I had only two training paddles in 14 days, but when I got to Dana Point, the place, the familiar people and especially my teammates changed everything. I relaxed quickly. Boardworks took great care of its athletes and got a great place in Dana Point to base out of. By Saturday morning I felt amazing and amped to go! I missed Salt Creek, but I have done the Battle of the Paddles at Doheny 2011-2013 and have the best memories!”
ES: What were some of the highlights of the event for you?
CB: For me…highlights from being part of event included the groms. The kids blew my mind! Little ones were ripping effortlessly in double overhead stuff! No fear. Some of the 15-20 year-olds were breaking through to higher levels. I did the math comparing their age to my 9 year old at home and it made me feel old (smile emoticon)
ES: We definitely wanted to be there – and plan to be in 2016 – but the live feed allowed us to really enjoy the event at a distance.
CB: You bet! My wife, Tiffany, watched the live Internet feed and said it was incredible, thebest SUP live feed yet! Anthony Vela was amazing! A real athlete’s umpire. He knows what the athletes are thinking, going through, and continuously adjusted and made decisions with athlete’s best interest in mind. Really impressed with his performance!
ES: How do you train off season when it gets cold in Montana?
CB: I love the low intensity scenic 3-5 hour workout and try to do at least one every month (usually a paddle Apr-Sep; or ski/run Fall-Winter). I’m doing two of these workouts in October – Going to the Sun Highway is closed to motorized vehicles starting today, so next weekend I will be out there! My roller ski speed reducers are going to work hard coming back down the pass! In addition, I got into cross country skiing at age 30 while living in OR. It is an amazing cross trainer for building aerobic base and similar core/shoulder muscle groups to what we use in SUP.
ES: Any other highlights from the experience?
CB: Frenchies (referring to my nationality) made a great impression (2 in top 10) and in all the event attracted great group of athletes and supporters. all in all, the racing was some of the most enjoyable I’ve done and the people keep bringing me back, because I love being around them.
ES: There seemed to be some chaos and carnage in the waves and around some buoy turns. Any comments on that?
CB: I honestly loved the format, but I don’t think it should stay as is. That format is too dangerous for that many people year after year. The statistics and risks are not in organizers’ favor unfortunately. The course gave us very technical SUP racing in and out of surf on 14′ race boards on a tight buoy course. I had such a great time and feel so privileged to race with so many talented racers from around the world.
Please take a look at this video that sums up the experience.