Pro-Am race Veracruz!
Stand Up Paddle Mexico Pro-Am race comes to Veracruz!
The Stand Up Paddle Mexico Pro-Am race in Boca del Rio, Veracruz was a huge success with team riders traveling all the way form Sayulita, Nayarit for the professional 10k and 4.5k technical categories. Athletes, friends, and families gathered on Friday July 25th at the beach in front of Camino Real for free lessons and clinics by our Stand Up Paddle Mexico instructors, Diego Marques and Fernando Ortiz. There was also a great selection of Riviera paddleboards boards to demo in all sizes. The day was hot and full of smiles and good times had by all. There were lots of first time paddlers coming to try a board for the first time and also experienced paddlers coming for the good vibes and practicing for the next days big race!
Saturday started early for the Stand UP Paddle Mexico team with a lot to set up and prepare for the days events. Photographers and newspaper writers were there to capture the hustle and bustle as tents went up, boards were laid out and competitors started to arrive and warm up on the water.
The first event was the professional 10k distance race. With the day just beginning to heat up the competitors were on fire too. Felipe Rodriguez put on a great show displaying his speed and expertise coming in 1st place with a nice lead over the other athletes. Second and third were a close match up and came down to the final stretch with Manuel Gemelo taking the lead and Oliver Cruz coming in right behind him. It was a great to see the professional athletes in action inspiring the upcoming competitors in the amateur races.
Next up was the women’s amateur with a lot of great athletes lined up to start. Women of all ages and experience levels were ready to go and test their skills on the 4k coarse. With perfect conditions and lots of determination the women were gone in a flash battling to be the first in. Around the last buoy and paddling in for first was Constanza Capellini. Right behind her was Monica Felix and then Blanca Castellanos. What a race! The women continued to finish as the kids were so excited to start their race they almost didn’t let all the women come in before they were lined up and ready to go!
Watching the kids is the funnest part of the whole day as they are so serious getting set up yet smiling and having more fun than anybody. Some ready to paddle for their first time they can’t control their excitement and don’t want to wait for the start whistle before jumping on their boards and paddling out! It’s amazing how natural some of the kids are and paddle with such ease and fearlessness heading straight to the buoy as if they’ve raced a hundred times. Coming in first place was Athar Yunes, all smiles and ran past the finish line. In second was Monica Vazquez Bosh and right behind her was Mariana Homs.
Next up was the mens amateur race. With the largest competitor turnout, the guys were all smiles just like the kids lined up to battled it out for first. It was a great start with everyone rushing to get to their feet and take the lead with lots of good competition and great paddlers it was going to be a close race. The spectators watched with anticipation waiting to see who would be the first to come around the last buoy and down the straight away to the finish line. First into view and across the finish line was Eduardo Hinojosa with Raul Jeffrey right behind him and Jose Carlos Jimenez in third. The guys continued to trickle in one after another exhausted, exhilarated, and hungry for more!
Only two more categories left for the delay. With a close first to being the funnest event of the day with the kids race is the relay. Teams start forming and choosing their amo; boards, paddles, and who should go in what order. Some teams group together with their four competitors as others have five, six, and even seven members ready to paddle together to complete the four laps. Kids paired up together or adults and kids on one board ready to take on their challangers. The whistle blows and off goes the first group around the buoy and back to shore to run around the flag with their paddle and then back to the water to tag the next member of their team. The cheers roar as water splashes all around and the fight for first continues! Finally across the finish line runs the last member of team Verakite! The hoots and hollers continue as tema Aztecas finish second and the Indestructibles finish third! What a race! Everyone is laughing and cheering and enjoying the excitement of the day.
The sun starts to really heat up as the last event of the day takes place, the mens pro technical race. The guys have had their fun goofing off in the relay and now one more race to show their skills. They lay down in a line to make the start more challenging and race to get up, fetch their paddle and board and be the first to hit the water paddling. Off they go for the three laps dismounting their board and running around a flag in the sand between laps for this fast paced sprint. Again, Felipe Rodriguez shows his speed and expertise as he rounds the last buoy and sprints across the finish line for another first place. This time in second is Julio Gonzalez with a nice lead over third place finisher Oliver Cruz. The rest of the pro athletes continue to make their way in and across the finish line to finish the days races.
The athletes take turns mounting the podium and receiving their prizes from the days accomplishments. The cheers and smiles continue that have been a permanent fixture of the day and everyone gives hugs and congratulations as the day winds to an end.
With the race being a huge success and a fun event the question everyone wants to know is, when is the next one?
Check back soon to find a list of races and dates for both the Pro-Am series and the Mexico Sup Tour. Until then, keep paddling. Life is Better on the Water.
Special thanks to; Stand Up Paddle Mexico, Riviera Paddle Boards, Quick Blade paddles, Vitamin Water, Camino Real, City Council of Boca del Rio, all the athletes, families and friends who attended, Diego Marquez and Fernando Ortiz of Stand Up Paddle Mexico, Veracruz for organizing such a professional and fun event, and the pro team riders that came all the way from Sayulita to represent!