I will be racing in two disciplines next week at the World Championships. The first on the schedule is the Technical Race which has been announced as a 3.5km, 3 lap course. This race will be intense. 3.5km is not very far and should take less than 30 minutes. But in that 30 minutes there 12 turns and 3 trips in and out through the surf. These races require a different type of fitness than the distance events. The accelerations after each corner and accelerations to try and catch waves can really take it out of you. This is where my short burst interval training will hopefully help me out. It will be interesting to see exactly where they set the corner buoys. The buoy placement can drastically change the outcome, and the skills required to do well in this event. I've got some decent race board surfing skills but compared to some of the pros from places like Hawaii and Australia, I would be at a disadvantage if the buoys are placed deep in the surf. Either way this is an exciting race and if you are able to find the time this one would be the more exciting race to watch on the Online Live Stream. I'll post details about the live stream in an upcoming post.
Second race on the schedule is the 18km Distance Race. This race won't be quite as intense as the technical race but will certainly be just as challenging in a different way. The 18km race starts at the same location as the technical race and is set up to be a very scenic race course with islands, reef, lagoons and some open ocean. One of the challenges in this race will be keeping cool and hydrated. The forecast is currently looking like it will be about 30 degrees(feels like 35) which is a little warmer than the temperatures I have been training in recently. The race should take me around 2.5 hours and so I will be taking a hydration pack and some various snacks/fuel for the paddle. Fuelling is something I have really focused on this year and I've really noticed that my body performs better over longer distance races if I really focus on keeping my sugar and carbohydrate levels up. To do this I will have a magic potion mix of electrolytes, Q Energy and carb powders in my water along with some energy gels to consume about every 45-60 minutes. My focus in this race will be to get out to a good start. There are some excellent distance racers in this event and longer I can stay with them off the start, the better chance I have at finishing further up in the field. The other wildcard for this event is the wind and water conditions. Choppy conditions or headwinds will slow everybody down, but wind from the right direction and some decent swell could make for a little bit of downwind paddling as well. Generally, I would prefer the wind to stay down and conditions to stay calm. I am much more experienced with flatwater distance racing and so the rougher it gets, the tougher it will likely be for me. The recent wind and weather conditions in Vancouver have helped me out over the last month. I've been spending more time in the wind and chop and I've been feeling better and better pushing through those conditions.
I am definitely getting excited now and it's beginning to feel real that I am actually going to the event. Only a couple more days of light training before I fly out on Wednesday. I am trying to stay calm, relaxed and make sure I really enjoy the trip as I likely won't get another chance like this to paddle in such an amazing place. Here's a little video of where the racing will be taking place, hopefully it makes you a little bit jealous!