Paddle Round the Pier 2009

Elliot Dudley approaching the finish line

Elliot Dudley was in blistering form at this years paddle round the pier in Brighton 0n 4th & 5th July. Following his success in the BSUPA round 2 distance race at Gwithian in June Elliot made the 20 mile race (10 miles upwind and 10 miles downwind) look easy. He had a convincing win and even looked fresh on the finish line. John Hibbard came second after his gamble to paddle out to sea and use the waves to glide back did not quite pay off due to the wind changing direction. Jock Patterson came in third place, Jock is also having a good year with a first place in the BSUPA surfing contest at Gwithian beach, and doing well in the distance series as well. Elliot’s time was 4 hours and 15 minutes for the 20 miler, making it a real marathon.

On Sunday BSUPA held a pier to pier to pier race (West Pier to Palace Pier and back to West Pier) which was approximately a 5km race. Once again the winners were Elliot, John and Jock – in that order. Especially impressive given the previous days race, but also because 10 minutes before the start Elliot and John had just been competing in the prone paddle race (which Elliot won – you can detect a theme here !). The BSUPA 5km was a good race, it gave some of the local SUPers who have not had a chance to race before an opportunity to experience it, and it also raised money for the paddle round the pier charities.

There were alot of SUP brands at the event, Starboard, Bic, Oxbow, GONG and SurfTech just to name afew. Surftech had some really impressive boards on display. The one that really caught my eye was the Gerry Lopez shaped SUP. Anyone who remembers the outline shape of the old 1970’s Gerry Lopez lightning boards will recognise it – it looks like a fantastic board, hopefully we will be taking it out for a test run later this year. We also got a glance at Elliot’s new distance board, the Joe Bark 14ft, a great looking board with a decent amount of rocker on the front – it should be great for cutting through the swells on up winders.

Huge thanks go to the PRTP team, especially Dave Samual who organised a great event. Also thanks are due to Simon Bassett and Claire Blacklock for stepping in a short notice to run the Sunday race.