Hi everybody... sorry it's been a while since I posted. Things are going 1000 miles an hour here as the season rapidly approaches. First and foremost, let's talk about what's been happening in the water. I got my first windsurf session in last Saturday at Wolf Lake. It was HOWLING, gusting into the 40's. I started the day on 5.5m and ended overpowered on 4.6m! What a great start to the season, shaking off the cobwebs and enjoying some blistering speed runs and powerful jibes. Sorry, but I didn't get any action shots... maybe next time.
Other than that one windsurf session, it's been all about waves here. We're having a slow start to spring with colder-than-normal temps, which arrive accompanied by strong North winds that mean... you guessed it... WAVES for us south-enders. These next two shots I grabbed off of Facebook... that's Chicago surfer Tommy Shimenetto getting some action at Ogden Dunes. I missed this session due to work, but I've had a few good surf sessions lately and a lot of other Great Lakes surfers have been posting some pretty amazing pics around FaceBook. It's been a great surf season.
BUT, it's almost time to swap bottom turns for buoy turns... that's right, race season is just around the corner and if you've been lagging on training as I have, you might want to turn up the intensity a notch or two. I was kind of nervous about being a bit behind in my training, but recent developments have put me into a full-on panic! Here's the scoop...
A few weeks ago I was approached by the organizers of Leon's Triathlon, which runs on June 2nd at Wolf Lake in Hammond, Indiana. Leon's is the Midwest Qualifier for USA Triathlon, so it's a well attended event hosting over 650 participants. After a few phone calls with the event's incredibly enthusiastic founder, Leon Wolek, it was decided that we had an opportunity to make history... and we seized it. We're a few days away from the official announcement, but I can take the liberty of letting the cat peek out of the bag here on the blog. Leon's Triathlon will be the first-ever USAT Qualifying Triathlon to feature a brand new format, SUP TRI. In SUP TRI we're going to replace the swim portion of the triathlon with a standup paddleboard race. This is going to be intense! It's an Olympic distance event, so we'll be looking at a 4.5km SUP leg on a technical course with a bunch of buoy turns. After the SUP leg athletes will jump on their bikes for a 40km road ride, then put on the running shoes and do a 10km run. There will be details up on the Leon's Triathlon website sometime next week, so if you're interested in entering the race check out their site and join us to make history!
In addition to Leon's Tri, there's also a new Spring race series being pulled together called The Amped Up Midwest SUP Cup. This series kicks off in Fontana, Wisconsin on May 4-5 and features a race each weekend through June 22. Click the photo above for a closer look at the schedule. I'll be at the May 4-5 event in Fontana, so if you can make it come on up and get on the water with me.
And finally, if you aren't already dialed in to the Midwest Standup Paddleboard Championship series, here's the link to the BIG ENCHILADA of Midwest SUP racing. Midwest SUP is our own WPA-sanctioned race series. If you want to accumulate points toward the regional championship and possibly even win yourself a spot at the nationals, this is the series you must compete in. Of course, if you couldn't care less about points, championships or even casually paddling around a racecourse, these events are still a blast. There's always food, music, clinics, boards to demo and the generally raucous scene that goes with any SUP event. Do yourself a favor and get out to at least one of these events to see all that the SUP community has to offer.
OK... that's it for today. Hope you're getting out on the water a bit and looking forward to an incredible season of Midwest SUP! See you all out on the water soon!