Re: Around Bowen Race

16 years 8 months ago #489 by hukigirl
Nathan is doing great. He is getting very fast in his new Huki S1 X. He is doing the Bowen island race with us this weekend. We use the Mark 1 as an ice breaker as it is heavier duty. I will pass on the message when I see him this evening.


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16 years 8 months ago #490 by NigelWall
Replied by NigelWall on topic Re: Around Bowen Race
Spotted a fellow Caribbeaner (sp). Where are you from xpat? Where are the races?

ps Hukigirl nice name and pic! (I'm a Huki owner)

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16 years 8 months ago #491 by stuartknaggs
Replied by stuartknaggs on topic Re: Around Bowen Race
Hey trinpad, I'm based in St Martin - we have a 25k race between St Barths and St Martin coming up in September - trying to put an impressive purse together. email me for a full race calender This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I'm in contact with Meryl and Nina.

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16 years 8 months ago #492 by NigelWall
Replied by NigelWall on topic Re: Around Bowen Race
Ok expat, I'm just heading out to SA to run Comrades. I think you know Mary!

Maybe see you out there. Love to figure how to come race in Sept. Will you have skis available?

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16 years 8 months ago #493 by AlanC
Replied by AlanC on topic Re: Around Bowen Race
Here's the results from Around Bowen Island in BC Canada

And a race report from the Surfski BC blog

onshore or offshore?
Posted by Alan

That sums up my pre-race plan for Bowen.

The first question was; given the peak ebb was at race start and the expected tidal movement was 4 m, would this impact the line I chose? I knew that the current was fastest offshore once we rounded Finisterre Island (NE corner) and headed west into the Collingwood Channel. The next question was; how far offshore did I need to go for the fast current and would the added speed make up for the added distance? I was estimating I would need to paddle an additional 1000 m or more in the 10 km stretch along the north shore of Bowen to get the current. Would it be 10% faster or not?

I would need to commit early to this plan to make it work, essentially right after making that turn at the NE corner...

I think in my mind I was committed to this route. The other times I paddled this race in similar conditions I saw paddlers flying on that outside line, so I was looking to use that for myself.

The race started at a very civilized pace, into the wind and current. Graham was setting the pace with Shane and I riding shotgun. When the chop started coming in more from the right and rolling the skis slightly the group broke up a little and I ended up leading. I was opportunistic in that initial stretch and picked up a little assistance from boat wakes here and there :)

At Finisterre, you could feel the effects of the outgoing current and this reaffirmed my choice of line for the race. I worked my way further off Bowen and the current continued to pull me along.

This is where I had to fully commit, as to get the full outgoing current I had to get on the outside of Hut Island and avoid the shallows that cause the current to back up at the west end of Hut. This is where that extra kilo of paddling was needed...

Off I went, and when I was on the outgoing current I was cooking along at 15 km/hr, and when I lost it back down to 13...

As I approached Hut the current was getting harder to locate and the wind was picking up from the west, which was not good. I was struggling to find the line for the peak outflow and already about 1 km offshore but still moving into the wind at 13 km/hr, so I felt okay about the line, not ecstatic but okay. A few km past Hut I was no longer getting the push as the head wind was enough to be a concern. I saw the guys closer to Bowen closing in faster than I liked and here I decided to cover their line rather than risk the offshore route any longer. I ferried over towards Bowen and slowly began pulling away again.

The lee side of Bowen was not easy, there was a significant back eddy in the bay and this made it a long, flat, hot grind. Without a GPS or knowing of the possibility of a counter current, this stretch would have been demoralizing as this is just past half way.

Rounding Cape Roger Curtis put us right into the Burrard Inlet outflow, and, as Jeff said, the best line was to hug the shore until you were nearing Cowan Point. Here the southwest wind and waves were offering a little assistance and moving offshore allowed you some very slight help.

As you round Cowan Point, the Fraser River outflow dominates the currents, but creates sloppy water. As you move offshore the current is faster and was is a very welcome push to the finish. Too far offshore and you get caught in the converging Fraser River, Howe Sound and Burrard Inlet outflows, aka Vancouver's small boat "Bermuda Triangle"- Bowen to Passage Island to Point Atkinson- a great testing ground for small boat handling skills :)

So, a welcome push to the finish and it was over.

Here is some of the geek-ology we all love;
race speed
route map
Having spent two weeks in Hawai'i before the race certainly helped with dealing with the warm weather.

I thought I managed my hydration and fuel well. I was drinking 150-200 ml of fluid every 10-15 minutes. I had two 3 l camelbak reservoirs on board and consumed 4.5 l of Cytomax, 2 bars and 3 gels. I used my newly found camelbak quick release valves to swap the reservoirs quickly at around 2 hours. With these quick release valves I can keep my tube director in place and all I have to do is plug in a new reservoir (around 4-5 strokes) and off I go.

Regardless, it was a tough race and the finish placed my 14 day racing volume at just over 110 km! I was pooped and my average HR for the race agreed.

I should be recovered for the next Tuesday Nighter though...

Thanks to Martin and his crew of volunteers for another great Around Bowen race.


PS my newly padded foot strap was killer, but it may have placed my legs too close together and my calves chaffed something nasty! or if may have been the second hydration system valve... I'll have to work on that or wear knee high socks.

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16 years 8 months ago #494 by MFB
Replied by MFB on topic Re: Around Bowen Race
How fast can you go if its just flat? I have yet to experience real downwind paddling. Current we get here at the bay go only as fast as 10 kph! We get it a lot faster when there's a storm or typhoon but I wont dare go out. Hmm, that's not even an option.

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16 years 8 months ago #495 by hukigirl
Replied by hukigirl on topic Re: Around Bowen Race
Geez...I think I need to invest in some gadgets. I have never used a heart rate monitor ( except the ones on machines at the gym ) or GPS. I just get out there and watch what lines others are taking and go. I did draft 2 guys in a fast double sea kayak for awhile who had gadgets and was listening to them chatter about going this way and that and their speed etc when they hit current. I stuck with them as they seemed to know what they were doing, they actually chose the same lines as Alan.

I drank 1 litre of orange juice and felt fine. Drank 2 litres of water in the two hours before the race.

Nathan did great sticking with the top guys most of the way and placed 6th in solo surfski. I was 2nd, there were 3 women. Almost beat my other training buddy Derek. Was ahead of him till the last 2 kms then he couldn't stand it anymore and dug deep to pass me and beat me by 16 seconds !


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15 years 8 months ago #496 by Tommy
Replied by Tommy on topic Re: Around Bowen Race
Please comment on paddlers IDEAS of course direction and difficulty into current.

This race often experiences steep wind chop and small to medium swells from the southwest. It is not exposed to the open ocean, but the Georgia Strait has 15 nautical miles or 28 km of wind fetch from the southwest. Tidal currents are a factor. A late morning, early afternoon inflow seabreeze will occur on hot days. The start is about half way (1/2 leg) along the east side of Bowen Island.

If the tidal current is ebbing south, participants comment; " I HOPE WE GO COUNTER-CLOCKWISE BECAUSE IT WOULD BE EXHAUSTING TO PADDLE INTO THE CURRENT A WHOLE LEG ( whole leg going south on the west side)"

I have never reconciled this concept. Wouldn't one paddle as hard as they can sustain regardless of current? The paddlers commenting know the tides and some carry GPS, and can also roughly estimate their speed over ground by watching the shore.

Of course it is beneficial to paddle harder into current to spend less time exposed to it. IS THIS THE CONCEPT? This race with changing winds is much different from the downwind runs in open ocean this forum focuses on. Currents at Bowen Island are complex but mostly predictable. Wind is changeable as the sailors in the Round Bowen sailing race will tell you. For safety, my idea is to get around the exposed south end as early in the day as possible. Answers please.

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