Day 3 of the 13th Annual 5 day SUP 11-City Tour

Day 3 is a beautiful route through the canals (no lakes) of 41,3 kilometers. We collect 3 new of the 11 cities: Bolsward, Harlingen and Franeke where the finish is. It is a fast day for paddlers And organization! 

What is also fast on day 3 is the time trial! Athletes start in Workum and sprint 12 kilometers to Bolsward on their own power without drafting. Drafting (dragging behind someone’s wake) is only aloud on days 1,2 and 4 where paddlers from the same category can paddle behind each other. On those days you start and finish together.

Time trial really shows who is boss. On day 1 and 2 we could see a gab of 2 to 4 seconds between the finish of Joep and Kjell; the number 1 and 2 in the Open Men field. During the time trial we saw a slight bigger gab of 27 seconds. Ricardo was less than 3 minutes behind them. An honorable mention goes to the first Master Jochum Steur (Netherlands) who paddled strong today. He finished 3 minutes behind Ricardo and 4th overall. Pascal Bleys finished with a 5th overall and was convinced first by the grand masters a few seconds behind Jochum. 

In the Open Ladies we saw the overall gab become a little bigger between the number 1 and 2 over the first 12 kilometers.  Ella Oesterholt took 2 minutes on the fearless German Tanja Ecker. Tracy took the win by the Grand Diva’s and was faster than the first Diva Vicky. 

For the remaining race from Bolsward to Franeker the ‘usual trains’ and partners were seen with final results here.

Witmarsum; the beautiful midpoint with a classic Dutch wind mill nearby offered Tour paddlers their daily soup, sandwiches, chips, chocolate and lots of water like every day. Yes, as a paddler here you really get spoiled. 

Another important part of every day in this event (and every day before and after in the social media world), is the Media. What happens needs to be captured from the race to the tour. Thankfully we have returning people and places, but there are always new faces and perspectives as well. Imagine being with this event for years and still wanting to show something new… The talented SUP 11 media team of photographers, videographers & editors lead by Marije Elgersma is doing just that. Like the paddlers are in their flow to paddle their best race, the artists & editors behind the lens need that feeling too in their creation. I highly recommend to check the daily albums and updates on facebook & instagram

Thankfully the weather stayed good until all the paddlers were in Franeker. Rain and even thunder was an option for today. Around 5 pm a big rain squall came through and that was it. 

The massage and food were offered in ‘our church’ in Franeker where we are welcome every year if the weather asks for it. It also should be mentioned that the chief in command of the harbor in Workum was equally as welcoming to the SUP 11 Ohana. These details make a big difference and we are all grateful for it. 

In the prone fleet the vibe is awesome! The teams bring their support crew who hang signs on the bridges which is super fun for everyone passing. Lotte is flying in the prone fleet taking another solid win today overall. She also finishes before a lot of Tour SUP paddlers she starts with in the morning. Sotiros Bouchlas is going strong by the men and took the win today. It also should be mentioned that Anne de Jong & Jelle Steenbeek finished together on the prone today. Anne keeps a solid paste 3 days long. Jelle, who we know as a Stand Up Paddler, finished his 2nd day stage today.  

Last but not least, an update about the Trash Clean Up. Hugo, Janneke and Bart Haverman on the tandem sup grabbed 6 bags of trash today. That makes a total of 15 bags of trash removed so far.  

“The Van Harinxmakanaal was super dirty” Janneke mentions. “It is the last bit of the canal before the dock in Harlingen where everything gets piled up. We could have grabbed 20 bags of trash if we had the space”. Bart, who is more at home on a prone paddle board than a SUP had a great time doing the clean-up today. His shoulder bothered him proning, so a new body movement seemed like a good idea. I couldn’t join Janneke today on the tandem SUP as my back went out badly last night. It was an exit in discomfort on different levels, but my body is smart and there was no other way than to listen to the strong signals. Perhaps the green tandem can paddle 3 on Sunday? We’ll see about that after our stage tomorrow Franeker – Dokkum where a lot can happen. 

Anne-Marie Totah-Reichman.

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