Standup paddle races are an aspect of the sport with a unique appeal. The same athletes that are running marathons and cross country ski racing are picking-up paddles and hitting the water. The blend of endurance and strength developed in standup paddling is producing very well-rounded athletes. Note the physique on the second-place finisher in the Florida championships!
The boards for racing are a different breed too. In open ocean racing 14' to 18' boards are common. The photo is the lineup from the Florida Championships.
Locally we have two races on the schedule. The Odell Lake 29th Annual Pioneer Cup is July 26th. This is a five mile down-wind race with a bar-b-que at the finish. Last year was the first for the standup class and it was a blast! Times were around one hour and 11'to12' boards worked fine. The other is in The Gorge July 18-20 with the outrigger paddlers. The 18th is an unofficial downwinder. The 19th and 20th involve both up and down wind legs. This is less desireable for standup but definately a workout. The 19th will include a standup class, details on this event to come later. Only experienced paddlers that are comfortable in big wind, waves and chop should consider The Gorge.
Photos provided by Trevor Gregson @ C4
See 11'to12' standup paddle boards suitable for racing at standuppaddleflatwater.com