Race report Hightide Haarlem 25 km suprace July 17th Haarlem, the Netherlands, by Hans Schouten :
The rescheduling of the Hightide 25km suprace did not really provide better weather.
Winds of 10-30 knots and showers dominated the race on July 17th. It did not hold back the twenty contestants for a 15 mile race through the old city of Haarlem and its surroundings. The race was the first 1 star EuroSupA long distance race, awarding points for the european championships. The race was divided in 12’6ft, 14ft and
unlimited classes, both for men, women and juniors.
The competitor field gathered at the molenplas near haarlem for the start. Almost immediately after the start, Martijn van Deth on a Naish glide and Erwin Janssen on a Hobie elite race took off creating a small gap between them and the rest of the field, with among them Hightide Ivo Kemper, Supholland Roel van Noord and a large part of the 11-city supteam of the Spot amongst them, dissapearing on the old waterway surrounding the Haarlemmermeer. The first 6 miles 15 knots tailwinds helped the competitors to reach lake Mooie Nel, just north of Haarlem. Morene Dekker one of the two ladies who came to the start, had a bit of a slow start on her mistral 12’6 M1.
Together with Maaike vd Hoek on a Boga 12’6, they paddled together for the first few kilometers, before Morene took of and started her catching up.
At the feared turn at lake Mooie Nel the strong tailwind turned into a strong headwind. The first few miles on the Spaarne were very difficult for the contestants. In the 14ft class, the top stayed together, but the 12’6 field was spread out in this part of the race.
Morene Dekker started catching up, and passed several male paddlers in this part of the race. Lulls and gusts did not make it easy for the contestants and finding the right course proved to be crucial.
After the windy part on the Spaarne, a right turn into the moats of the city gave the contestants some much wanted shelter. Through the moats, the contestants returned to the Spaarne for the last 2 stretches. Head wind and showers did not make this part very easy, but some sheltered areas gave the contestants much needed area to speed up a bit.
The last stretch was a 1.5 mile stretch with tailwinds through the waterway around the Haarlemmermeer. Martijn van Deth and Erwin Janssen made the distance with Joost Duivenvoorde on a Fanatic fly 14ft even larger, paddling at speeds at almost 7 mph.
At the entrance of Molenplas they still paddled side by side, battling for the victory. In the final meters of the race, Martijn van Deth finished the line just a few meters in front of Erwin Janssen, securing the win of the race. A few minutes after the top 2,Joost Duivenvoorde finished, securing a third place in the 14ft class.
In the men 12’6 division, the battle took place on the spaarne in headwinds. The Dutch / American Chase Paans created some distance with 2011 elevencity contestant Dinant Roode and “Spot” teammember Maurice Lokke. Chase Paans did not gave his lead way on the last miles and finished first, with Dinant Roode in second place. Maurice Lokker
Morene Dekker however, battled her way through the competitor field and finally even caught up with Maurice and Dinant. Only one minute after the 12’6 men’s division winner, she finished first in the ladies division. Maaike vd Hoek finally made it to the finisline, finishing second. In the remaining divisions, Jort Rootlieb finished first in
the Juniors and Kelp Farmer Barry Douwma, who started on a Starboard K15, finished after 3 hours and 3 minutes.
After the contest, the award ceremony, the diner at restaurant Molenplas and the Hightide everyone-wins-lottery, all contestants left home tired and satisfied. The bad weather did have its effect on the demo’s, the clinics and the sprints. Fanatic, Starboard, Naish, Surftech and Indoboards all brought lots of paddleboards, inflatables and balanceboards, but unfortunately there weren’t many moments that were suitable on the choppy onshore water of the lake to test new equipment or to have a good instruction by the ladies from M&M sup on stand up paddleboarding.
The organization, High Tide Surfshop and Supfrenzy would like to thanks all contestants,the importers, distributors and volunteers for their help, dedication and fun at a great day at the races!