May 13, 2013
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

Larry Cain’s Carolina Recap: Training, Tactics And Why You Should Be Racing With A GPS…

Larry Cain. Not at the Carolina Cup.While yesterday saw many of us pouring over the OluKai results and the US East Coast already move onto its next big race in the Keys, it seems the Carolina Cup from a couple of weeks back isn’t quite done hogging the spotlight.

Here’s a great, detailed recap of the race from a very fine paddler (and pretty handy writer) – Olympic Gold Medallist Larry Cain. Have a read and get Larry’s insights into one of the biggest races of the year, including race strategies, tactics, sparring with his old C1 rival Jimmy Terrell, and racing with a GPS…

You should definitely check out the full post on Larry’s blog, though here are some highlights:

“I figured I could approach this race in one of two ways. I could throw caution to the wind and just go for it like I normally would, which would mean really pushing the pace in the flats, or I could play it really cautious and do a lot of riding through the flats and hope to save energy for the ocean. In the end I went with something in between those two approaches and it seemed to pay off.”

My start off the beach was sloppy and I got knocked off my board before I ever really got on it. I recovered and got out of the break and going pretty quickly but there is a world of difference between what guys like Danny and Jamie can do off the beach and what I can do. At my best this part of the race is a real weakness. When I haven’t really done a beach start since November it just magnifies that shortcoming. As a result the top guys like Danny, Jamie and Eric were gone. Along with them were some awfully capable ocean racers like Chase, Matt and Ryan. I had to weave my way through a bunch of slower racers as I headed towards the jetty and was happy to see Jimmy only about a board length ahead and slightly to the inside of me.

Once we turned the corner into the jetty it was a different story. Here is where our years of flat-water training come to the rescue and we made up ground very quickly. I pulled Jimmy up to a draft train that included Nick and Thomas along with Belar Diaz and a couple of others, and then Jimmy took the lead for a bit. Although the tidal current made it very slow going it was actually really fun weaving in and out of the docks in an effort to hug the shore and escape the strongest current. Thomas took the lead for a bit and then just after we got under the second bridge I took the lead through the dogleg up to Banks Channel. Once we’d been in Banks Channel for a bit Nick took the lead and then Thomas again.”

Larry goes on to chat about the importance of racing with a GPS device on his board, training, mind games and all sorts of other cool stuff. So go read the whole thing right now. And if you’ve never seen Larry Cain’s blog before you should check it out regularly. There’s some great stuff on there.

MORE >>> 2013 Carolina Cup SUP Race RESULTS

(Hat tip: Quickblade Paddles)