Sunday the 7th of SUPtember, the final day of the Sup 11-City tour 2014.
The non-stop SUP 11-City Tour paddlers continued their 220-kilometer mission through the dark night of Friesland while the 5 day-stage participants gathered some rest in preparation to their last stage Dokkum-Leeuwarden. Due to ‘glassy’ (no wind) weather conditions, the non-stop paddlers continued their fast past and barely slowed down through the night. Arnaud Frennet from Chile, the champion of the non-stop 2014, reached the finish line around 6:30am in 26 hours 20 minutes and 31 seconds. Ike Frans from the Netherlands came in second with a total time of 27 hours, 7 minutes and 12 seconds. Richard Grazei from Austria came in third with a total time of 28 hours, 31 minutes and 53 seconds. The non-stop turned out to be an ultra extreme experience for the heroic participants. “It was very special and also very painful” was a common quote of the participants. It was a first time the organization combined the ultra endurance non-stop category with the 5 day-stage SUP 11-City Tour already existing 6 years now. The non-stop category will continue next year and will need its own separate organization for it is an event in itself.
The amateur participants of the day- and weekend stage were aloud to start at 9am in Dokkum. The competition paddlers started at 10am and raced their hearts out again today over a distance of 27 kilometers. The 15-minute resting point was at the legendary bridge in Giekerk that shows the ice skating history with its unique tiling art. Fast times were noted at the finish line of Leeuwarden. Everyone of the 100 paddlers today gave it their all. Bart de Zwart enhanced his lead today in the male competition with a few seconds and paddled his stage in 3 hours, 8 minutes and 48 seconds. Peter Bartl followed him closely with 3 hours 54 minutes and 8 seconds. Martijn van Deth followed them a few minutes later with a time of 3 hours, 11 minutes and 42 seconds. The women were paddling fast and closer together than the previous days. Janneke Smits, who came in first with a time of 3 hours 32 minutes and 0 seconds was closely followed by Maya Person. Maya paddled her stage in 3 hours, 32 minutes and 22 seconds. Joanne Vale-Hamilton followed Maya a few seconds later with her time of 3 hours, 32 minutes and 24 seconds.
Sports Stragedy from Brazil took the lead today in the Team Competition with 3 hours, 24 minutes and 10 seconds. Team Starboard won the mixed team stage with a time of 3 hours, 23 minutes and 27 seconds.
It was a special day seeing the Solo Competition, the Solo Amateur, the Day-stage and the weekend- stage participants all finish together in Leeuwarden. Some of these day-stage paddlers had only learned how to SUP at the beginning of June so we came to find out during interviews.
The finish area was beautiful, colorful, uplifting and packed with a lot of supporters and they all encouraged these endurance paddlers to give it their all the last few meters towards the finish. DJ Ruben came over from Croatia and enhanced the vibe at SUP City with happy tunes.
The overall winners of the competitions this year:
Male Solo Competition:
1. Bart de Zwart (Netherlands): 22 hours, 06 minutes, 39 seconds.
2. Peter Bartl (Austria): 22 hours, 07 minutes, 08 seconds.
3. Martijn van Deth (Netherlands): 22 hours, 11 minutes, 22 seconds
Male Team competition:
1. Team Fanatic (Netherlands): 23 hours, 23 minutes, 36 seconds
Mixed Team competition:
1. Team Foxsports/Starboard: 25 hours, 27 minutes, 24 seconds
Malina Nielsen from Denmark received a special award being the first women ever completing the SUP 11-City Tour on an inflatable SUP. Christopher Parker from Australia, also broadcasting the race via SUPracer was the fastest male paddler on his Mistral inflatable SUP.
It was a beautiful SUP 11-City Tour 2014. We filled our bags with special experiences in beautiful, sunny Friesland together this week. It is unbelievable to realize we had 16 different nationalities paddling in Friesland together. A big Mahalo (thanks) goes to all paddlers, volunteers, our sponsors, all SUPporters and off course the non-profit organization that guides the event all year long. Together we were once again one big Ohana (family) and we look forward to see you all again next year! Happy and safe travels home.