This was the weekend we had all been looking forward too here in Austin. While we have multiple races per year here, this is the big one. This year the organizer, Jeff VanZandt Changed things up a bit. Instead of the 1.5 and 3 Miler’s we had last year, he decided to up the ante to 3 miles and 6 miles respectively. The other main difference is the addition of an Elite Race. Last years races were really more of a Recreation Race (1.5m) and an Open Race (3m).
Another nice addition this year, was got a chance to race against some real Elite Racers. Last year Slater Trout attended the race, but it was more in an Ambassador Role. He was so far ahead of the competition at that time, that it didn’t make sense to have him race. I think we had a total of 3 race boards in last years race. This year that number grew by leaps and bounds. In fact, Its tough for me to remember seeing any surf SUP’s in the Elite Race. Even the open seemed to be predominantly racing shaped boards.
With regards to the Elites who came to town for this race, we had EJ (Starboard) and Andie Johnson (Yolo) from Dana Point California., as well as Betsy Risner (Surftech/Bark) from Park City Utah. EJ took home 1st place honors for the Men’s Elite, as well as first place in the 200m Dash For Cash sprint race. Betsy took home first place for the Women’s Elite, and Andie came in 3rd in the Women’s elite.
I think the biggest surprise of the day, was our own local boy Chance Uptmore finishing 2nd. If I am not mistaken, this was only his second race. He really did well, finishing the race in 1:06. Behind him was Matt Thompson, with a time of 1:07. Both Chance and Matt were on Kings Custom Race Boards. Matt’s looked like a needle. It really looked quick, but also looked like it could be tippy if you were a bigger guy. Either way, those boards were flyin’. There were also multiple Lahui Kai and Bark’s in the top 10.
For the women, Betsy easily grabbed 1st place, even beating many of the men, several of which were on 14’ boards (she was riding my wife’s 12’6 Bark). In second place, we had a new comer to our local scene. Brianna Goodnight. My understanding is, her and her father (who won 1st place in the Open race) were visiting from Maui, and heard about the race and decided to enter. I believe they were even on borrowed boards. In any case, it was great to have them here and we hope to paddle with them again next year.
After that, we had the 200m Dash For Cash Race. EJ won that one too, collecting $200, to add to the $150 Paddle Zen donated for 1st place Elite men’s and women’s. Beyond that, there was a paddle with your pooch race, and a Family Tandem Race.
As always, one of my favorite things about going to a race is seeing all of the great looking race boards. We saw at least 2 home made race boards this year, as well as a Fanatic Race Board, which I had never seen in Austin before. Brian Hovnanian also brought his Comet Race Board out to show off. I never got a chance to try it out, as someone was always on it, but it looked pretty fast. Hopefully I will get a chance to try it out one of these days. Other than that, the 2 King’s boards were also pretty popular.
Here are the results as posted by the SUP Jam organizers. I am not sure if this in complete or not, as I seem to remember more people racing that what I see here. For more info, or to contact the organizers, please go to www.supjamaustin.com
Please mark your calendars for next years SUP Jam, which will occur on May 5th.
View the Slideshow here