Athletes will experience the ultimate challenge as they paddle 220 kilometers (136 miles) in five days with weather conditions varying from windless, beautiful and sunny to cold, rainy and stormy.
Besides the ultimate challenge the SUP 11-City Tour is also a unique experience. 200 national and international paddlers are expected to get to know Friesland, the northern province of Holland, from the water. Open fields with windmills, cows, and sheep will present itself along the water ways exchanged by eleven historical cities built from 1700 onwards.
Since 2009 participants paddle the original waterways, where the ice skaters started conquering this historical tour on frozen waters.
Founder Anne-Marie Reichman
The first of November 1974 Anne-Marie Valeria Reichman is born in Leeuwarden, Friesland, the northern province of the Netherlands. She starts with classical ballet, jazz ballet, modern dance and piano lessons early in life. At 16 years old she chooses to focus on her latest passion windsurfing. It leads her to many lakes (flat water) all over the country and to a Dutch championship title at 19 years old. After high school she chooses Scheveningen as her new home; a cute little fishing town on the Dutch west coast. Competitions were “on hold” for she focused on the Sport Academy and learned to windsurf in the Dutch North Sea waves. Good times.
A few years later her first international travels start in countries like Denmark, Sweden, South Africa and Maui (’97). There she is introduced to the big waves and infected again with the virus to compete; this time in the windsurfing discipline WAVE. Her debut in the PWA (professional windsurfing association) World Cup is in ’98. Besides competing, Anne-Marie makes a pact with herself to travel to a new country or place each year to discover the world, new cultures, different languages and off course new waves. She writes her travel experiences for magazines and shares them on the net. In 2002, a few years into ‘the tour’, she makes it into the top 3 of the PWA world-ranking list.
Not only is Anne-Marie a professional windsurfer, she is also a passionate surfer and stand up paddler making the most of every condition the ocean provides. Art-painting, yoga, golf and shaping boards are her other passions. These creative activities offer balance in her active life full of travels. Instead of enjoying this lifestyle her self, she makes it her goal to share it with other people around the world during clinics, interviews, promotion activities and event organization. By doing what she loves to do most, she wants to motivate and inspire everyone to follow their dreams and passions in life. Her motto being: “Dream of life, live your dream”. This is a continuous choice she makes. Anne-Marie spends most of her year in California, Maui, one of the Hawaiian Islands and Holland. These locations amongst extra travels and trips are the perfect environment for an active, creative, professional and passionate water sports athlete she is.
SUP 11-City Tour
February 2008 Anne-Marie gets in touch with SUP on Maui, Hawaii, where she feels at home, trains and competes through out the year.
The ‘beach boys’ invented SUP in Honolulu around 1960, even though there are images of people standing up and paddling on a board way earlier. SUP was re-invented in Hawaii again in 2004 by world-class ‘watermen’ and it is now the fastest growing water sport in the world. Anne-Marie experienced how healthy, accessible and ‘green’ this sport is, while training almost every muscle from top to toe tow. As a former professional windsurfer in the waves, she discovered what a great cross training SUP offers. (American celebrities are into SUP as well, because SUP offers an awesome fun and fitness combination)
Autumn 2008, Anne-Marie, born and bread in Friesland, paddles the original ice-skating “Eleven city Tour” as a personal dream and challenge. She lives her dream and simultaneous reaches her goal to promote SUP in Holland. Holland and Friesland are perfect for SUP with lakes, canals, North Sea and waterways through cities and villages.
Her first SUP 11-City Tour, performed in 38 hours, was also an opportunity to test the waters whether the SUP 11-City Tour could be an annual International event.
“It all stems from a vision when I was paddling before my “try out” in 2008 followed by solid amount of ‘chicken skin’ to get people around the world together through the SUP Sport. Each year it has a growing participant field. I have participated in many events around the world and had the opportunity to learn from its cultures. I see how Holland and Friesland with their cultures and traditions are alive with the participants, supporters, friends, family and followers online. I can also see the enormous positive physical and mental boost the participants gain by accomplishing the personal challenge everyone experiences. The camaraderie and “SUP 11-City Ohana” grow each year (Ohana = Hawaiian word for Family). Dream-worthy!”