Blog #4 – Game On…

And we declare sunset SUP season open! Bang on cue it’s BST and conditions panned out perfectly last night for our first group paddle of ‘summertime’ – taking advantage of the extra hour around a 7.20pm high tide for an evening SUP to the pub, namely the Crooked Billet in Old Leigh, and back as dusk descended. Virtually no wind and quite a neapy 4.8m tide gifted us some of the flattest water we could hope for along the front from Chalkwell. The sunset even made a brief appearance at the pub, then we paddled back along the front as darkness fell. See more snaps on our SUPsect Facebook page. Magic…

As ever outside of SUP Club, we called this paddle on our SUPsect Forum on Facebook (rather than for all comers on our standard page). To get on it, if you’re a regular paddler just ask to join the group here.

Yesterday morning was the final round of Suffolk SUP‘s Frostbite series of winter races over at Alton Water. Dunc and Ian both headed out east to race their third of the five-leg series and secure an overall ranking (as the best 3 of 5 results count). It was a relatively short 5km course, so the race went off at quite some pace … and stayed up there! Dunc finished in 33:11 to claim 2nd overall, and Ian just a couple of minutes later to claim 5th, on their Red Paddle Elite iSUPs (everyone else is on full-on carbon sticks). Then at the pub afterwards, a quick drink and the series prizegiving saw Dunc take 2nd overall for the season (1st iSUP and somehow 1st 12’6″ too ahead of Suffolk’s Jon!?!) with two 2nds and a 1st, behind deserving winner Kelvin (Suffolk SUP) with two bullets and a 2nd in the bag. Our Ian had a great winter, looking stronger every race, to place 1st 14’ iSUP, and we even saw Step-Back Stu spinning around the buoys at a couple of races. Full results on Webscorer. Next up on the race scene for us is the Battle of the Thames on the 28th April. (Meanwhile look out for Race Club moving to Fridays this season – starting next month, or maybe even next week!)

Even sooner than that though, now as the clocks have gone forward, this Wednesday is our first actual SUP Club. Exciting! Although of course true to form at the first mid-week meet of the season, on current forecast it’s looking breezy, quite possibly wet, and probably not very warm at all, so we’re pretty certain we’ll be heading to the river. Probably Mill House for the A12 roadbridge loop, and it will need to be early (like a 6pm launch) … the plus side of what we’re anticipating may be an understandably low uptake this week is that we should be small enough in number to score dinner at The Lion? As usual, we’ll post the heads-up on Facebook tomorrow (Tuesday) then the actual call by Wednesday lunchtime – and we’ll update the event details on this website too.

Another sure sign that summer’s on its way is that we’re in full swing getting set for our Learn to SUP teaching season. Part of which is, of course, a spot of brazen self-promotion! To which end we’re currently giving away three Lesson Vouchers worth £50 each via our social media: one on Facebook, one on Instagram and one on Twitter. If you know anyone keen to learn with us, please put them onto the give-away (and let them know that their chances are way better if they enter on all three platforms!) Or in fact, even if you already SUP, these vouchers are good for refresher and improver lessons too or could be used as gift vouchers for a friend or loved one if you’d rather?

Good luck! And see you on the water very soon…

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