Updated: Aug 30, 2018
Seeing it from the other side with GBSUP
When we were asked to be a part of the GBSUP Events Committee, it felt like a great opportunity to really give back to the sport that we had been part of for years. Sporadic volunteering had given us a taster but this was going to be a new challenge.
We all pitch up at races, register, race, grab our friends for a hug/lunch and head off home with a quick thank you to those involved. It's not until you are signed up to backstage duties, like so many of those who have been involved in putting on races for years know, that you realise what there is to do. From washing bibs to pinning 200 names on said bibs, dealing with the technical side and hoping enough volunteers step up to help on the day - that's just a fraction of what needs to be done.
What the racers get in return, especially this year with some clever "let's have a weekend away" vibe, is wonderful racing in beautiful locations, growing numbers with returning paddlers and a new format for those who want to join in but not necessarily race, the Challenge Tour. The Tour is paddling the same distance but at your own pace.
The Juniors get their chance too and when they get on the water, they are highly competitive. Their parents are often there racing, so being away for the weekend with your family with a bit of racing involved - what could be more fun?
Classes which have historically been weighted towards the 12'6 are changing with more heading to the 14' and the UKN1SCO fleet is stronger than ever. They have their own series and race at every GBSUP National Event.
We've both had the chance to attend the National Series this year, not race but still feel totally a part of what is going on and know that we are providing something that others enjoy. The Live Feed has proven so popular this year for friends, family and competitors alike who cannot attend but want to keep up with the racing - perhaps even keeping a beady eye on their competitors at the same time!!