SUP11 Hangover

The 10th edition of the SUP 11 CityTour has been amazing, the hangover took more than a week. Sorting out all the gear and making sure our sponsors get back their boards, flags and other things that were given to us to make the event a succes. Friday september 14th the traditional evaluation was held with a lot of volunteers, Pizza, beer and a night paddle gave everyone the possibility to get rid of evaluation points and the SUP11 hangover, replacing it with a real hangover.
Looking back on the 2018 edition makes me proud, to be part of fulfilling the goal Anne Marie Valerie Reichman had in 2009, create an event to promote Stand Up Paddling and sharing the beauty of the 11 Cities in Fryslan. A few core values go along with the event, go green, equality in many ways, come as a person go as a family, get kids involved and volunteering.
This edition had a few organizational changes worth mentioning, first of all going GREEN as main topic for the event, reusable cups for drinks, Greenjoy boats for water safety, Plastic Tides on board, breakfast on board in porcelain plates and so on. We still have some things to improve but made a big step this edition. Second the mother ship It Beaken. The missing link in our set up, a place for breakfast, lodging for all volunteers, workspace and a studio for the live show of the Paddle League, she will be back in 2019. Third important change was our massive media crew, two schools joined this years event, NHL Stenden from Leeuwarden and Erst Littfass Schule from Berlin with students and teachers. Chris Parker, SUPracer, referred to the crew as a sort of heaven so he could focus on what he does best, talking shit together. Also a few minor changes worth mentioning no free give away, shorter price ceremony and combination with the Admiraliteitsdagen in Dokkum.
For the non stop edition, held in the weekend prior tot the 5 day race there were 23 participants at the start, a new record. The field of participants was huge 136 participants on the first start in Leeuwarden with special attention for the growing number of women participating and the 40+ categories Diva and Master. The group of Prone paddlers is growing slowly as well, which we really like! The number of tour participants is growing so fast that as a consequence they start in two groups. Very interesting in the race are the 2 time trials, where drafting is not allowed, this makes the race more open and less tactical.
The record attempt to be on the water with 1000 boards failed on the last day, so Russia will still be record holder for at least one year. In our 11th edition of the SUP11 we’ll try again, than the aim will be 1111 paddlers through the beautiful city of Leeuwarden on September 10 combined with the Prologue. A special thanks to Mistral, Fanatic and all the SUP schools from the Netherlands for the willingness to help us to reach the goal. The local government Gemeente Leeuwarden made it possible that the children could participate for free, big hand.
For us the 11th SUP11 CityTour starts on the last day of this edition by listening to suggestions from participants and volunteers. Evaluating what was good and what could be done better, we reflect almost all decisions with athletes and volunteers participating the event and discuss them within the board and the founder Anne Marie. The event is there for promoting Stand Up Paddling and giving everybody involved a life changing experience in a very intense and emotional week.
I like to thank our main sponsor Mistral for the trust in the event and specially Maurits for your positive attitude during the week. Merk Fryslan for joining and supporting us with promoting SUPtember all over the Netherlands! Mr. SUPSKIN, Wolfgang, thanks for being there and sorry for the beautiful weather this year, maybe more luck next year. Sowady Sweet Water Brew welcome aboard, hopefully the journey continues. Red Paddle Co. for the boards during the clinics and Sonnema for helping us out with your prices and Beerenburg. During the massages the Weidenaar sausage was a real treat as always! Without the support from the Provincie Fryslân this event would not be what it is now, from the first edition the province supports the SUP11 financially.
So next life changing week will take place from 7-15 SUPtember 2019, be there!
Ritske Merkus



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