Big Smiles All Around

Team Shindiwillogea:  Mike (Pangea), Me (Willow), Rob (Shindig), and Katie (Pangea)

Last Sunday, Team Shindiwillogea made their debut at the Third Annual Harker Board SUP-Fest here in La Paz. Conditions were perfect: slack tide, no wind, and uber-calm seas in the bay. There were about 125 competitors with abilities ranging from elite-pro (ringers) to those getting their first SUP lesson before the races. To say we all had fun is the biggest of understatements. There were those locals who made a point of learning the underdog’s name, and cheering that person on during the paddling. One elite team came up from Cabo. Harker Board has a number of skilled paddlers, one of whom, Sergio, is also head of athletics for the city of La Paz. Needless to say, he won just about everything.
The morning began with registration and race selection, and then we all stood around looking nervous, wondering who could give us some tips about technique, stroke, or cheating… Soon after, Sergio got up and welcomed us all, and gave the rules and objectives for the races. In Spanish. Now my spanglish is good, but I’ve never heard SUP racing rules in English, let alone Spanish, so we all looked dumbly at one another. Our order was selected, and Mike from the Passport 40 Pangea, was to paddle first. The rest of us loaded onto the bus that would drop us off at the various relay leg starting sites. I was to paddle second, then hand off the baton (paddle and board) to Rob from the Oyster 48 Shindig, who passed it all along to Katie, Mike’s wife from Pangea.


Katie Makes It All Look Easy….

As the bus left the start area, we all were yelling and waving, laughing and just having a great dang time. Mike did a great first leg, finishing in the top third of the pack. I took over, almost fell, then got my sea legs and paddled hard. A particularly muscle bound guy in front of me soon fell, and I worked hard to avoid him, by millimeters… After about ten minutes, I passed things off to Rob, who had a great leg. Katie finished up, making everything look easy and simple. Hah! We had so much fun with the relay, we began smack talking each other into entering other races. We all raced the short course for non-race boards, and it was really, really a gas. We all had issues with keeping people from literally paddling on top of our board, and the laughter that came with that was gut-wrenching.

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Laughter Was the Order for the Day, Except When Paddling.  Then Gasping Took Over…

Tom and Jeanne from Eagle photographed everything, but I really don’t know how. I would’ve had a very hard time focusing while laughing my hindquarters off. All of the photos are courtesy of them, and they truly did a wonderful job. The best part was that Nancy, Rob’s wife from Shindig, came along to make sure we were all hydrated, where we were supposed to be, and properly cheered on.


Nancy, Far Right, Was Essential With her Logistics and Strategies…
After, we all met over at Harkers for a big meal, ‘championship talk,’ and numerous laughs. Needless to say, a good time was had by all…

1 thought on “Big Smiles All Around

  1. grace

    Atta girl !…….still having way tooooo much fun, as it shoud be.Had lunch with your Mom yesterday. She said she feels better and ….IT SHOWS.


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