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Standup Paddlers Conquer 444-Mile Yukon River Quest

The vast expanse of the Yukon River. Photo: Trevor Clark
The Yukon River, a vast expanse. Photo: Trevor Clark

Standup Paddlers Conquer 444-Mile Yukon River Quest

The Yukon River Quest is well-known in paddlesports as the gnarliest and most grueling race of the year.

This revered competition usually takes between two and three days to finish as athletes–traditionally in either canoes or kayaks–paddle 444 miles through the Canadian wilderness on the Yukon River. It’s not for the faint of heart and prior to this year, standup paddleboards were not even allowed.

However, that all changed this year when organizers made an exception to allow SUP–a move that attracted top expedition paddlers including Bart de Zwart, Lina Augaitis and Joanne Hamilton-Vale. Yet with SUP expected to be the slowest of all the crafts, many traditionalists were highly skeptical about the move.

Unfazed by the doubters, 11 standup paddleboarders set out last Wednesday with one goal in mind–finish the race. Three days later and after only a combined 10 hours of mandatory rest, all but two achieved that goal and proved SUP belongs in the legendary competition.

For the majority of the race, the lead SUP pack featured a three-man dead heat between Bart de Zwart, Norm Hann and Jason Bennett. Paddling for more than 24 straight hours at times, the trio continued to push each other until the closing hours of the race.

With only a couple hours until the finish, de Zwart finally made his move to burst ahead and open up a gap. He managed to maintain this gap to the finish, becoming the inaugural SUP champion with a time of 54 hours and 41 minutes. Hann and Bennett would cross the line together only 15 minutes later.

Making this accomplishment even more impressive is the fact that de Zwart finished 26th out of 93 total entries which also included solo, two-person or four-person canoes or kayaks. In a race where many folks questioned whether SUP should even be allowed, to beat two-thirds of the field is a perfect way to silence the critics.

Arguably the grittiest performance came from top female SUP finisher and new mom, Lina Augaitis. Despite delivering her first child only six months ago and still managing to breastfeed during the rest stops, this supermom crossed the finish line with a time of 60 hours and 22 minutes. Not only impressive athletically, her determination serves as an inspiration to moms everywhere.

However, for all the triumphs the Yukon River Quest also delivered a few heartbreaks. Most notably with Joanne Hamilton-Vale, who was forced to retire early due to extreme illness caused by drinking river water. In addition, fellow standup paddler Tony Bain was forced to retire around the 186-mile mark.

Despite the hardships of some, the Yukon River Quest could be considered a big step forward for our sport. These 11 SUP pioneers pushed the limits of what was thought to be possible and proved standup paddlers can not only hold their own, but rather compete at a high level in one of the most extreme paddling competitions on the planet.

After this year’s trial run for SUP, we look forward to seeing which paddlers take on the 444-mile challenge next year.—Jack Haworth


Learn what drives standup paddling’s most extreme endurance athletes.

Exclusive interview legendary expedition paddler Bart de Zwart.


The post Standup Paddlers Conquer 444-Mile Yukon River Quest appeared first on SUP Magazine.

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Features | Paddlers Pushing Boundaries in Endurance River Races

Shane Perrin pic 6_credit Elissa Perrin
It takes a lot of training to paddle hundreds of miles at a time. Photo: Elissa Perrin

Paddlers Pushing Boundaries in Endurance River Races

When Shane Perrin showed up as the lone SUP board among dozens of canoes and kayaks at the start line of the MR 340 in 2010, everyone thought he was nuts. OK, the dragon boaters were kind of kooky, but a standup paddler going 340 miles down the Missouri River? No way. Then Perrin finished 34th out of 117 solo entrants and nobody was laughing anymore.

After breaking a barrier in that race, Perrin’s sponsors encouraged the St. Louis resident to take on even bigger challenges. First up was La Ruta Maya through the jungles of Belize. Then came the Texas Water Safari, which even Perrin underestimated before getting caught up in its myriad obstacles.

“The MR 340 is no joke and I love the race, but the Texas Water Safari is 10 times harder,” he said. “There’s debris in the water, you finish up with an ocean crossing and there are a lot of long portages.”

Despite several setbacks, Perrin became the first standup paddler to conquer the course. He then returned to set a new best mark at the MR 340, completed the Everglades Challenge, and set two world records for most flatwater miles paddled in 24 hours. Not to mention, some ultra-marathon charity paddles with Nate Dub and Nathan Woods.

Endurance races, . Photo: Elissa Perrin
Endurance races, world records and charity paddles are all part of Sean Perrin’s schedule. Photo: Elissa Perrin

Though he would like to reclaim his solo SUP record in the future, Perrin is taking on a bigger challenge in this year’s MR 340 – literally. Rather than going at it alone, he’s part of the first four-person SUP team to enter the race and is custom building an 18-foot-long, 58-inch board to accommodate himself, Nathan Woods, Jericho LeFort and Dale Sanders. Last year, Sanders became the oldest person to paddle the entire Mississippi River from source-to-sea, completing it at the age of 82 and raising money for juvenile diabetes research along the way. Now 83, he will soon become the oldest competitor in the history of the MR 340.

The team jokes about being a band of misfits, as Perrin survived a kidney transplant, Woods came back from losing part of his leg and according to Perrin, “Dale says he’s just old.” They have even given themselves the nickname “The Gens” to signify their multi-generational makeup – Woods in his 30s, Perrin his 40s, LeFort his 50s and Sanders his 80s.

“I’m most excited for my teammates to experience a race like this,” Perrin said. “I’m also looking forward to seeing if Bart or Nate Dub can break the solo record and would love to compete against them next year. It’d be great if we could have half a dozen men and women taking aim at the record each summer. That’s what’s going to push SUP endurance racing forward.”

Photo: Elissa Perrin
Perrin and three friends will make up the first four-man SUP team at this year’s MR 340. Photo: Elissa Perrin

Bart de Zwart is another SUP distance pioneer who’s redefining what’s possible in distance river racing and standup paddling expeditions. This summer, de Zwart is paddling an average of 191 miles per race as he sets his sights on the planet’s most grueling challenges. As with the ultra-contests that Perrin has set benchmarks for, many of the races de Zwart is targeting have traditionally featured canoeists, kayakers and just about every other watersports discipline except SUP. But de Zwart is determined to show that standup belongs, and is taking on the 444-mile Yukon River Quest next week, before recovering and reloading for the MR 340 next month.

Lina Augaitis is also taking a crack at the Yukon River Quest (YQR), as part of her competitive comeback following the birth of her first child–Tav–in late 2015. In 2011, she also became one of the first women to compete in the YRQ on a SUP. No matter what the leaderboard shows at the end, it’s the unique experience of racing through hundreds of miles of unspoiled wilderness that will make all those strokes worthwhile.

“The Yukon River is rich in history and beauty,” she said. “It’s remote and wild and to me this is why it’s so attractive. I enjoy being up and about in nature at odd times of the day like 3 a.m. while the rest of the world is sleeping, and seeing and experiencing what many people never will. The best part is making it through to the end and being a better, more confident person for it.”


An inside look into Lina Augaitis’ road back to racing after having a baby.

Shane Perrin’s epic 535-mile SUP odyssey.


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First-Ever Solo Transatlantic SUP Expedition To Launch January 2016

First-Ever Solo Transatlantic SUP Expedition Attempt To Launch January 2016


38-year-old French firefighter planning first-ever solo SUP expedition across Atlantic, Africa to France


Meet Nicolas Jarossay—38-year-old French paddler, firefighter and soon to be the first person to attempt an unsupported crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, via SUP.

In January 2016, Jarossay plans to paddle 2,485 miles (4,0000 kilometers) from the northwest coast of Africa to the French island of Martinique in the Caribbean, with only his gear, provisions, a very unique standup paddleboard and a deep, lionhearted sense of adventure. He expects to paddle an average of 33 miles (53 kilometers) each day, estimating the voyage will take a total of roughly 75 days to complete.

“I’ve read a lot of stories of different navigators,” Jarossay said. “Since I was a child, I have loved the wide-open ocean.”


Nicolas Jarossay plans to paddle 2,485 miles across the Atlantic Ocean completely unsupported. Photo: Septentrion Environnement

In January 2016, Nicolas Jarossay will paddle 2,485 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. Photo: Septentrion Environnement


Throughout the past couple years, Jarossay’s love affair with the ocean evolved into a desire to be the first person to cross it using only manpower and a paddleboard. He began methodically planning the expedition in 2012, using his extensive experience with the ocean to carefully develop the design for a unique prototype board that is apparently the world’s first “livable” SUP.

“Myself and two others have taken about one year to come up with the best design for my board,” Jarossay said.

The board is over 20 feet long and features storage compartments for over 200 pounds of dried food and a “sleeping pod” for resting or staying dry in the case of a storm. It certainly looks unlike any SUP we’ve ever seen before, which is suitable, considering the unprecedented expedition for which it’s built.


This is a prototype of the SUP Jarossay will use in his expedition. Photo: Septentrion Environnement

This is the prototype SUP that Jarossay will use in his expedition. Photo: Septentrion Environnement


To those familiar with the industry, it may come as a surprise that Jarossay, rather than renowned expedition paddler Bart de Zwart, is going to be the first man to attempt this feat. But that does not mean it hasn’t crossed De Zwart’s mind a few times.

“I have had the plan to cross for a long time,” De Zwart said. “Since I have sailed around the world with my family and crossed the Atlantic multiple times, it was not far fetched to think of doing the Atlantic by SUP.”

However, De Zwart is a family man and decided that at least for now, the stress this type of expedition would put on his wife was simply not worth it. But he still believes a solo crossing is possible, as long as that person is fully-prepared.

“I do think it is very doable to paddle across,” De Zwart said. “It is just a question of time, perseverance and preparation of your gear and food.”

Jarossay tested his preparation back in August by doing a five-day trial run with his prototype board. He was followed by a support team and covered just over 110 miles while facing upwind conditions.


Jarossay on his five day trial run in August. Photo: Septentrion Environnement

Jarossay on his five day trial run in August. Photo: Septentrion Environnement


During the course of this test, Jarossay uncovered various design flaws, but none bigger than his board’s inability to right itself in the case of a capsizing. Considering he will be all alone in the middle of the ocean, this presents a massive problem for Jarossay.

“It is troubling that my biggest concern about the design is still (Jarossay’s) problem today,” De Zwart said. “You cannot have a cabin on a board which is not self-righting.”

Jarossay understands this problem and currently has a new board in development, which he hopes will be ready in time for his late-January departure. Unfortunately, construction is behind schedule, posing a potential threat to Jarossay’s timeline. It’s imperative that Jarossay departs before the window of manageable weather conditions closes in April.

Another concern for De Zwart is Jarossay’s plan to use a hand pump system as opposed to an electric system to make drinkable water. He fears this will waste too much energy that Jarossay should be expelling in other areas.

“It is a lot of work to make drinking water from salt water and you need your energy for paddling, making food, and navigating,” De Zwart said.

Nevertheless, no first expedition is ever without challenges, and fortunately for the progression of our sport, paddlers are not easily discouraged. Jarossay is still planning and preparing to make his dream a reality, just like the navigators and explorers whose stories have inspired this incredible journey.

“For the moment, I will just become the first person trying to cross the Atlantic on a SUP,” Jarossay said. “But I hope to have a beautiful experience, a beautiful dream if the weather and ocean cooperate with me.” —Jack Haworth

Stay tuned to SUP the mag for updates and more media from Nicolas Jarossay’s transatlantic SUP expedition.

More spectacular SUP expeditions.

To learn more about Jarossay’s expedition, visit his Transatlantic Facebook page.

The post First-Ever Solo Transatlantic SUP Expedition To Launch January 2016 appeared first on SUP Magazine.

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Tahiti to Bora Bora with Bart de Zwart

The French Polynesian solo Crossing from Bart de Zwart on Vimeo.

Tahiti to Bora Bora with Bart de Zwart

Four days and three nights on the water. 180 miles. Solo and unsupported. Maui’s Bart de Zwart completed these feats earlier this year on his SUP expedition from Tahiti to Bora Bora. This video takes you out on the board with the unassuming distance maestro as he completes his mission in paradise.

You can read our full interview about the expedition here.

Click here for De Zwart’s on-the-water updates from the trip.

The post Tahiti to Bora Bora with Bart de Zwart appeared first on SUP Magazine.

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Starboard’s Bart de Zwart Tackles the Muskoka River X Race

Starboard's Bart de Zwart Tackles the Muskoka River X Race

Congratulations to hard core, Bart de Zwart who just loves expeditions! After a grueling 11 City Tour, where Bart came out on top for the 4th time, he then went to Canada to take on the longest 1 day expedition in the Muskoka River X race only to Win AGAIN!

Bart will compete in the BOP in a few weeks!

Here is a write up from Bart:
Muskoka River X (World’s longest single day expedition race)

Not even a week later after the 11-City Tour I had another very longrace lined up. A very special race. The Muskoka river X in Canada.

Special because it is, with 130km, one of the longest single day expedition races in the world. It is non stop and without support. Goesthrough lakes, up and down rivers and has 20 portages around waterfalls, rapids and locks.

And, it is cold. During the day it was 44F (7C) and during the night 32 F(1 C). Special also because we were not allowed to use GPS’ and had to find our own way to the finish with maps and compass. I decided to use a relatively wide Starboard 14’ x28 All Star just to be on the safe side on the rivers. Which proofed to be the right choice, fast and still stable in critical conditions.

A race for Canoes (1 and 2), Kayaks and Sups.64 teams showed up at the starting line. The solos started first, the 2 man/woman-teams 10 minutes later. The evening before the start we had the skippers meeting and got our trackers.

At the start at 7 in the morning it was misty, cold and raining. I was dressed light with only race tights, lycra, compulsory life vest and rain jacket. I had my Supskin dry suit in my pack strapped on the boardalong with all the food, rescue and navigation gear, clothing and water. The organization gave us 20 pages with detailed maps and a description of all the waypoint, portages, hazards and checkpoints.

I started with a good pace and was just behind a few of the lead kayak racers when we hit the first lake. My strategy was to follow the 2 man canoes, who were way faster than me, for the first 45km across the lakes and as soon as we got to the rivers I would pull out the maps and start navigating. The first portage, after 2 hrs was a 2km walk/run to get to thenext lake. The paddling got me warm but the rain kept coming down with outside temperatures only a few degrees above freezing it was not very comfy but hell this was an expedition race.

Although at the first lakes we had a slight head wind, after the portage it came more from the back and you could even ride some bumps. Some of the lead C2’s (2 man Canoes) came flying by, but I was still the lead Sup and right with the lead kayaks.

At the first CP (check point) a medic asked a few questions to check if you were ok and not getting insane or too cold, and on I went down stream this time. This was very new to me and very exciting. I was flying along the river until I saw the first big rapids. For a brief moment I couldn’t see the portage exit to get around this rapids but found them just intime before I would be dragged down the rapids. We were not allowed to run the waterfalls and rapids, most didn’t look doable anyway and I could easily ruin my 14’ Starboard All Star hardboard.

The portage were exciting too. You throw your back packaround your shoulders, pull out the board and find your way to the other side, throw your board in the water and jump on again.

Nobody brought enough water for the whole race. I started with 2.5 liters. Along the way you fill up in the river, some purify the water, I drank it straight from the river ( don’t try this at home)

The scene is astonishing during the whole race. Beautiful hilly landscapes, winding rivers, true Canadian back country.

I tried to eat at least every hour and drink all day. This helps to have an even energy supply thru out the race without any bunking or dips. Food was probably the heaviest item I had with me. Next to the race food you needed to have 2300 Cal of emergency food with you. Apart from my liquid bike food (Hammer Perpethuem) I try to bring different solid foods because you never know what you going to like after 15 hrs of racing so mixing it up. is key.

After about 11 hrs of racing, 6 hrs on the river and many portages the weather cleared up but night was coming soon. By the time I was at check point 2 it was already late in the day. From here on it was upstream. The problem with the cold nights and warmer river is the fog. During the night the fog starts and becomes very thick. Lights are impossible to use because of the reflection you see nothing but white around you. I still felt pretty fit but dreaded this part because of the currents against me and the fog I didn’t know what to expect.

Some falls were impressive. You paddle up close against the current and just before the falls you pull out the board and walk around it. When night fell it was pretty dark, no moon but you could still see all you needed to see. I only used my headlamp to look at the maps or during the portages. By now the cards were shuffled. I was well ahead in the Sup field and I was paddling together with Graham a Canadian Kayaker who was in solid 2nd place. We pasted through some of the heavy current hazard areas were I had to give everything just to make a few meters. You see the trees on the side passing by so very slowly it was not even funny. The canoes had a harder time here with swifts and rapids and some turned over.

It was getting colder and colder and the fog thicker and thicker. At the last check point I put on some warmer cloths. We were still doing a very good pace and it was from here on only 19 km to the finish. The moon was coming out when we passed the last lake. Fortunately we found the entrance to the last river on the other side without problems. By now the fog was very very thick, all you could see was the contours of the trees. It was spooky and mesmerizing at the same time. The moon light shining through the trees, the fog swirling around us and every now and then a brief opening in the fog.

With the maps we found our way to the finish. The last few 4 kms were flying by despite the fact that we couldn’t see anything on the lake just before we entered the same town we left early the day before.

Graham and I crossed the finish line in 18 hrs and 23 minutes. Graham in 2nd place Kayak and me in 1st place and new record, SUP.

Of the 64 teams started only 44 arrived. Of the 6 SUP’s only 2 arrived.

1St Bart de Zwart

2nd Pete deMos

When I got back to the car, I realized how cold it was. I had ice on the roof of the car.

In all an amazing race in an amazing background. Some thing you have to do at least once in your life.

Thanks to Starboard, Supskin, Black Project Fins, Patagonia, Robijnsbv Suunto/CamelBak, Maui Jim and my wife, Dagmar who took care of the shop back in Maui.

Photo Credits: MRX

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Starboard’s Bart de Zwart Recaps Wild Maui Race.

Starboard's Bart de Zwart Recaps Wild Maui Race.

Seems the winds of Hurricane Willi weren’t finished with Maui and gave the racers of the Maui Paddleboard Race a run for their money.

Starboard Team Rider, Bart de Zwart, gives an inside look at how intense the conditions were and how he was able to maintain his position to come in 5th place. Titouan Puyo was able to secure a 4th place finish even after running into the reef.

More from Bart here:

Sunday we had the Maui Paddle board race in untypical wild condition for Maui.
The remains of Hurricane of Willi made an impact only 6 hours before the race with wind gust over 55 knots and pouring rain.
Just at 2 o’clock the wind slowed down to 25 knots slightly onshore and big swells. The race started with only half the amount of competitors, but off course all the best racers showed up, especially the 14’ foot class was well represented with Paul Jackson, Titouan Puyo and always very strong local and maliko downwind specialist, Travis Baptiste.

We paddled out of Maliko in choppy conditions, wind from the side and hectic seas.
I was paddling my All Star 14’ x 25.5, which was just stable enough in these conditions. Once we got past Hookipa the sea cleaned up a bit, still the fog was thick and you couldn’t see where we had to go.
For a little bit I was keeping up with Titouan, but at some point he took off only to see him disappear between big wave on the reef. Half way through the race most of us realized we were to far in because the outside reef showed up on the wrong side of us. We tried to go around, some went over the reef and took the waves, which didn’t work out for them, one even broke his board, others lost it and had to swim a lot until they reached calmer waters.

We managed to stay outside, but that also costs us a lot of speed and time. Only when we got almost to the harbor I recognized the outline of the cruise ship in the harbor. I paddled as hard as I could, as Belar from Spain, was breathing on my neck the last miles. I managed to get a few very good glides and came into the harbor before him after which I didn’t give up my fifth place in the 14’ foot class.
Travis came in very strong with a 4th place overall and 1st in the 14’ class. Titouan Puyo came in a couple of minutes before me in 4th place after some trouble coming over the reef.
Again the All Star 14’ x 25.5 proofed to be a very good board even in conditions which were far from ideal. In 3 weeks we all meet again in very different conditions, Japan.
2014 Maui Paddleboard Race RESULTS
Unlimited Men
1st: Kaeo Abbey
2nd: Armie Armstrong
3rd: Livio Menelau
4th: Kody Kerbox
5th: Vinnicius Martins
14′ Men
1st: Travis Baptiste
2nd: Josh Riccio
3rd: Paul Jackson
4th: Titouan Puyo
5th: Bart de Zwart
Unlimited Women
1st: Sonni Hönscheid
2nd: Andrea Moller
3rd: Penelope Strickland
14′ Women
1st: Angie Jackson
2nd: Karla Gilbert
3rd: Manca Notar

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Starboard’s Bart de Zwart Qualifies for 2015 ISA Worlds.

Starboard's Bart de Zwart Qualifies for 2015 ISA Worlds.

Congratulations to Bart de Zwart for winning the beach race and the overall Dutch National Championship Event, which qualifies Bart to compete in the 2015 ISA World Championships. Just coming off an amazing solo expedition from Tahiti to Bora Bora, Bart proved he can compete against some of SUP racing’s finest and Win!

Here ia recap from Bart on the Dutch National Event:

This year the battle of the coast was a 2 event. First a short technical course inside Haarlem on Friday night and Saturday the Beach Race which is Holland biggest Beach race and also a qualifier for the ISA world Championships 2015.

I arrived in Holland in the morning with the first race starting in the evening. Even with a one day stop in London I still had some jet leg in my system and a slight cold too.
I felt kind of fit but knew I would still feel my crossing from 2 weeks ago if I would race at a 100%. So I hoped for the best and my inner drive.

I was using a All star 12’6 x25.5 I tried the sprint just before the race but with the many buoy turns and waves bouncing of the walls I felt more comfortable on the All start with the wider tail.
The first qualifier heat for the final went fine. The start was OK but Ricardo Haverschmidt had been training hard and that paid off. He was faster off the blocks and was just ahead of me until we got to the first buoy. There I just left a little gap between him and the buoy, enough for me to make a very tied turn which put me along side and slightly ahead . At the next buoy another tied turn and I was ahead. Starboard team mate Ike Frans also got Ricardo at the next buoy turn. The All Stars were fast right up to the buoy and with the now slightly wider tail very easy to step to the back and turn on a dime.
We all made it to the finals.

In the Finals my long time friend Martijn van Deth also joined us after the other qualifier heat.
The start was better this time with me in the lead and Martijn, Ike and Ricardo behind me. Just before the first buoy I made the mistake on the strong paddling Martijn coming alongside on my inside. At the first buoy he got the inside and the faster turn. We all piled up and I got away second with Ike on my heals. Martijn made tight turns and I could only keep up with his pace but not get him back.

1. Martijn van Deth (Starboard)
2. Bart de Zwart (Starboard)
3. Ike Frans (Starboard)
4. Ricardo Haverschmidt (Fanatic)

Saturday was the beach Race with more point counting to the overall and 2 qualifying places for the ISA worlds an important race.
A 5 lap technical course with 6 bouys and a beach run every lap a tough 12 km course.
The start was a survival start with run to the paddle and then run to the board with beach start.
I got away good as well as always starting well Ricardo and Martijn. Martijn though fell on his board with paddle and with his first stroke board the shaft. Ricardo came along my side. Ike following close behind.
The conditions were pretty flat which made the race very close. I got to the buoy first and directly a nice little lead. Ike also overtook Ricardo and was right behind me.
We knew Ricardo was a good runner and so we needed a little lead every lap to make sure he didn’t catch up with the run.
The first lap (about 15 min) we were still very close together after the run Ricardo connected again but to for long and it became a race between Ike and me. Ike looked strong and I felt my body aching. At the end of the 2nd round Ike over took but I could still follow and keep the same pace. The race was still long so I planned to hang in there and attack again in the 4th round. But it didn’t come that far Just before we got to the beach again he went for the wrong buoy although I tried to warn him I was so in him self and focused on this buoy and only realized to late. I quickly spoke with don’t risk being disqualified turn now and we already and such a gap he could still make 3rd today and become 2nd overall. So he did. Form then on I went on y own pace. Fast but steady just controlling the distance behind me with Ricardo and later Ike who did really well to come back into 2nd place. After about 1 hr 15 I finished in 1st with Ike only couple of minutes behind me and Ricardo a few behind Ike. A big bravo for Ike who worked really hard and fought his way back. ~ Bart de Zwart

Beach race and overall winners
1. Bart de Zwart (Starboard) qualification to the ISA worlds 2015
2. Ike Frans (Starboard) qualification to the ISA worlds 2015
3. Ricardo Haverschmidt (Fanatic)
4. Andreas Svenson (Naish) Sweden

Best women
Emma Reijmerink (Starboard) qualification to ISA worlds 2015

Photo Credit: Brendan Bank

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Astro Tandem Review by Distressed Mullet

Astro Tandem Review by Distressed Mullet

Everything is more fun when you can share it. Check out this week’s product review of the Starboard Astro Tandem Inflatable.

Thanks to Distressed Mullet for giving this board a try…
It could make or break your relationship (kidding)

I paddled my first tandem board in Utah with Matt Lennert from Chicago. I was working through the 2014 Starboard race boards line when he said to hop on and try it. it takes practice. You have to paddle in sync. If you don’t, it’s herky jerky and for couples, it could be the end of your relationship. At first, I nicknamed it the “relationship killer.” I thought it might even be worse than a trip to Ikea. We went a hundred yards out and turned without falling in. I was uncomfortable. As we headed back, we got our rhythm and all of a sudden, it was fun. We caught a bump. It was a blast. Matt and I are still friends and I can see why the tandem division is growing.

See the full review at:

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The Arctic SUP expedition, Greenland

This amazing adventure was an exciting, cold, lonely, frozen and sunny experience I will never forget.
Starboard made it possible.
And Patagonia, Supskin, Maui Jim, Black Project Fins, PocketFuel helped me with essential supplies. Big thanks to all of them.

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Starboard’s Marie Buchanan Wins 11 City Tour!

Starboard's Marie Buchanan Wins 11 City Tour!

Congratulations to Starboard Team Rider Marie Buchanan from the UK for winning what is deemed as the toughest SUP racing event in the world – The 11 City Tour. Marie proved she had the stamina and drive to get out ahead of Melanie Brandstätter, not look back, and win the women’s division of the grueling 5 day long event in Holland.

Marie provided us with her own thoughts on the event and the win:
“After 220km of paddling it was an amazing feeling to take overall victory in the gruelling 11 Cities Tour. The pace was tough at many points through the event and earlier in the week warm temperatures took their toll on many of us.

I built a healthy lead on day one but my main rival Melanie Brandstatter came back and closed the gap a little on day two after I missed ringing a bell on the course (a requirement for the event). I had to turn around, go back and ring it, losing valuable time. Each day I battled really hard to stay in touch with Melanie, knowing I was in control as long as I wasn’t left behind. We had some great battles and shared daily victories. I had to work flat-out to maintain my first place overall, with the drafting tactics and concentration equally important.

Thank you to everyone who helped me and Starboard for providing super-efficient gear: the 14’ Starboard Sprint and High Aspect 500 paddle really helped propel me to victory. It’s by far the toughest race I have completed, in fact I think it’s the hardest thing I have ever done so I’m very happy to have simply finished, let alone take the win!”

We look forward to more podium shots with Marie Buchanan but for now we will enjoy this win!!

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