Ultra Month: 715 kilometres down, 1248 to go…

Niek van der Linde paddled 23 hours through the fields of Friesland, Emmanuelle Marcon flowed down the Dordogne river in France for 11 hours, and somewhere in the remote wetlands of upstate New York, canoe teams completed their own 145km quest in times between 12 and 22 hours.

September is “Ultra Month” with seven adventures in four countries totalling almost 2,000 kilometres across the span of just 22 days. Four “races” were completed last week, so we’ve already paddled 715km yet still have a mind-boggling 1,248km to go (or, for our American friends that refuse to adopt metric: “444 miles down, 775 to go…”).   → READ MORE

September is Ultra Month: Three weeks, seven races and 2000km of adventure

The Ultras. There’s something about these immense challenges that piques the interest of so many paddlers in equal parts excitement and nerves. A bootcamp for both the body and mind, an ultra-marathon paddle “race” (adventure would be a more fitting term) is an exercise in physical strength and mental stamina that will beat you down, build you back up and probably leave you changed as a person…   → READ MORE

Great Glen Challenge: We fought the Loch Ness Monster and the Loch Ness Monster won

Apparently there’s a 50-year-old Glenfiddich single malt Scotch whiskey that sells for £30,000 a bottle. We might have to increase the budget of the Great Glen Challenge next year, because I’m pretty sure that drink was the only thing we could have offered Nessie to calm her down on Sunday.

The Loch Ness Monster was angry this year, and the mythical creature vented her fury on 70 stand up paddlers that dared enter her watery domain in the highlands of Scotland. What was forecast to be a 92km (57 mile) paddle through calm, beautiful countryside turned into a brutal test of strength, stamina and sheer grit as Nessie whipped up howling headwinds on her home waters.    → READ MORE

“Super Saturday” in September: Six big races, one weekend

Just when you thought the SUP racing season might be winding down, BANG!

It looks like the next two days will be the biggest weekend of the year as six international events take centre stage. From Scotland to Sardinia and Osaka to the Alps, let’s call it “Super Saturday” in September (even though one of these events insists on running Sunday).

Here’s what to keep an eye on.   → READ MORE

Bart de Zwart Ticks Another ‘Ultra’ off His List, Wins the 92km Great Glen Paddle in Record Time

Great Glen PaddleBart de Zwart has continued to cement his reputation as one of the craziest most inspiring paddlers in the world, taking out the 92km Great Glen Paddle in Scotland last weekend and setting yet another ultra long distance race record in the process.

To put the race in perspective, Bart won in 10 hours 50 minutes, which was a record fast time for this course; some of the other paddlers were out there for 15 or 16 hours.

Click through to read Bart’s race recap…   → READ MORE

Epic Race: Small Band Of Brave Paddlers Complete The 93km ‘Great Glen Paddle’ In Freezing Cold Scotland

The Great Glen PaddleOne of the longest races, most unique and most grueling races in the world of SUP racing happened last month, yet if you’re not from the UK you probably didn’t even realise it existed. On the 22nd of March (yeah I know, I’m a bit late as well), the 2014 Great Glen Paddle took place in the Scottish Highlands, with a small but very bold band of stand up paddlers tackling the course for the first time.

The Great Glen Paddle, which has been running for several years as a kayak race, is like an ultra-marathon on the water. The course, all 93 kilometres (57 miles) of it, stretches from one side of Scotland to the other via a series canals and lakes (or lochs, including the most famous of them all, Loch Ness).

Paddlers have the option of either doing it in one day, or camping overnight halfway and making it a two-day voyage. However in a show of true British stubbornness, every single one of the SUPs decided to have a crack at the one day, 93 kilometre, non-stop course, which meant the first four or five hours were paddled in the dark. And temperatures were hovering just above zero. Oh and at one point it was snowing. WTF?   → READ MORE