Completely out of the the blue Joey T received a Facebook message from a lady who got in touch last year about sourcing board bags for a couple of our first generation race boards which former team rider Andre’ had been using over in Jersey back in 2012. We were delighted to hear that her boyfriend Steve Walker who is partially sighted ended up coming 2nd in the Men’s 14′ Open at last weekend’s Battle of the Rock. Check out his review of the event…
As my girlfriend has stated I am partially sighted and registered as blind. I am a bit of a watersports nut, already I am a PADI divemaster, BCU kayak coach and love messing around on and in the water.
After having a go on standup paddle boards about a year ago, both myself and my girlfriend bought 2 x 14 ‘ LOCO SUPs. During this summer we have taken them out quite regularly.
I have also been quite keen to get involved in racing it as we have a local club that races all year.
The problem I have is , that these guys are really quick as they do this all the time and if I cant see the marker bouys on the water .. or keep up with them ill be left standing on my board not knowing which way to go !
so when the battle of the rock came up this year, I thought this would be a good opportunity to see what me and my board could do.
I was very nervous at the start as I didn’t know what to expect but once I was on the water there were people to follow until I was close enough to the markers to see them. Unfortunately every time I over took someone I would have to try to catch up with the next person in front just to keep myself on course.
By the last lap on the first race I had overtaken 5 or 6 people and was starting to pick up a bit of speed. Where I overtook another 3. Again I couldn’t see the finish line flags till I was about 20 m away from them.
In the afternoon we had the distance race, I knew this one wouldn’t be too difficult visually as by now I knew that there would probably be a few people ahead and behind, As I paddle around the area quite often all the points were large rocks that I am familiar with.
However on the straight run back to the beach, I overtook 2 guys and realised there was now nobody close enough in front of me to follow. so unfortunately I had to slow down and keep checking behind me to make sure that I was going in the right direction
The third race on the Sunday was a race in and out of the surf. Unfortunately I withdrew early on in the race as I have little experience of SUP in the surf and knew it would end up in disaster as some of the more experienced competitors were coming off their boards!
When it came to the prize giving at the end of the day. I was quite surprised to receive 2nd place in the 14′ Mens open SUP.
so I guessed I had actually done quite well in the first 2 races.
I had a great time in the competition and a good laugh with many of the other competitors, I have learnt a lot from this including the fact that I have to borrow a shorter board and man up and get out in that surf !! and get someone to give me some pointers for any future competitions that I feel would be right for me. I also hope that the competition organisers who were very supportive have gained some useful insight from my experience over the weekend.
Well done to Steve once again and we wish him luck in future race events. It sounds like the Jersey boys has another successful year of it so congratulations to them too on putting on another fantastic race event.
Anyone looking for a 3rd generation 2015 Loco Pro Race which are tipped by many as the fastest things on the water this season be sure to get in touch ASAP as we only have a couple of boards in each size left ahead of 2015 next shipment. For those on a slightly tighter budget team rider Phil May has a 2014 14′ Pro Race going for sensible money.