Day 2 of the 13th Annual 5-day SUP 11-City Tour

It was a beautiful hot sunny day once again. The “Luts” is also the “Green Jungle” of the SUP 11-City Tour and everyone I spoke mentioned how nice it was the trees created a cooling shade the first part of the stage.

Day 2 offers a lot of variety paddling over a bunch of lakes before paddling along the Dijk that separates the “Waddenzee” from the low lands we paddle on. 

Some people – like myself- felt the resemblance of yesterday’s stage where the heat and the 49 k’s (on a big heavy tandem board) was a bit much. Others had a much better day than yesterday. The body and mind are surely a miraculous duo in this event. 

I wish I could mention everyone who paddles, but that is not done. Please look at the results of race splitter day 2 for the final results and see everyone’s amazing job with their time and placement in the race. 

What was fun to see today is that the first 4 Open Ladies Tanja, Ella, Wietske & Soraya paddled together today for the most part. This can be strategy or more fun to paddling together. Tomorrow is the first individual time trial where every individual will have to give a 110 percent to fight for their ranking the first 10 KM’s of the stage. 

Kjell was not only the usual top 2 with Joep today; he also a winner paddling away from his competition to my trash bucket to dump his gels. What a guy! Which brings me to our trash clean-up for today. Between Hugo, Janneke and myself we fished 4 bags of trash out of the waters. Volunteer Menno added another bag to that.  

A paddler who pushed hard to finish was prone paddler for Team Gazo. She finished just before 6 pm in real SUP11 City style with a roaring applause from a solid crew of supporters when she finished.  

With prone paddling you use again other muscles than with stand up paddling. Janneke and I switched out tandem Sup for a prone board for a little while. As the proners were happy to stretch their legs, I enjoyed laying down using my surf paddling muscles again while cooling down laying more IN the water than standing above it on a SUP. 

Also the Volunteers helped cooling down the paddlers adapting the organization to the heat. All the support boats were equipped with extra water bottles handing out extra cups of water (and treats) to make sure everyone stayed hydrated. A coke and a coffee were also on the menu for me today. Caffeine is nice at the end of the day, but you need to be careful not to peak and then crash. 

9 Paddlers stopped today; which is just an indication that finishing is not a given. No one finishes their stage without working for it. There is always that moment you need to push through. And that is a trade mark of the SUP 11-City Tour. 

I was very happy to be finally in Workum today. What was also very nice to see is that the local kids were playing on stand up paddle boards. In other words; slowly but certain Stand Up Paddling has become the new norm for many people in the Netherlands. That was quite different in 2008 when people had little faith in “this new water sport that belonged to Hawaii”.

Talking about Kids and Stand up paddling; one of the principals of the Hawaiian culture I love is giving back.

Free Sup clinics started in the 1st annual SUP 11-City Tour in 2009 and are still going strong. How cool is it that this year 400 kids enjoy our SUP11 clinics!

As I said earlier, tomorrow is the day for the time trials. And a LOT can happen there. I am excited to find out. 

The weather will change a bit and the Indian Summer may come to an end. 

Perhaps we receive some rain, perhaps not. In Friesland you never know till you GO, so lets’ stay tuned. 

Anne-Marie Totah-Reichman

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