Stand up is no joke
PORT Douglas stand up paddle (SUP) boarder Mia Messinger paddled her way around Holland at the recent SUP 11-City Tour The Ultimate Challenge 220 Kilometre race.
Mia travelled to Holland to take part in what is known as the world’s toughest endurance SUP race, which also happened to be her very first SUP race and in the process bagged herself a sportsmanship award.
The race travels through 11 cities in Holland, via canals and on open water, and has seen some of the very best competitors in the sport take their boards to the water over the five years since the event was created.
Around 180 competitors from all over the world took part, with 43 in the elite category who paddled the whole distance alone, while others took part in the tour as part of a team, solo or just paddled certain days.
Mia said after reading about the race in a magazine three years ago she knew she wanted to take part in the race.
‘‘It was one of the most nerve-racking experiences I’ve ever had, but I’m so glad I did it,’’ she said.
‘‘I really learnt a lot and hope to do it again, whether it be next year or the year after, and I think I will be able to knock a couple of hours off my time.
‘‘I had some really great support in the lead up to the event, in my training and also some tips on what to expect from people who have done it before.
‘‘You really have to conquer your mind as well as the physical side of it.
‘‘I survived on a lot of diluted coconut water and bananas - by the end of the day I was so sick of bananas.
‘‘Weather was really on my side for three of the days as they were having a heat wave, so it was around 28 degrees, but on the last day the temperature dropped a lot and that made it a bit harder.
‘‘Despite a bit of a sore back, by the end of the fifth day I wanted to go ahead and paddle for another five days.
‘‘The whole experience made me realise that nothing is impossible. It was fun, I met some great people and I would love to do it again.’’
Mia paddled the 220km in a great time of 27:50:55, less than six hours behind the leading male competitor.
good sport Mia Messinger