Big Winds has a new power team rider: Bobbie Gardner. Bobbie checked in with this report from the 2013 Race the Lake of the Sky.
This was a great experience. I learned a lot and know what I need to work on. 14.4 miles is a long way — grueling.
The weather was perfect. The hardest part of the race was dealing with the boat chop. Since it was such a nice day all the boats where out in full force and, of course, Emerald Bay is the destination of choice, so there was a lot of mixed up water. I was chasing two women the entire race, determined to catch them. I caught them about 9 miles into the race. The boat chop was bad, but I think my downwinding experience from La Ventana helped in handling it. I paddled right through it and stayed up on my board.
I also did my first buoy race . That was 2.8 miles of full-on sprint! I would have come in first place in my age category but they put me in with the young ones — no age break, just board type! Not fair! But I did really well and I had a blast. I realized that I need to work on my starts and turns. My left turns were great, my right turns need help.
The race had 8 buoys with 3 laps around for a total of 2.8 miles. The 82 competitors in the race made for a crazy beach start. At times there was a head wind so I used your technique of squatting low and gripping down on the paddle. That worked great! I passed a few people with that tip. Now I am determined to get stronger and go faster.
See you on the water, amigo! Again, thanks for you great tips!