Last weekend my mate nadege and I went to Cornwall. My intention was to race in my 1st surfski race in the UK. Since coming back from the USA it has been a struggle trying to get accepted into races especially in France; I have prove myself competent of the conditions; fustrating because numerous people explain to me its because the races are not flat water; I never even knew that surfski existed on flat water; I live on the sea; I paddle in waves; wind and swell; I couldn’t even tell you where a bit of flat water is…
So after convincing the organisers I was worthy, off we went….I was pretty exhausted after a week of hand,foot n mouth and with the Jim away at sea it has been full on….so the race was always a bit doubtful…
We arrived Friday night after a pleasant crossing despite the swell rolling in..I prepared myself for the race by eating a curry; drinking a few pints; cocktails and a vodka jelly…. the true athlete I am….
The day of the race in Looe the weather was crap. I wasn’t feeling it from the start.
The race meeting emphasised the conditions; already I opted for the short course. I am definitely not into upwind paddling with a side on swell.
The Race course
Driving to the start point I was 80% sure it was not for me. I was not feeling it. 20% of me just wanted to see how it was. I hired a surfski and that made more hesitant if I was in my own boat I’d be ok.
I got to the start line and looked up and there were some heavy sets coming in and yup I called it a day.
Should I go?
I couldn’t careless about calling it a day for my pride, I was excited to be in the UK. But did surprise me was the levels of inexperience in the race. I thought I was a beginner, but no, there were people who had only been flat water surfskiing for 3 months….what on earth were they doing there…. and why were they not 2nd guessing their limits?
Unfortunately when conditions are like that you get the speel from the men. About being one with water. I work offshore; I m in the sea mostly every day, I live on the beach. I m an acomplished swimmer; I m a divemaster, I sup surf; I do all that…but I do not posses the ability to breathe underwater; I m not a mermaid…so why would I say that….. maybe they haven’t done too many bosiet courses….the old skool way… This to me highlights a problem that I see frequently women questionning their limits; men believing they possess gills….
Once I boerowed a surf board off a dutch guy in skegness (I was working there) he made me sit and watch tye waves for 1 hr to get a feel for the ocean….whatevs?! 😂
So alas no race for me. So off we went back to the finish line where a bbq was being had. I was able to meet up and chat with some cool women paddlers…which is always a treat… there is a massive inequality in the numbers of women paddlers… and we were interested in finding out why….its still a mystery… but I m super happy I went; just to chat about paddling is awesome…I don’t get the chance too much here in France; without being schooled….
I ll be back next time with my own boat and maybe a tent… I m glad I saw the route so I can train for it. Well done Andy the organiser what a fine effort..I ll be back and hopefully with my family…but no kebabs next time….
Women who paddle