10-Sep-2015 01:59 p.m.

Kiwis Podium at SUP 11-City Tour

The gruelling 220km SUP 11-City Tour has come to an end in Holland with 2 podium finishes for the Kiwis. Jo Aleh - gold medalist sailor - placed 2nd overall and Bruno Hasulyo placed 3rd with his older brother, Daniel Hasulyo, following close behind in 4th. With the top athletes finishing the 5-day event in 22 hours racing against over 80 competitors it is an amazing feat to even finish let alone place so highly at this prestigious race!

Read Jo Aleh's First Hand Account Here


So this year without much forethought or really any thought at all, I decided to enter the SUP 11 City Tour, over 200km paddling in five days... Off the back of a year of sailing all over the world I was not exactly well prepared, for example I sorted out a board the evening before - luckily for me I got a 2015 Sprint 14x23, which was completely awesome to paddle! Day one nearly killed me, it was 43km, and all went well until the last 5km that was across a lake with a crazy side chop and 20knots of wind. After five hours already paddling, it was all a bit much! I scraped over the finish line with no idea how I could do it again the next day!

The routine of eat, drink, sleep, eat, drink, paddle…and so on, got me through the next four days.I have never been so sore in my life, stairs were the enemy, bending over was very tricky, and the hands, well.. They were the worst – blisters on blisters. Saychelle from USA was always clear in the lead, and paddling is her sport so I was happy to leave it to her! But second was up for grabs, so I managed to break away from the pack of girls on the second and third days to get myself a nice 9min lead over third place. Paddling 20-30km on my own those days was a bit of a mental challenge! The only thoughts I had for three hours were 'paddle, water, paddle, water' and so on.

It was much more fun for the last two days, where a few of us stuck together for the whole leg, taking turns drafting makes it a lot easier! I had no idea what I signed up for when I entered, I didn't think I would make it after the first day, and so after five days of pain, crossing the finish line was a truly incredible feeling! I have to say I would be hard pressed to find anything I am prouder of. The most awesome event I have been a part of! Hope to see a big kiwi contingency next year!!



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