Last Sunday 16 people did the first race in CGT Summer Time Trials' paddle race series on the Imperial River in Bonita Springs, Florida. I love the races that CGT puts on because they're right in my backyard, they're with my SUP teammates and other nice folks, and they have a relaxed atmosphere that nevertheless encourages you to push yourself to improve your paddling.
Murray Hunkin the South African kayaker and CGT sup race team stud.
Although I didn't place first in this race, it was one of my favorites. The fastest paddler in town, Mark Athanacio, used a 14' board in contrast with his usual 12'6, which put him in the same division as me and most of the other guys on the CGT race team. Nevermind that Mark had done a huge ocean race in Pompano Beach the day before- he was still fast. I started in the first group of four with Mark, Matt Kearney, and Murray Hunkin. There was good "draft train" action in the first part of the race with Mark pulling Matt pulling me pulling Murray. After a few minutes, though, Mark started to pull ahead of Matt so I sprinted around to take his place. I drafted Mark for a bit, then I took a turn pulling, and we switched back and forth like that for most of the race. Mark was helpful asking me when I was getting really tired and offering to lead at those times. I tried to help him by telling him what shallow spots and high current areas to watch out for in the river, but I kept mixing up right and left so I wasn't actually much help. After we did the last turn of the race, upriver under the "bat bridge," Mark got a gap on me that I didn't have the energy to close, but I stayed not too far behind. The times were as follows:
Name, Time, Class, Course
Kim Kelsey, 0:42:14, Surf Ski, 4.5 Mile
Mark Athanacio, 0:45:34, 14' SUP, 4.5 Mile
James Douglass, 0:45:45, 14' SUP, 4.5 Mile
Jodi Ziajka, 0:46:43, 12'6" SUP, 2 Mile
Matt Kearney, 0:49:36, 14' SUP, 4.5 Mile
Justin DiGiorgio, 0:50:04, 14' SUP, 4.5 Mile
Murry Hunkin, 0:50:47, 14' SUP, 4.5 Mile
Mark Hourigan, 0:52:31, 14' SUP, 4.5 Mile
Meg Bosi, 0:53:43, 12'6" SUP, 4.5 Mile
Alan Navarro, 0:54:17, 12'6" SUP, 4.5 Mile
Jared Hamilton, 0:56:42, 14' SUP, 4.5 Mile
John Weinberg, 0:58:29, 14' SUP, 4.5 Mile
Mike Clough, 1:00:32, Rec Kayak, 4.5 Mile
Bryan Herrick, 1:03:16, 12'6" SUP, 4.5 Mile
Igor Krasnov, 1:03:16, 14' SUP, 4.5 Mile
Dave Santee, 1:13:39, 14' SUP, 4.5 Mile
The course is actually ~4.3 miles, not 4.5 miles, so our speeds are not *quite* as impressive as they look. Mine works out to 9.14 kph (5.68 mph) which is really good for me- near my fastest all-time speed on this course, which was set in cooler weather. Close competition and drafting definitely helps. My goal is to get a few tenths of a kph faster over this distance so I can have a chance of hanging with the faster draft trains at the big Florida races.
After the race there was a glorious buffet spread in the CGT shop, which included amazing pulled pork slider sandwiches on potato rolls. Come on out and join us at the next one on July 12th! See the full schedule of CGT races in my sidebar.