What another great time at the 2018 Key West Paddle Classic. Forecast before race day was calling for relatively light winds out of the NW at only 5-10 mph, but come race day that wasn't the case to say the least! Super strong sustained N winds from 15-22 mph pushed serious chop and force against the paddlers making the grueling 12 mile course around the historic island no easy task.
N2 team racers Ryan Pena, Will Vacha, and Conrad Charles entered the race using custom 11'2" N2 Sessions boards. These boards proved to work great in the chop and wind, letting the racers cut through the chop waves, and balance better in the relentless wind and swirly water. Will took home first place and Ryan 2nd in the overall standings for recreation class, and Conrad not far behind taking 5th. Will and Ryan both finished just shy of 3 hrs.
After the race TEAM N2 got to enjoy Duval street and the sights and sounds of beautiful Key West, not to mention the delicious Caribbean Rum! We also got to get out and use the new Adventure SUP boards doing a little paddle-fishing on the amazing flats that surround the lower keys. We hooked up with a few snapper, jacks, and cudas while gliding over the pristine crystal clear water. What an amazing trip, we will be back for our 5th consecutive year next year and we can't wait!
Big thanks again for Lazy Dog Key West for putting on another amazing paddle event in the most picture perfect place to hold a distance paddle race, Key West Florida! Who ever is thinking of pushing themselves to the physical limit, give this one a try next year! ;)
Well another Key West Paddle Classic has come and gone. This year was a bit special for two reasons, first it was the 20th Anniversary of this incredible Paddle Board race around the storied island that is Key West, and second this was the most challenging conditions the race has ever seen! ESE winds at 20-30knts sustained and huge oceanside chop caused the race planners to change the course of the race, which ended up being a unique and interesting change. Since the winds were so strong and sustained, making it virtually impossible to navigate the last backside of the island section, they had the racers enter the interior of the island following a canal that ran approximately 3/4 of the island north west until it shot you out at the end of the island before you made the final loop back around to Higgs Beach.
TEAM N2 had another great showing at the race. Team racer Conrad Charles entered the 14' Open Class in the 50+ age group and finished well at 4th place in his group. Will Vacha had a great start but sustained a shoulder injury about half way through the race which brought his race to an end, but if he had continued at the pace he was on he would have finished 3rd in his age group in the SUP Surf Class. N2 Co-Owner Ryan Pena finished 2nd overall in the SUP Surf Class on a N2 10' Sessions. Ryan finished the race at 2hrs 45min. Racers talked about the huge chop the wind had kicked up on the Atlantic side of the ocean, causing racers to continually fall off their boards, making wider and more stable boards a bit more manageable. This was the first time I have ever seen actual breaking waves in Key West, making the water, which is normally a crystal clear Caribbean blue, a cloudy chocolate milk consistancy.
This race continues to be one of the best and challenging SUP races in the country. The 10' Sessions has done so well during these races over the years, we are going to design a new 11'+ Sessions based on our 10' Sessions platform. This new model will be specifically designed for races like the KWPC, downwinders, and touring, where weekend worries and gritty committed Paddle-Racers can have some serious high speed fun on this new N2 Sessions.
See you next year Key West!
First Place for TEAM N2 (Rec race 3 miles Women's) Chelsey Loder!
From TEAM N2 racer @Chelsey Loder (Owner of What's SUP Paddleboarding and Snorkleing http://paddleboardingfl.com)
"Saturdays Sunshine SUP Series race in Pompano! Racing for Team North2boards (Ryan Pena)! www.north2boards.com
Thank you Victoria Burgess and Rory for hosting a great event, and letting us do 3 laps. By far the most fun I've had at a race with waves and wind to play in :)
And my favorite photographer in all the land Roseanne Valenza, your a rockstar!! #north2boards #north2 #teamn2"
Wow what a great day at the Sunshine SUP Series race #1. North 2 Boards & New Atlantic Brands was representing big time! Way to go TEAM N2, Chelsey Loder with a 1st place finish in Women's 18-45 surf class rec race, Alan Bank with 3rd place finish in Men's 45-up rec race, Conrad Charles for doing the 6.6 mile elite course on a N2 10' Sessions at 51 years old....hard core. I (Ryan Pena) came in 4th in my men's rec class 18-45 on a N2 10' Cardiff. Big thanks to Roray Kam and Victoria Burgess for putting together a great event....we look forward to Sunshine SUP Series race #2 in August.
For more info on the race series http://rkoceangear.wix.com/sunshinesupseries
Well another year back down in Key West, FL. The Paddle Classic has become one of the most iconic stand up paddleboard races in the country, and you couldn't ask for a better location than beautiful and historic Key West Florida!
The race includes a 12 mile long course, and 4 mile short. The race categories include stand up paddleboards from recreational "surfboard" type, 12'6" & 14" displacement hull boards, unlimited as well as prone paddleboards, "OC" outrigger canoe, surf ski, and kayak. There is always a little bit of everything involved in this epic race, but everyone is connected by two common bonds... passion for paddling and love for the water. The race continues to bring out the very best in the sport, including Quickblade’s Jim Terrell, who just may know a thing or two about paddling.
Team North 2 was in attendance again this year and we were super stoked to be there! A great team effort to tackle the incredible harsh conditions with winds in the 20-25 knot range with gusts over that at times. The race day conditions were rumored to be one of the hardest if not THE hardest conditions ever seen at this yearly event. I can concur as to the unreal absolutely hard conditions of the race. Two to three foot side chop, ripping currents around the island, and 20 knot winds in your face pretty much the entire race made it a torturous game of mind over matter.
I was very happy with my 2nd place (12'6" class) finish in my age group 30-39 (3:08), and 69 out of 142, 12 mile racers. I was using a prototype 12'6" N2 touring displacement hull board. Not a super fast board, but very stable at 31" wide and a great all around touring board that is a joy to paddle. Easily the toughest thing I have ever completed physically in my life! I want to give a big thanks to New Atlantic Brands (N2) sales rep Rick Raymond and Conrad Charles for sharing the event with us and for supporting North 2. And way to go Conrad for completing the 12 mile course on a 10' N2 Sessions board!! The smallest sup board used in the race, and at 51 years old that's not to shabby. Conrad finished 99 out of 142 (3:47).
A full recap of the race including results here: Distressed Mullet KW Classic
We love Key West and look forward to battling the elements again next year, same time same place.
-Ryan (Thanks to RK photos, and Jose Antonio for pictures)
North 2 team rider and sales rep for the South Florida Region did very well today at the Triple Crown of the Upper Keys SUP race!
Jen Aquia placed 3rd overall in the female division of the recreation race, and 1st for female (non-displacement board) using a N2 11' Cardiff, and N2 carbon fiber paddle.
Jen was in the front of the pack the entire race, which is super impressive considering most in her class were on full displacement race style SUPs. Way to go Jen! We are excited to have Jen apart of our team.
Also if you are down in the keys make sure you check out Jen's SUP rental/night SUP tour/lessons business Aquaholic Adventures
Congrats to North 2 team rider and brand ambassador Chelsey Loder for taking 1st place (Recreation Woman's 18-45) at the Sunshine SUP Series Race #2 in Pompano Beach today. We are lucky to have her on our team. Very high temps with almost no wind made it tough for all the racers who competed. It is definitely the dog days of summer here in South Florida. Come say hi to Chelsey and the rest of the N2 crew at this upcoming Surf Expo, Orlando (Sept 9-12, Booth #1189).
Great job today at the Sunshine SUP Series Race #1 to North 2 team rider and brand ambassador Chelsey Loder taking 1st place (women's 18-45, 3 mile recreational). Chelsey kicked some serious butt on a N2 10' Sessions, using a N2 carbon/fiberglass paddle. We are very excited to have Chelsey be apart of the North 2 team. She is a seasoned stand up paddler and traditional surfer, who also owns a very successful stand up paddleboard and watersports business (What's SUP) in Deerfield Beach, FL. Way to go Chelsey!
This past weekend, May 2nd 2015, the annual Key West Paddle Classic had another great showing of over 300 stand up paddlers and watercraft paddlers from all around the country. North 2 was in attendance. Ryan Pena, Will Vacha, and Conrad Charles all did well in the "SUP Surf" class. Ryan paddled a Sessions 10 and took 1st place in his age group as well as a podium appearance with 4th overall at 2:51, Will was on a 9.4 Gulfstream and took 2nd in age group on the smallest board in the entire event!, as well as Conrad with a strong finish riding the Cardiff 10. The 12 mile race around the entire island was one heck of a grueling race that took on average 3 hours of hard endless paddling to complete. All team North 2 riders were on sub 12' boards, smallest of the entire race, and is a feat in and of itself! Way to go team North 2! see you next year Key West, and special thanks to Lazy Dog Paddle boards of Key West for organizing such an amazing event.