We recently posted an article by Cyril Burguiere that celebrated “family” as an integral part of his life, sports and SUP. Earlier in that same week the crowd at the Carolina Cup clicked endless images of mother-daughter team, Heather Relyea Baus and her daughter Savannah as they tandem-ed their way through 12.5 mile “Graveyard” Elite Race course. I think the many participants and onlookers saw something more than two determined and prepared athletes competing in a very challenging race. Heather says it best in her own words, “When we look back on the photos its all very surreal and inspiring to me as an athlete as well as a Mom. I look at the photos and don’t really see us.. just something a lot deeper. ” Browsing through a few sample images (below), you’ll feel the same something more!
The race, the hand-in-hand finish and the after race connection all capture a synchronicity of spirit nurtured through countless hours of shared fun and effort in, on and around the water. More images are available by Nicholas Leason.
Crucial to successfully completing the elite race course is the choice of SUP board. Heather explains, “Nick Leason owner of MHL custom and shaper Greg Jaudon and myself decided to design a true unlimited board that could suit my daughter and me as a tandem board or super fast unlimited board for the solo guy. The board is 16′ x 25″ . This may seem narrow, but really the longer the board the more narrow you can go. MHL has the magic touch for stability. These guys are amazing. ” By the way, the mother-daughter team finished 5th overall females and 1st in class with a time of 2:44:06.
ES: How did you train and what were some highlights of the race?
HRB: We sort of eased into the “training” to where it didn’t feel like training but just time on the water together, we really enjoy this. My daughter is quite the chatter box on the board and we both love the diversity of paddling in the panhandle area of Florida. The conditions of the water, currents and wind are forever changing compared to our past experience when we lived in Puerto Rico. I think what excites Savannah the most on our paddles is the diversity of nature we see while out on the water. This winter we focused on ocean skills and tandem downwinding technique. This has been a real thrill learning together and it certainly paid off at the Carolina Cup!
ES: The dialog between the two of you from the race that you posted on Facebook was priceless! The dialog in general is pretty hilarious, mother and daughter have two very different takes on the experience as it unfolds. Sampling below:
SAVANNAH: “Wow Mom did you see all those amazing houses??? MOM: “Hang tough S we’re leading the unlimited”! SAVANNAH: “Mom why aren’t you going faster??” MOM: “Because i’m dying”… SAVANNAH: “I’m gonna pop some tags.. I got 20 dollars in my pocket….!!” MOM: “Go S… Annabel Anderson is passing us!”… SAVANNAH: “OMG MOM!!!! Those waves are HUGE and they’re breaking!!!!!” MOM:..” WE GOT THIS”.. SAVANNAH: “How much farther”??
HRB: I think because she is not looking directly at “mom” she tends to open up more and really talk about things. Some days are “serious matters” you know… like informing she needs to change the trucks out on her skateboard…. to recipe ideas for dinner and I think an entire week of Harry Potter series summary. OH and many, many National Anthem practices out on the water.. 🙂 The dialog for Carolina Cup was not as energized as training paddles..that was a really tough race for both of us. However she did sing, comment on the gorgeous homes, inform me she had to pee.. and how much farther!