What have a bunch of the world’s best Stand Up Paddlers been getting up to the past week? For the elite Team Quickblade, including the likes of Jamie Mitchell and Chase Kosterlitz, it’s been a 24 hour road trip from L.A. to Oregon. All in the name of SUP racing.
First it was the gruelling 10 hour drive to Lake Tahoe for last weekend’s Ta-Hoe Nalu SUP Festival. The trip was worth it though, as Team Quickblade cleaned up and took the first five spots in the men’s and top three in the women’s 10 mile race.
But that was only the beginning; next up was the 13 hour joyride from Tahoe to Hood River (Oregon), the site of this weekend’s big Gorge Paddle Challenge. The road trip apparently descended into a Mad Max-style journey, as the fearless paddlers crossed unknown countryside with dangerously large amounts of SUP boards strapped to the roof and wide-eyed groms at the wheel.
Just some of the Quickblade crew that found their way to Oregon for this weekend’s big race are Jamie Mitchell, Chase Kosterlitz, Matt Becker, Candice Appleby, Anthony Vela, Fernando Stalla, Talia Gangini, Tucker Ingalls and Jim Terrell.
Though waiting for Team Quickblade at Hood River is Team Naish, who skipped the Lake Tahoe event and spent the week in Oregon preparing for the big race by enjoying white-water rapids, magic carpets and novelty-sized ice creams.
The Naish team includes SUP race stars such as Kai Lenny, Chuck Patterson, Jenny Kalmbach, Karen Wrenn and Kody Kerbox, who should give the Quickblade crew a good run for their money on the weekend. Throw in a few ring-ins such as Connor Baxter, Dave Kalama, Dan Gavere and a bunch of the world’s other top paddlers, and you’ve got one of the biggest and best SUP races of the year.
You can check back over the weekend for full results from the 2012 Gorge Paddle Challenge, but in the meantime take a look at the Instagram-powered road trip below…
(and remember you can always
stalk follow the world’s best Stand Up Paddlers yourself, thanks to our uber “SUPstagram” photo stream)
// Click any pic to view the original on Instagram //