The weather forecast claimed there would be gales and storms were on the way, so it was looking like it could be a windy weekend, great for windsurfing and kitesurfing, but what about SUP?
Saturday morning, dark skies and winds from the South West would make it an interesting paddle but by circumnavigating Brownsea Island in an anti-clockwise, which would give shelter from the wind for part of course, the BSUPA Round Brownsea Island race was on.
Just as the competitor's lined up at the start up the wind seemed to pick up forcing a everyone to paddle hard into the wind as they set of towards the crossing point. The away leg saw the competitors take advantage of the cover of the island to the furthest point of the island and another section of the course with the wind hitting them head on.
Throughout the duration on the race, wind started to vary but gusty with bright spell. The long exposed leg saw the wind hit the competitor's broadside pushing them in toward the island.
Brownsea Island offered a fantastic backdrop to the race but none of the competitors where there for the sightseeing, their focus was about winning.
Finally the home straight and a much welcome tail wind to assist pushing them towards the final line. In an amazing time of 59mins 32secs it was Paul Simmons who take first place, followed by Mark Slater some 3 minutes later in a time of 1hr 2 mins 53 secs. Third place went to Sean Taylor in 1hr 3mins and forth to Pete Holiday 20 seconds behind Sean.
All competitors finished the race although the final three had to wait for the Cross Channel ferry to leave the harbour before they could cross the shipping channel.
Through the weekend Easy Riders were on hand giving out advise of SUP as well as taster sessions, which provide successful.
Sunday morning and after the fun of Saturday nights Rubik's Cube themed party a few of Saturday competitors decided to bow out and cheer on with a large coffee!
For the rest it was time to prepare for the days events. It had been planned to run the events of the main Sandbanks beach, but unfortunately due to the conditions all events would have to take place in the harbour.
BSUPA teamed up with Bournemouth's BAYSUP club to jointly stage 'Battle of the Paddle'. This would be a race around a triangaler course. Two races. First was one lap, second would be two laps. The winner would be the individual with the highest combined places.
Whistle others warmed up on the side Paul Simmons went for a quick windsurf!
Another blustery day made it interesting for all the competitors. However with the courses location meant passing crowds gathered to show support and encourage everyone along. After the two races it was Paul Simmons who took victory in both with Mark Slater taking seconded and Pete Holiday.
In a break from competition, crowds and competitors were able to see that you can have fun on a paddleboard with out the need of a paddle in the form of SUP Yoga. Our thanks to Zoe and Jason for their time in run displays and demonstrating benefits of yoga to increase your performance and well-being.
Last competition was all about fun. Spirit racing with a twist, all competitors would be using the identical boards. Our thanks to Starboard and BAYSUP for use of their boards.
It was a simple course race up the buoy; turn around and race back to the finish line. The use of the same boards making it very much a level platform with the focus being on the personal performance of the individual. Its great to watch too with everyone cheers and pushing each one.
Matt French added to the entertainment by pulling off a headstand on his board as he close the line. (No doubt inspired by the SUP Yoga).
After some closely fought heats it would a three man final between Paul Simmons, Nick Watt and James Hardy. As they set of it was close, however as they rounded the buoy it was clear Paul would take a clean sweep of competitions during the weekend. However 2nd & 3rd was a fight all the way to line with neither Nick nor James giving ground, and as they crossed the line it would be a draw. Or so it was thought.
Egged on by fellow competitors Nick and James decided to do a race off man on man, victory and glory! It was a great effort from them both with paddles clashing as they made their way to the buoy. On the home straight James edged ahead and took seconded place.
BSUPA would like to thank Gary and the Windfest team for once again organizing a great event and giving some great prizes. BAYSUP for their involvement with sharing the role of organizing Sunday's competitions. Andy & Elly from Easy Riders and Zoe & Jason for their involvement in promoting SUP to the general public who attended Windfest. Finally the competitors for making a great weekend of competition and for entering into the Spirit of competitive fun and enjoyment.
Saturday - BSUPA Brownsea Island Race 5 miles
1st - Paul Simmons
2nd - Mark Slater
3rd - Sean Taylor
4th - Pete Holiday
5th - Nick Watt
6th - Adam Stiling
7th - Robin Williams
8th - Mike Foad
9th - Andrew Pieterse
10th - Dave Welch
11th - Steve Ward
14ft plus Class Time
1st Paul Simmons 00.59.35
2nd Pete Holiday 01.02.53
3rd Nick Watt 01.14.25
4th Adam Stiling 01.15.32
12'6" Stock Class Time
1st Mark Slater 01.02.53
2nd Sean Taylor 01.03.01
3rd Robin Willaims 01.15.32
4th Mike Foad 01.22.50
Sunday - BAYSUP/BSUPA 'Battle of the Paddle
1st Paul Simmons
2nd Mark Slater
3rd Pete Holiday
Sunday - BAYSUP/BSUPA Men on Men Sprints
1st Paul Simmons
2nd James Hardy
3rd Nick Watt