Charlie Grey wins BOP Race at the Extreme Academy 2012 BSUPA National Champs, Watergate Bay taking place 13th & 14th October.
Stand Up Paddleboard racing is a key aspect of the competitive side to our sport, and one that both BSUPA and the organizers of these championship are keen to embrace and develop. At this years championships in additional to the 5km distance race they also introduced a Battle of the Paddle competition.
Charlie Grey about the event:
"In the run up to the event the conditions for the Saturdays Surf competition were always looking a bit suspect and sure enough we could Friday night sleeping in the vans was the wind and rain, so it was no surprise to wake up and see Watergate Bay as one big mess of white water with 4-5' swell and 20knot winds. It was pretty much a lottery of if you made it out back (which i think in the mornings rounds only 4 people did most of the time taking around 15 minutes to battle out) and got a wave you got through to the next heat. I was unlucky to only get 3rd in my first round putting into to the repercharge were I got a lucky break and got out back to snag two waves putting me through in 1st to round three. All was going well on my paddle out for round 3 having found a clean run out through the craze of white water wind and rips to only to unluckily to get swatted all the way back to the beach by a clean out set. i tried to make the best of the time and energy i had left but unfortunately it wasn't enough to advance
Another night in the van and this time all was quiet, it had got down to freezing overnight so I knew the north winds had come in and we all awoke to the amazing sight of a glassy sea and some clean lines rolling in. We were all a bit gutted we didn't have the same conditions for the surf on the sat. but we knew it would make for a nice rice. we had a quick briefing and the course was set a 2 lap bop format. Racing the 12'6x27 fly I knew I had the perfect board for the race. It was a nice clean start making the first marker in second place, a small lead pack soon formed with Paul Simmons, Ryan James, Ollie Shilton and myself. At the last marker the pack split in two with different views in tactics, knowing how well my board does in the surf I knew that was were I could make a break, I got the the round the beach run and back on the water in second but with a nice clean paddle through the surf by the time I was clear of it and the the first mark i had a clear lead of ryan now in second. I didnt look back once for the rest of the lap knowing I had to make it to the last turn in front and get on a wave in first, I turned the mark but it was flat so pushed on, one quick glace behind a minuet later and I see Ryan getting on the back of a small set coming through I knew I had to get on that wave as well which was no problem and stick with it, I knew there was a little reform on the inside so snagged that as well putting a nice gap once again between ryan and myself and with a short run it was across the line and super stoked."
Well done Charlie!
Results Battle of the Paddle – Men’s 12’6″ Class:
1st Charlie Grey (Fanatic)
2nd Ryan James
3rd Oliver Shilton