Party ON! Day 5 of the 13th Annual 5-day SUP 11-City Tour
Dokkum-Leeuwarden. The final stage of the SUP 11-City Tour is a wrap!
It is the shortest stage with a total of 27 kilometers; but it is not always the easiest with the usual south west wind.
180 Athletes started today! Another record. The usual 5 day Tour paddlers & the SUP Clean-Up crew started first at 9:30. The weekend and day stage participants started at 10:00 followed by THE time trail (the entire stage). 10:10 All competitors started per category & time in the race every 30 seconds. Number 1 Joep van Bakel starting last.
I made my way to Burdaard with my parents and son to see the fleet go by. The organization boat “It Beaken” and the beautiful Frisian accommodation ships where the athletes sleep on the entire week, came by first. Then the Tour paddlers, trash pick crew and competitors followed. It was one big beautiful party in Burdaard with support teams, CREW and music creating an epic vibe. And this is what I remember from the ice skating Elevencity tour. The hardcore ice skaters And the groups of people partying on the bridges supporting everyone passing by.
Now back to the elite race. As much as the vibe was happy, the athletes went all out! Joep was in 4 days about a minute in front of Kjell, but today Kjell was ahead of Joep for a while in the time trial and that made it exciting till the end. Ricardo was solid and steady 3rd all week. Today was no difference. By the open ladies Ella was unstoppable and fast. She enhanced her lead on Tanja, who was super solid second. Like Ricardo, Wietske Kuipers was in solid third position and reached her goal to be top 3.
The Masters, Grand Masters, Divas and Grand Divas were also amazing in their field. Really there is no one who is not impressive. Sometimes finishing last is harder than first, because the extra hours on the water ad up physically. In this regard; Everyone is a winner. And that was exactly the vibe when everyone in the Prinsentuin bursted out into a huge applause when the very last paddler crossed the finish line shortly after 4 pm.
3 Extra bags of trash were collected today by Janneke, Hugo and Bart today. Hugo stumbled on a car about 5 kilometers after Dokkum, but that was too big to bring along on a SUP.
The entire SUP 11-City Clean UP Catch totals 20 bags of trash. And this effort will not go by unnoticed.
I hope this will inspire more people to clean up and possibly join world cleanup day 12 Suptember. Even better; reconsider current choices to prevent plastic production or over consumption.
From the environment back to the finish where some paddlers are hungry for more and some vote to never do this again. (Sometimes this vote lasts a few hours, a week or really a year 😉
And from the finish we finally go to the final price giving in beautiful sunny Leeuwarden.
Congratulations once again to the winners and everyone who completed their goal.
(And for the ones who had to quit: I hope the hunger to complete your goal keeps burning for the next opportunity that comes along!)
1. Ella Oesterholt Netherlands 25:27:13
2. Tanja Ecker Germany 25:37:04
3. Wietske Kuipers Netherlands 26:16:32
1. Vicky Morales United States 29:16:33
2. Jacqueline Visster Netherlands 30:26:33
1. Marion Behrens Germany 27:04:26
2. Nicole Klaver Netherlands 27:53:01
3. Nicole Schmitt Germany 30:09:53
1. Lotte Spaargaren Netherlands 32:15:21
2. Anne de Jong Netherlands 35:39:38
1. Joep van Bakel Netherlands 21:50:22
2. Kjell De Bruyn Belgium 21:52:54
3. Ricardo Haverschmidt Netherlands 23:09:40
1. Michel Keersmaekers-Michels Germany 23:16:55
2. Jochum Steur Netherlands 23:53:04
3. Paulo Lopez Portugal 23:57:45
1. Pascal Bleys Belgium 24:22:00
2. Mark Kruisheer Switersland 24:54:41
3. Eelco Boers Netherlands 25:58:13
1. Sotiros Bouchlas Greece 35:19:46
1. Gazo Team Netherlands 34:26:09
2. Gazo Ultiem Netherlands 35:01:47
3. Gazo Pro(ne) Netherlands 41:10:52