World Series Race – Finland

finland 1The race in Finland was I race I fancied last year but the date did not fit in with my calendar, so I purposefully kept the weekend free this year.

The race in Sieravouri, Finland is part of the World Series and attracts many Elite paddlers.

On arrival in Finland I was bummed to see Finnair had damaged my board and was now facing a few repairs on the morning on the first race.  Thanks to Pete Vale and Zane Schweitzer for carrying out the repairs.

The first race was a distance race on an extremely large lake.  I had expected the lake to be glassy flat therefore took my 22.5 wide flat water board.  What a mistake, there was strong wind and lost of bumps on the water.

I could control my board sufficiently in the upwind and cross wind legs but really struggled down wind.  My board has very little volume and virtually no nose rocker.  I was constantly fighting the nose of my board being buried into the water.  During this 10km race, I fell in 4 times so was very happy to take 3rd place being Celine and Ane, both extremely good International paddlers.  The top 3 all finished within 4 minutes of each other.  I had a 9 minute lead on Maya Perrson, the Swedish National Champion, who finished in 4th place.

At 10:30pm we had a 4km midnight sun race.  This race was very special, knowing it was so late, yet still the sun was high.  The wind had dropped for this race and my board was much better in these conditions.  Celine Guesdon, Ane Aranburu and myself were extremely close for the duration of this race.  All 3 of us finishing within 20 seconds.

Day 2 was sprint racing, my most hated SUP discipline.  I had nightmares about these races.  On race one I relived my nightmare, a paddler hit me from behind, I fell off backwards letting go of my paddle and kicked my board forward.  As I had no leash on the board starting moving in the offshore wind.  I had to make a quick decision what was more important that I got to first and decided to swim for the board.  Once I had the board under one arm I then swam back for my paddle.  As this race is only 400m long there was no room for error.

Thankfully, I managed to claw it back in the next 2 sprints and retained 3rd place overall

Thanks to World Series and Sieravuori for a wonderful event

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