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Women In Paddling

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bobbie Cooper at British SUP Assoc. Event

Bobbie is in blue in the middle.

The first BSUPA event of 2010 took place this weekend at West Wittering Windsurf club. It was a one day event with a down wind distance race of 12km. The weather conditions were just right, sunny with a light cross shore breeze blowing. 18 competitors from all over the UK came to compete and all did really well!

The race started from West Wittering at around 11.30am and finished at Dell Quay. We paddled along the beach were we had the advantage of a small wind swell. We paddled into the harbor mouth and made our way through Itchenor and Birdham to Chichester harbor where we then went on to finish at Dell quay. The paddle was a good challenge in race conditions as we had to fight the current as we came into the main harbor.


12ft 6" and above Mens class.
Position Name Time
1st Bobby Thatcher 1:05:21
2nd Ryan James 1:08:22
3rd Matt Argyle 1:11:48
4th Jay Manning 1:15:01

12ft 6" and above Womens class.
Position Name Time
1st Bobbie Cooper
2nd Claire Blacklock

12ft 6" and below Mens class.
Position Name Time
1st Richard Morton
2nd James Harding
3rd Tony Peters
4th Richard Tilly
5th John Harris 1:14:24
6th David Bates 1:15:19
7th Jim Richardson 1:15:48
8th Jock Patterson 1:17:16
9th Dave Robinson 1:18:43
10th Jez Tate 1:20:50

12ft 6" and below Womens class.
Position Name Time
1st Anabel Anderson
2nd Jessica Napper

Monday, May 17, 2010

SUP Race Maui OluKai May 15th, 2010

A fun day had by all! This 2nd annual event, 8 mile downwinder on Maui' s beautiful N. Shore. From Maliko Gulch to Kanaha, the trades pushed us down to a fun finish. With a luau and music by John Cruz. OluKai Premium Footwear outdid themselves when the helicopter flew over the crowd and dumped thousands of purple plumeria!

I was greeted by a good size shark half way down above Baldwin Beach and a fellow paddler and I paddled as fast as we could. My "Pipes" pushed me through some fun swells for sure. I took third in my age group.

OluKai Stand Up Paddle Board Race from Neal Wagner on Vimeo.

Click here for race results and details!

Suzie Cooney, CPT Suzie Trains Maui

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SUP Racing Comes to Bellingham

Hey! I wanted to share that Brandon Nelson, Beau Whitehead and myself are organizing a SUP race and demo day in Bellingham on September 5th. The race is going to be a spectator-friendly, 6-mile, multi-lap SUP and traditonal paddle board race directly in front of Boulevard Park on Bellingham Bay.
You can check it out at
Happy Paddling!

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dragon Boat Camp

I fell into dragon boating nearly 10 years ago. I used to say, "by accident", but life has showed me there's rarely an accident. It's been an interesting evolution, my life as a dragon boater. There was a time when it wasn't my thing and I would spend hours thinking about my new favorite paddling thing, Outrigger Canoe paddling. Living in the Midwest presents some obstacles for competing in OC-6 paddling so I had to reserve it as a paddling favorite with different expectations. And so I've become a dragon boat junkie seeking out races across North America and Canada. I love the competition. I love trying to achieve the team mentality with 2o others. I love coaching new teams and getting people who would have otherwise never picked up a paddle fired up about learning an efficient, powerful stroke. I love the feeling when it all comes together personally and as a team. I love Flow.

This past April, armed with my trusty Kialoa hybrid dragon boat paddle, I attended dragon boat camp in Tampa, Florida. Yep, you heard me right. I wanted to learn more, improve my skills, pick up some coaching tips and jump start my on-water season. The camp was beyond my expectations and I can assure you that I will be making this a regular part of my spring.

Here's a clip from one of the section-specific training. We were focusing on "the engine room" or "the middle eight" of the dragon boat. The engine room is usually regarded as the source of power in the boat. Usually occupied by men due to size and need to balance the boat, we were short on the dude-factor and I had a chance to sit in a seat I'm not familiar with. The feeling of that power was truly awesome. Coach Andrew Fox, a highly decorated paddler and coach from Toronto sits up front as our motivator.

Two weeks later, I'm still reminiscing about camp and wishing I could paddle that intensely twice a day followed by the camaraderie of like minded people. Life calls and even if I did break from work twice a day for paddling, I would be hard pressed to find 21 others that could do the same! So it's back to personal training, weekly team practices and looking forward to festivals and races this summer. Make sure to come find Kialoa and myself this June at the Rio Tinto AlCan Dragon Boat Festival in Vancouver, BC June 18th-20th ! We'll be there with demo paddles to share why we think a hybrid paddle is great for dragon boating!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Happy Mother's Day! The sun is shining here in Bellingham and I got to celebrate the day paddling with my 2-year old! There is nothing better!

I am stoked and honored to be a part of this amazing group of women! If any of you ever find yourself in Bellingham, look me up! There is always a board and paddle
to share!
Hope to see you on the water!
Heather (and Hayden Storm) Nelson

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wanna Race?

Plastic Paddles???

You would think that one of the seven veteran outrigger paddlers would have thought to bring a paddle on a "Canoe" trip. None the less...... we survived..... and laughed.

Can you think of anything more fun than a trip down the Colorado with your friends??

It was all good until we met two Airforce guys along the way who asked "Wanna Race?" I replied NO....... three times before relenting to what was going to destroy their egos completely. Who Races Pocahontas canoes anyway??
They lost, and almost capsized. The only response was "stupid feather." (See photo... it was a stupid feather, but not polite to talk about!)
Later a peace offering of Tequila by the campfire made everything OK. Thank GOD for our paddling skills.....

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