Today, for the first time in more than a decade, I participated in a race that wasn't purely a windsurf or SUP race. It was the "Naples Water Tri Challenge," organized by SW Florida athletic gurus Mark Athanacio and Jen Hayes. A classic triathalon is a swim, bike ride, and run, in immediate succession. The Naples Water Tri was a little different. It was a 1.6 km swim, then a short rest, then a 4.8 km beach run & 4.8 km sup paddle. You could do all three sub-events, or just one or two, and you could choose to do the beach run before or after the sup paddle. I liked the flexibility of the event, which I think encouraged more people to do it.
Part of me wanted to do all three sub-events, but I knew the long swim would have been too much for me unless I'd committed to practicing for it a month or more in advance. So I just did the run and the SUP, which I knew were within my abilities to complete. My total time was 0:58:16. Of that my run time was roughly 0:25:03 and my sup time was roughly 0:33:13. I say roughly because the end of the run was me taking my shoes and socks off and grabbing my sup, and the beginning of the sup was me micturating in the water before climbing aboard. The board I used for the race was a Riviera RP 14' x 25" in fiberglass construction. It's on extended loan from CGT Kayaks and Paddleboards on the condition that I kick butt with it to show it off and help advertise the shop. Compared to my blunt-nosed Fanatic Falcon, the Riviera RP seems to cut through the water a bit faster, and it does pivot turns better.
My CGT teammates Kate Pagan, Murray Hunkin, and Matt Kearney also did the race, and some other CGT folks helped with the boats and buoys. Kate actually did all three events, and did them all very well, even with the handicap of being on a 12'6 instead of a 14' board. Various folks took pictures, some of which I downloaded from facebook and posted below. Let me know if you want your photography acknowledged or removed.
Swimmers set out following sup-shepherd Mark Athanacio, and 800 m later round the halfway mark buoy.
Start of the run/sup.
Matt Kearney and Kate Pagan at the start of the SUP part.
Murray Hunkin finishing the sup part with POWER. He was part of a relay team, with a buddy who did the run and swim.
There was a random group of scuba divers right next to the turnaround point of the sup part.
Coming in to the finish, wondering if I should have pushed it a little harder.
CGT's Riviera RP.
Interesting tail design on the RP to help with water release and with catching and riding "bumps."