Pros on island for Challenge
Several international professionals set out this morning from Snorkel Park for the Devil's Isle Challenge paddleboard race around the Great Sound.
Organisers had to alter their initial plans for a 40-mile circumnavigation of the island because of expected bad weather this weekend. Instead the 33-mile race will go around the inner perimeter of the Great Sound. They started at 6am and are expected to complete the race around 3pm, after which there will be a reception with barbecue on the beach.
There will be a total of 20 solo competitors in three classes, as well as a relay competition. Stuart Joblin, of Makin Waves, is Bermuda's competitor in the Sup Pro class, where Julieta Gismondi is one of the top visiting pros. She holds the distinction of being the first stand-up paddleboarder to sail around Long Island when she completed the 300-mile trek in ten days in May 2015.
The Argentinian started her journey from Pier 84 on the Hudson River, working her way around the southern tip of Manhattan and then up into the Long Island Sound. “I still can't believe I actually did it,” Gismondi said after the feat.
“Every single day I would think this is when I call it quits.”
Gismondi, who self-financed the journey, primarily camped out on beaches, surviving on bags full of freeze-dried food and snacks. She would paddle upwards of 30 miles a day, timing her journey to go with the tides.
“I was alone,” she said. “I had nothing to do during the day but paddle.”
Today's Sup Pro race also features several competitors from the United States. There are 13 competitors in that class and four in the Surfski Pro class where another local resident, Hermann Thuoet, is competing.
The Sup Open class sees Melony Kendell competing against Scott Watson-Brown of Australia and Hartmut Moschner of Germany.
Bermuda also has four teams in the relay event, Too Good for You, Can't Catch de Cheese, Bermuda Pilot Gig Club and SUPtheMag.
Sup Pro class: Julieta Gismondi (Argentina), Louanne Harris (US), Andrew Dima (US), Mike Tavares (US), Garrett Fletcher (US), Josette Lata (US), Stuart Joblin (Bermuda), Zach Rounsaville (US), Jack Egan (US), Darrell Horton II (US), Franck Fifils (Guadeloupe), Justin Schaay (US), Annabel Anderson (New Zealand).
Surfski Pro class: John LaGrassa (US), Nathan Thuoet (Bermuda), Eric Mims (US).
Sup Open: Scott Watson-Brown (Australia), Melony Kendell (Bermuda), Hartmut Moschner (Germany).