This morning in Sloten, the athletes were anxious to start. With stiff and sore bodies, the paddlers took of for the next 43 kilometers. They crossed again the famous “Slotermeer” towards the beautiful forests of Balk before more open water and bigger lakes were presented. The winds were up and blowing the paddlers in the back. Maya Person from Sweden mentioned she was riding some waves it feeling like a down winder. In Stavoren, City number 4, the mandatory break of 15 minutes was held. Bart de Zwart (Holland/HI), Peter Bartl (Austria), Martijn van Deth (Holland) all Solo Competition riders and Ricardo Haverschidt (Holland) paddling for the male Team (Fanatic) competition were all leading the field together.
In Hindeloopen, pitoresk and beautiful city number 5, everyone needed to ‘ring the bell’ and call their number. This is part of the Frisian Eleven City Tradition. When you don’t ring the bell, you will get some extra seconds on your overall time of the day.
The weather was spectacular again today with temperatures around 26C and the winds were about 16 knots “in your face” after Hindeloopen; a tough stretch for the athletes who had to go another 10 kilometers to the finish in city nr 6; Workum.
The women in the field are going steady and paddle hard. The times are not as close together as the men. Janneke Smits (Holland) was leading again with another solid performance paddling the stage today in 5 hours, 51 minutes and 44 seconds. Joanne Hammilton-Vale (UK) put 5 hours, 55 minutes and 44 seconds on the clock today. Dionne Dijkman (Holland) came in third today with a total time of 6 hours, 10 minutes and 44 seconds. Dionne is taking 3rd place in the overall after today.
SUP-City in Workum was great as always. Family “De Visser” is amazing. This family owns the big field where we have our tents and camper vans stalled for the day. It is also the perfect location to offer free SUP clinics to the local kids. 50 Childeren came to enjoy Stand Up Paddling and want to be back next year already. Family Visser offers their land to the organiation for free and make sure they mow the lawn before we come each year. Great local support right there! They received a special price in our award ceremony today. Koen, from Frisian Kite School Antix was rewarded with a pleasant vacation in Venice as he risked his own life to safe tourists who were cruising in their boat – and were surprised by a huge explosion. Koen jumped on board to make sure that all people and dogs were safe. He is our hero of the day.
We finished our evening with a beautiful documentary by Bountless TV from Canada. Their documentary about the SUP 11-City Tour 2013 has been broadcasted in 64 million homes in North America. We had the primeur in Friesland today.
Talk to you tomorrow after paddling my stage of 42 kilometers for Team Starboard tomorrow.