Blog #19 – we continue…

We’ve had another busy week paddleboarding in this amazing heatwave – more SUP Club, more Race Club, more events, and more lessons

We continued last Wednesday evening with a bit of a breezy SUP Club down the Ray from Two Tree Island. Has to be said we weren’t expecting a massive turn-out, what with the England football semi and a bit of an easterly breeze to battle out against, but we still had keen 20 paddlers cover 6-8km out towards Seal Point and back. (Passing a solitary, curious seal early in the paddle…) And then a dozen of us hit the Fortune Gardens restaurant for beers and an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. Delicious!

Has to be said we’re still not sure what this coming Wednesday holds for SUP Club, although we reckon we’re down to two options. It the forecast wind stays light and the sea breezes back off, there’s a chance we might hit Thorpe Bay for a splashabout late in the tide. Or failing that we’re back on the River Chelmer, probably at Mill House as we’ve not been there for a while and apparently the stretch from Little Baddow to Stonham’s lock is full again. As always, look out for the heads-up tomorrow and full call by Wednesday lunchtime here via SUP Club #18 and @SUPsect on Facebook…

After SUP Club last week, Friday night was Race Club – and with an 8pm low tide, we headed back to Two Tree Island for some skills training down the dogleg. First up we recapped Race Club #1’s basic stroke sequencing, but adding a catch drill and then some suspension to our strokes. Then, in a pretty strong breeze, we covered high cadence paddling into the wind and low cadence / high power with it. Finally we moved on to race starts (high cadence / high power) and some startline strategies, gradually building up from individuals, to pairs, trios and four-up on a standing sprint. Great effort and great progress all-round. Keep an eye on our Facebook Forum and @SUPsect page for news of this Friday’s Race Club.

The following day, seven of us were up early for a roadtrip down to Southampton for the SUP for Cancer event, hosted by SWAC. We had a good day of it amongst the boat traffic as we cruised up and down the tidal River Itchen. Well, to be honest Dunc went full race pace for his 12k enduro course in an effort to keep up with British Sailing athlete Chris Rashley, who proved untouchable on his 21.5cm Startboard Sprint! But Dunc was well pleased to break 1 hour 20 minutes and finish second place overall. El also made the prizes as third enduro woman, behind GB international racer Holly Hendersen… Plus Kate and Dan crashed the podium for their self-proclaimed general awesomeness awards! More @supforcancer on Facebook.

And finally, we wrapped our weekend up yesterday with a full day of BSUPA Ready to Ride lessons up at Paper Mill Lock. We had two great groups for our Learn to SUP sessions and saw some very strong paddling – first a chilled-out morning lesson where most of our clients stayed dry and enjoyed the peace and tranquility of the river, followed by a full-on afternoon of action culminating in step-back turns and even helicopters to get everyone in the water to cool off! We still have a couple of spaces left on our lessons this coming Sunday 22nd, and plenty more throughout August: check out our lesson calendar if you want to join us.

See you on the water!

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