short.