Sunday, January 27th in Goleta, Ca was the Carlos Soto Memorial Criterium. I shot the Pro and 1, 2, 3 divisions in the final 110 lap race. The following shot with Nikon D500, 300 f2.8. See all the photos on FB.
Photo – C. Silvester
Starting the year with A SUP Race at home in Santa Barbara and clearly I’m not feeling so competitive right now due to a potential injury that may just be overuse or bad form. I have been favoring a bad left knee since 2011. Standup Paddling while a good workout is strong leverage against the knees as is balancing a narrow board. The choppier the conditions the more taxing. Race starts can be choppy as hell and for me a narrower board has made me suffer the starts. In any case taking some time to recover and try out new sports and adventures.
2015 marked a great moment for me already and I do tend to go from sport to sport every few years, racing, training and more racing till I am no longer competitive of lose interest for any number of reasons. I decided to try a motorcycle race… A Hare Scramble on the Husqvarna. Mind you I’ve never raced a dirt bike, never ridden on a MX track or jumped much but it was all in store for me, including a mass start at the track with all the tabletop jumps prior to exiting the track. My last motorcycle race was probably in 1984 or ’85 at Loudon on my Kawasaki GPz550.
I had read about this event in Cafe Husky and it sounded like if I was going to do my first race this was about perfect for temps, terrain, etc… I entered the Sportsman Division thinking I would stage in the last row and be out of danger from faster riders trying to pass out of the gate.
That was the plan anyway…. Some bonehead hit me on the first lap and luckily for me he bounced off my left calf. I was sore but serviceable and continued with my race ending up with a win in Sportsman and my name on the AMA scoreboard.
A friend shot this footage of his first lap and he started the row just in front. You can see the carnage that ensued right out of the gate…
to be continued….
Over the last weekend I took a trip to South Lake Tahoe to compete in The Race the Lake of the Sky, one of the biggest events of the summer season. Had planned to race this event for a couple of years but had not, so planned and trained for the sunday distance race which would be 14+ miles.
Also planned to check out the motorcycle riding opportunities in Mammoth and Tahoe and brought the Husqvarna as well as the SIC Maui X-14 Pro SUP. Arrived Friday in Mammoth and had enough time to grab lunch, check out Lake Mary and decide what the plan for the afternoon would be. Decided to check into Motel 6, unload the bike, and ride to the trails.
Right off the main drag in town is the Shady Rest Park. After 1/4 mile or so in, the road turns to dirt and becomes a 4×4 route. Further in, trails go in different directions, to June Lake, Mono or Mammoth trail/loop. I headed towards June Lake initially till a steep blind downhill. Figured starting late it was better to not chance getting surprised so turned around and rode the Mammoth loop.
Had dinner at Perry’s across the street and left early Saturday for Tahoe. Arrived at noon to a packed event and limited parking for 5 blocks. Hung out at the beach up the road and relaxed before checking in at my motel for the night.
Up at 5:30 am to get a parking place for the race and then have breakfast…
I had planned to train through this race. My distance training has come very late. Only paddled 14 miles this year two weeks ago, and 10 a few days later. Bad sinus issues have kept me from pushing hard since January with a flue as well. I’ve just not been feeling 100% with getting winded quickly, vertigo, etc… Doing the distance at a pace I can sustain while keeping my heart rate in check was the goal. All worked out as I envisioned except for my early course misjudgement which caused me to paddle an extra .4 miles on the first leg. Never paddled this race before… I heard from a team mate the bay was over there and so that’s where I aimed. Was the wrong bay :-/ I hoped that the wind would build and not hurt me too badly. In the end 8th place in 50+ 14 ft. Happy with that considering my expectations and level of fitness. Good to see Braly and Brad and a large group at the SIC Maui Tent. Also good to see many NorCal competitors I have not seen for a year or two. And then there is the SoCal group I see all the time.
A long race requires a really good recovery day. For me that meant some singltrack close to town…
Having taken a bit of a break in 2013 to do some road trips, including Utah and Colorado with dirt bike, mtb and SUP, I decided it was time to get back into some SUP racing in the 14 foot class once again. I had been paddling a 12.6 but missed the added glide of a 14 so was on the hunt late last fall for a new board. Luck would have it I emailed a friend from way back in the 80s who I knew was in San Clemente, for a visit while checking out what was on the market. Well… turned out old windsurfing pal Anthony and SIC Maui had a new 14 footer that felt great first paddle I tried it.
I’ve done a number of races and placed well since that time and stoked to be an Ambasador for SIC on the Central Coast. Great shape by Mark Raaphorst and about the best ocean pedigree of any brand today. Thanks Anthony and Braly alike for giving me the opportunity. Going to be a fun 2104!
Happy to announce being a Team Rider for Mistral in 2013 and will represent their product line as well for Maui North. I have been putting the 8.6 surf and 14 foot inflatable through their paces the last couple of weeks.
The 8.6 is just under 30 inches wide with powerbox thrusters and all glass fins. It’s a crisp handling board that slots into waves nicely, while also having good stability for less than perfect conditions. A great go to SUP for the surf.
The iSUP 14ft M1 is a new experience for me. The versatility of an inflatable board is compelling, allowing easy packing when you are bringing all the toys!. When you need performance for racing too, the Mistral M1 iSUP Line delivers, as my early GPS testing shows. I’de say in most smooth water races, speeds are comparable between the M1 and the average 14 footer. Besides performance you get a really easy handling board or 25 lbs, and one you won’t stress hitting the door, etc…
Mike Hecker’s inaugural Avenue of the Flags Criterium was a big success this Saturday in Buellton. I drove up to shoot a few of the races mid afternoon. I posted a sequence on FB. This race was the 35+ Men, Cat 1,2,3 and 4.
Mike Hecker asked for a photo of his team cornering or at the finish to promote the innaugural Avenue of the Flags Criterium in Buellton in the Santa Barbara News Press. Just so happened to have a great shot of Chris Walker leading the pack in the 2010 Mothballs Crit.
A soon to be released spring issue of SUP Magazine will feature photos I shot while racing in the Gorge last summer. After competing in the open men’s 50+, I grabbed my D300 and 300 f2.8, and captured a few sequences of the 4 lap race.
TRavelled down to Dana Point for the most recent SoCal Ocean Racing Series Race.
The 2012 Season Begins…
The 2012 Season and the SoCal and WPA Series are already fully underway and I’ve attended all races to date from La Jolla to Newport Beach, Oceanside, Santa Barbara and Redondo Beach. Done well and consistent with 2nd and 1st places. Happy to represent Quickblade Paddles and Joe Bark as my gear has never let me down. Going to be another great year for the sport and should be covering the west as I did in 2011.
The 2010 Through 2011 Season
2010 and 2011 were busy for me completing 36 races in about 14 months across across the West. Beginning with Hennessey’s International Championships and the Battle of the Paddle in 2010 till the Battle of the Bay in San Francisco, racing was non-stop week to week. I’ve not raced as much in any sport to date.