Who said “Indian Summer”? We are always grateful for small mercies but this felt like a huge one. After last week’s shocking weather, we were blessed with calm and sunny. I’ve battled on this lake when it’s been windy and it’s no fun, unless you are windsurfing!
Now in it’s sixth year, the British SUP Club Championships had 225 people, supporters and volunteers all crammed into the wonderful location of Bray Lake near Maidenhead. Some had stayed over and others arrived early for registration. There were bacon butties on the go and team camps being set up early doors.
We had been invited to live feed the event, from the briefing by Sam Ross, to the final prizegiving at the end of the day – quite an ask for the pair of us but we managed well and even threw in half a dozen interviews. There were 22 categories of racing – a huge amount and points awarded all went towards the ultimate trophy. 17 teams this year with 7 brand new ones and some of those paddlers had never raced before.
One of the growing groups to be racing were the youngsters and those kids could teach us a thing or to – their board skills are incredible and they are very, very determined.
There were some wonderful battles in the distance and technical races, the sprints too but the tightest finish must have been the final of the Dragon Board racing where BaySUP’s determination and power saw them get the prize.
New teams, who had for this event put themselves on some speedily organised race boards, did incredibly well and notably Northern SUP Race Team who came 2nd out of the 17 teams who took part, an amazing result bearing in mind the length of time this team has been paddling together. They were loaded up as they left with many, many medals and trophies. Such a passionate and hardworking team and this has paid off big time.
The best thing about Team events is the support and camaraderie, those who had never raced or been to an event felt truly part of a bigger scene, a family and one that had a great deal of fun.
We could not have asked for better conditions, weather and racing – a truly spectacular day – put this in your diaries for next year – it's a must!
All the results can be found on the British SUP Club Championships page on Facebook but the winners were Waterborn with some big names racing for them, Northern SUP Race Team came second and BaySUP a credible third.