This morning the start took place in Workum on Aloha Friday. The top 20 paddlers started in the front of the starting area, since the waters were too narrow for the entire field. The weather was also great today. Light winds and partly sunny – cloudy moments made up for ideal paddling conditions. The currents were also in the favor of the paddlers the first half of the day and the paste was fast; up to 11 k/hr.
The day-stage Workum-Franeker, offered mainly smaller channels through the country side. The biggest body of water was “het Van Harinksma Kanaal”, where commercial big ships drive through. The paddlers need to pay attention here.
After Workum, the athletes had to ‘ring the bell’ and call their number in Bolsward, city nr 7 and Harlingen, city nr 8. The mid way point – and the mandatory break of 15 minutes – was in between these two cities in the place called “Witmarsum”. I was stoked to paddle my stage for Team Starboard today and I saw Bart, Peter and Martijn (the first 3 guys again) paddled away as soon as I had reached the rest area. Since the waters were smooth, the paddlers were much closer than the previous days when big lakes were presented and the resting post turned out to become a ‘cosy moment’ between paddlers, supporters and the organization.
The home stretch from Harlingen to Franeker; about 10 kilometers, the going got tough. Currents were facing the participants and that was noticeable. The finish in Franeker , city nr 9, was tight again for the male competitors; how ever a few more seconds in between today. Bart de Zwart finished in 4 hours, 55 minutes and 50 seconds. Peter Bartl finished in 4 hours, 56 minutes and 01 second. Martijn van Deth finished third place with 4 hours, 56 minutes and 35 seconds.
Janneke Smits was first again today and paddled a solid race today. She started off with the 2nd group of paddlers after the start. Her time today was 5 hours, 21 minutes and 6 seconds. She also paddles for the good cause of ALS and hopes to bring awareness and receive donations for the cause. Joanne-Hamilton-Vale paddled a great stage again finishing 2nd with a time of 5 hours, 28 minutes and 04 seconds. Maya Persson from Sweden came in 3rd today in the Solo Competition with a time of 5 hours, 46 minutes and 13 seconds.
Team “Sports Stragedy” won the Team competition “male” today with a time of 5 hours, 14 minutes and 12 seconds. I paddled for the Team competition “mixed” and won the time of 5 hours, 31 minutes and 18 seconds. I was honestly very happy the way my paddling went today and it was also great to be back on the waters where this race all started for me in 2008. I am now part of the crew with sore shoulders and blisters on my handsJ
Besides the good cause ALS, there are 2 more causes in the SUP 11-City Tour: Team “Round Table” paddle to gather funding for the Paralympics. Their friend Kees-Jan van der Klooster is a sit-skiier in the Paralympics. He will come to Friesland this Sunday to paddle part of the stage. Mike Kranenburg is gathering donations for the Cancer foundation during his non-stop SUP 11-City Tour participation.
Non-Stop SUP 11-City Tour:
Tomorrow moring at 4am, the 11 paddlers who have dared to take on the new Category will start their journey. We will tweet some live updates for you, so keep tuned via Twitter and Facebook throughout the non-stop (day and night) paddling adventure we ad to the event. Let me introduce to you our ultra endurance heroes: Barry Douma (Netherlands), Wolfgang Leeb (Austria), Richard Gratzei (Austria), Mark Slater (United Kingdom), Mike Kranenburg (Netherlands), Erik Bruining (Netherlands), Arnaud Frennet (Chille), Jeroen Labots (Netherlands), Ike Frans (Netherlands).
Marije Elgersma (Netherlands), Jose van Egmond (Netherlands).
John Siggs from the United Kingdom will be missing the start due to car- problems.
Tomorrow more news about the 4th stage Franeker- Dokkum“ and a start of the non-stop SUP 11-City Tour.