Words by Kaitlyn Fowle, photo sby Jessica Davis.
The New England Race season kicked off this past weekend with the 30th Run of the Charles River Race, hosted by the Charles River Watershed Association. The race brought paddlers from a variety of paddle sports to compete in a 6, 9, 19 or 24 mile course. Well the race crew at Osprey Sea and Surf in Westport, MA wasn’t about to miss out on it. So we loaded up the SUP boards and drove off to our first Run of the Charles, the three of us (PJ, Sam and I) opting for the six mile race.
It was a beautiful sunny day with the temperature in the mid 50’s, perfect weather. Just ignore the stiff breeze, please. Wind aside we were on the water ready to go, it was hard to hear much at the pre-race meeting so we just waited till it was our groups turn to go (SUP boards were in the last grouping). Then finally our race begins with fairly smooth sailing as we head for the rest of the 6 mile race pack. I made it to the buoy turn just behind PJ excited to finally be headed back to the finish, when about half way through the pivot turn there it is. The wind, sure you remembered it was there but now your seconds from facing straight into it.
So the battle ensues, it is all you can muster to keep pace with a 10 foot recreational kayak. That basically describes the second half of the race, and the final push to the finish line. Well, what we though was the finish line at least. After the top five SUP racers had “finished” a race official came over to us and informed us that there was another buoy just around the next bend in the river and none of us had officaially finished. What, none of us had known?! Anyways, after some minor discussion we all realized in the end it did not matter. We all had been racing to here, to this point, and knew how we did. So thanks all for the positive attitude and a great race, even if it was our own! It was great to see such a good showing from the Stand Up community. Excited for race season ahead, maybe I will actually finish the next one.