The Netherlands( With a Mallorcan connection)
A 220 kilometre long tour through 11 Frisian cities in 5 days!
The world’s longest and one of the toughest Stand Up Paddle races took place for the 5th year from the 4 – 8th of September 2013 (www.sup11citytour.com). This race is a derivative of the prestigious and biggest ice-skating tour in the world: ´De Elfstedentocht´.
This 11-City-Tour can only be held if the ice is at least 15 centimetres thick. It is more than 15 years ago that the last race took place! Thankfully for SUPping no such hard conditions are required.
The ‘beach boys’ invented SUP in Honolulu around 1960. SUP was re-invented in Hawaii again in 2004 by world-class ‘watermen’ and it is now the fastest growing water sport in the world. Founder Anne-Marie Reichmann as a former windsurfer came in to contact with SUP boarding in 2008 on Hawaii and as Frisian born and bred she started the initiative of the SUP 11-City Tour event.
Now athletes from all over the world come to participate in the Solo Competition, Team Competition, Solo Tour, Team Tour and Weekend Stage and races along the canals, lakes and waterways linking 11 medieval cities in Friesland, the northern province of The Netherlands. The day before the start of the race, the organization organized a fancy dress Prologue through the canals of Leeuwarden where 163 people, young and old stand on a SUP-board.
Mallorca was represented by the Whites Yachts SUP Team. All the team were participants of the solo competition consisting of: Rom Loopik captain of Super Yacht Passe Partout, Ruben Salvador Morte of Kiteshop El Niño in Can Pastilla, Tolo Cañellas Adrover works for 061 Baleares and yacht brokers Arend Venema and Dirk-Jan Coljee of Whites International Yachts. Besides them also Ahmet Senoglu (who came out for Turkey), Miguel Martorell also members of the SUP Club Mallorca and Spanish SUP champion Ramón Blanco Sainz-Rozas faced up to this physical and mental challenge.
Whites Yachts sponsored the Whites Yachts SUP Team by supplying them accommodation on a motorboat. This boat was skippered by Rom’s father Jan Loopik who followed and supported the team. Also Whites Yachts organized a photo and video contest and the best submission won a MISTRAL SUP Board. Nearly 300 photos/videos were placed on Whites International Yachts Facebook page and those photos have gone all over the world by tagging, liking and sharing. Jacqueline Venema: “we were surprised and overwhelmed by the amount of support and messages we received. Besides the live tracking GPS facility, this contest was also for family and friends and a perfect way to follow our guys from Mallorca”.
To paddle 220 kilometers 5 days in a row demands a lot of preparation and training. For Ruben it was the third time and for Rom and Tolo the second time they participated. Even though Dirk-Jan did 11-City Tours as a former windsurfer 5 times before, it still was his and Arend’s first time racing and knowing that they only started supping just one year ago it shows that the Team and Ruben of Kiteshop El Niño has been a great SUP teacher and mental coach.
Daily schedule means: wake up at 6am, breakfast and eat as much as possible, GPS pickup, filling camel bag, preparing bag with food and energy stuff, skippers meeting, prepare board and equipment, start at 9am, 25 km paddle, paddle, rest stop of 15 min, 20 km paddle, paddle, finish, 30 minutes great massage, relax time, award ceremonies, 6pm pasta dinner, sightseeing of the city and preparing (mentally) and equipment for the next day and an early bedtime.
An ultimate and unique experience to paddle under all Dutch weather conditions through beautiful and charming Friesland. Of course for some it is a race, for others a challenge, but the thing which is most appealing is the great Frisian atmosphere, supporters, the fairness and the willingness to encourage each other. Each and every one shares the same passion and had the same goal; to reach the finish without injuries after 220 km paddling in 5 days and gain the coveted 11-City Tour “kruisje” – medal.
Mallorca is a great place to learn Stand Up Paddle and Kiteshop El Niño organizes every weekend several courses with lots of technical tips and freestyle to get more balance. At the same time they organize impressive tours around Mallorca finding caves and beautiful clear waters. First upcoming event is the 6th of October; there is a free day to test new 2014 boards and a little fun competition for children, beginners and advanced riders.
More information about Stand Up Paddling on Mallorca
Kiteshop El Niño, C/Vaixell S/N 07610 Can Pastilla
Sandra and Ruben Salvador Morte
Tel: 971 490811
Mobile: 637 459070