COLD STROKE: RACE RECAP
Cold Stroke: Race Recap
Told By: MAX POWER
Twenty days into the new year and it is no surprise that the Capital SUP Race Team already has one race under their belt for 2018. And what better way to start the new year than attending the 10th Annual Cold Stroke Classic in Wrightsville Beach presented by Coastal Urge. The plan was simple – leave Maryland Friday afternoon and head to North Carolina, get some rest and dominate Saturday morning. After some not so simple carpool coordination, packing logistics, and fighting DC/Richmond rush hours the caravan was on its way down 95. A sprinter van chocked full of five racers, two canine friends, a hitchhiker, one queen bed, a roof mounted Epic V12 surfski, and a whole bunch of positive vibes followed by a truck pulling a trailer containing all of the race boards.
Arriving late to Wrightsville we were graciously greeted by our host, Teresa Plitt, a veteran Capital SUP racer who recently relocated from Maryland to North Carolina. The two Maryland dogs (Huckleberry and Wilson) made some new canine friends at the host house and then Zzzzzzzzzzzzz, grrrrrrrrrr, and barks were all that filled the house until morning twilight.
Saturday morning was here. The aroma of fresh French pressed coffee filled the air. Coach Chris “Goose” Norman embarked on an early morning meditation and photography session down by the water. All of the dogs got walks and morning nutrition was the focus of the Race Team.
Crossing the intercoastal waterway into Wrightsville around 8:30am the water appeared just as we dreamed…GLASS! That was short lived as the wind picked up by race time. Reggae beats were spinning as the boards were unloaded and placed on the intercoastal side beach at the Blockade-Runner Beach Resort. The Capital SUP racers who made the trek down 95 on their own also joined us to round out a team that was ten strong.
The pre-race meeting went off without a hitch and it was time for the horns to blow. Initially calling for a beach start, the Capital SUP team and a majority of racers calmly protested a water start would be safer for the number of contestants present and the limited beach space. Racers took there marks between the dock and the starting buoys. 1 minute, 30 seconds, 10 seconds, beeeeeep and they were off!
The pack quickly narrowed with longtime Capital SUP friend Tommy Buday leading the pack and a draft train ensued. The top six 14’ Racers really separated from the pack during the first lap. During lap two Tommy and South Carolina’s Dr. John Batson pulled ahead and battled for the 1st and 2nd spot right up until the finish when Tommy crossed a second ahead for first place. Wrightsville’s own Chris Curry took third and the Capital SUP paddlebros were right behind him in a perfect train Goose, Meyer, and Fielding roaring across the finish.
It was time to provide support and encouragement for the racers still on the water. Paddle speed demon Kevin Haigis leisurely paddled through the finish to grab 1st place in the Men’s 12’6” Long Course and was quickly followed by hammering Air Mary Howser who locked up the women’s 1st place podium spot. Not far behind Teresa Plitt crossed for a 3rd place finish.
Shortly after Lindsay Cook, Alex Young, and Mark Sanfacon crossed the finish, showing they have what it takes to crank out 7 miles in January on a stand up paddleboard thru cold water that was just barely not ice.
To celebrate their accomplishments the team attended the after party and awards in the Blockade-Runner Beach Resort which had no shortage of delicious hot chili, cold frothy Wrightsville Beach Brewery beers, and a plethora of swag giveaways.
Some delicious food at the Copper Penny and a few clubs worth of dancing wrapped up an epic January Saturday in typical Paddle, Pump, Party fashion.
Just because the Race is over doesn’t mean it’s time to go home. Sunday, the team hit Wrightsville Beach for some Ocean paddling with dolphins. The dogs got to run around the beach, some were practicing yoga poses and handstands, and we all took deep breaths of the salty fresh air before piling back into the vehicles to caravan back up 95 home to Maryland just in time to get some sleep before Monday morning rolls around. But first, we need to locate our Hitchhiker who we promised a ride back to Maryland.
Big thanks to Teresa for being our host, Jeff for the continued photography skills, and Coastal Urge for throwing a kick butt event, and of course all of the paddlers who make this sport the most fun on Earth!
You may be wondering where Max Power finished in the race? Let’s just say I threw down the hammer and completed the short course right in front of Wilmington local child prodigy Campbell Carter. Keep sending it my brother.