Day 1: It’s on! From today on to September 11, the 3rd edition of the SUP 11-City tour takes place. Athletes will experience the ultimate challenge as they paddle 220 kilometers (136 miles) in five days with heavy weather conditions, with wind forecasts up to 7bft. And tough it was today, with a south western wind blowing 5 bft. Unfortunately the weather forecast for the rest of the week will not improve. Freezing it is in Friesland.
Beside the ultimate challenge the SUP 11-City Tour is also a unique experience. Over 150 national and international paddlers from around the world (Hawaii, USA, France, Norway, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand) get to know Friesland, the northern province of Holland, from the water. Open fields with windmills, cows, and sheep will present itself along the water ways alternated by eleven historical cities built from 1700 onwards.
Participants paddle the original waterways, where ice skaters started conquering this historical tour 101 years ago on frozen waters. SUP 11-City supporters come from all over the country and from all over the world to Friesland to encourage participants from bridge tot bridge, and from town to town.
Heavy first Day
It was a tough race today with strong wind conditions: south west 5 bft. Mainly crosswinds for the participants. Leaders in the first stage of the race were Bart de Zwart, Ryan James and Paul Jackson. For the women Anne-Marie Reichman, and Jackson were leading. Finally Bart de Zwart reached the finish first after 5,5 hours, closely followed by Erik Devaux, and third Paul Jackson. For the women it was Anne-Marie who finished first after a race of 6,5 hours, secondly Jackson and third Horsefield. The first of the teams was team Hightide. Several participants had to end the race before the finish in Sneek, because of the heavy weather conditions. Despite the rain, the sun appeared so now and then between the clouds, a good way to warm up the atmosphere.