The plan was to make the inject of SUP Racing into the ECORA sanctioned events as easy and stress free as possible for the individual race organizers.
A “plug & play” concept was proposed at the ECORA yearly meeting and received well by the east coast outrigger club representatives.
Show up with boards and paddles, send the opposite gender out on the SUPs when the men’s/women's OC-1/2 race kicked off and flip-flop the racers when they head out on their canoes for the next race. Keep track of the times to ease the logistical burden and make sure we have trophies for the win/place/show SUP competitors. Easy day.
Oh yeah: keep the distances shorter for the first few races and guarantee only down-wind runs! Cake.
Without going into a long dissertation on the trials and tribs of finding a board sponsor, we got very lucky and completely stoked out by a local board shop and board distributor. Freedom Surf Shop in Virginia Beach, Virginia is owned/operated by Dave Shotton and they sell Jimmy Lewis Stand-ups which are distributed by Real Kiteboarding, down in Buxton North Carolina (THE Outer Banks), Trip Forman proprietor.
Jimmy is well known in the kiteboarding and surfing world, especially by those individuals lucky enough to reside on Maui. JL has been right there with the emergent crop of forward thinking SUP Board innovators. This year he has hatched a quiver of very cool SUP boards, from a 9’8” performance surf SUP to a 12-Ohhh! SUP gun.
That debate will come about when the gear shows up.
For now, we got Jimmies and we owe Dave and Trip a huge mahalo for leaning forward to make it happen.
Dave gets it. He sees the popularity of Stand-up just starting to form here and he is taking some significant risks to get boards out on the water for us to use in our racing series. He is in contact with one of the premier paddle makers in the industry; Kialoa SUP paddles will be spot-lighted as the paddle of choice for the inaugural ECORA SUP Race season. Dave and Meg Chun, along with legendary Makaha waterman Mel Pu'u, make beautiful paddles and we are stoked have them in our hands.
Life is good…now if we can get the wind and wave to cooperate.
Oli Oli and Malama Pono