I absolutely love being outside my comfort zone, completing a challenge and battling body pain and mental strength.
Despite completing some crazy distances the Molokai to Oahu World Championships was always going to be the BIG one for me ad for the World of SUP. Just getting into this race is difficult, your paddling career and race results have to be vetted by the organisers before you are accepted. Getting the email to say I had been accepted was such a special day.
I had gotten my ass kicked during the Maui to Molokai. The ocean showed me who is the boss and the M2O was going to be bigger.
It was awesome to have Pete at the start line to see me off, give me a hug and tell me I would be ok, Bart de Zwart (King of Endurance Paddling) as my personal support, Matt Schweitzer as my boat captain and Pete and Dagmar de Zwart to welcome me at the finish. I took my first stroke feeling like I was the weakest link in this Team.
First half was awesome, wind was good, waves were big but mostly manageable and my speed was good. At the half way point the current turned against me, the water now felt like a washing machine, with strong current against strong wind. I was falling in more regularly but was encouraged to keep going as all the competitors around me were also falling in. My legs were getting tired and I was not eating or drinking enough. Then I got to China Walls, and it gave me exactly what I expected, huge waves, huge backwash and really unsettled water. However, I could see the final turning point and I was never giving up.
As I turned for the last 2km I got back into my comfort zone, against both strong wind and current. People were exhausted and hating every minute of this last 2 km and I was enjoying it so much. This is what I train for, a battle with absolutely no assistance from wind or water. I managed to overtake 6 people in this last few km and finished feeling good.
Awesome to be the first UK paddler to ever cross the finish line of the M2O on a SUP.
July was a huge month, with over 850km raced in total and may more in training paddles