This years Paddle Round The Pier was the biggest it has ever been… With fantastic weather all weekend and record crowds in the region of 20 thousand to see all the action and soak up the atmosphere, Brighton beach was set for one of the UK’s biggest surf festivals… it was like Hawaii had landed on the South Coast of England for the weekend.
There where surfers there just for the fun of the events and others who where the to compete in the UK’s first ever 20 mile stand up paddle board endurance race from Brighton’s West Pier to Worthing Pier and back again which is no small venture..
Endurance Race Line Up
All the competitors of the Enduro Race would need a game plan to negotiate the tidal currents, the warm weather along with the potential for a head on seabreaze for the first leg of the race… This was no ordinary race with dedicated amatures racing next to seasoned professionals but the one thing that put them together was the fact none of them had raced this distance before.
The race was started by local celeb Norman Cook aka Fat Boy Slim… With a few words of encouragement from Mr Cook the Endurance racers hit the water at at 7.45am and the mere mortals left on the beach watched them paddle off into the distance towards Worthing.
Only 20 miles to go
In what seemed no time at all the first competitor was rounding the Tangerine Bar’s race support boat just off Worthing Pier and where heading back towards Brighton… We watched from the beach through binoculars to try and see who was in the lead position but as they approached Shoreham it was still hard to tell…
In just under 4 hours Elliot Dudley came into clear view and in approximately 4 hours 10 minutes he crossed the finish line to be crowned the Paddle Round the Pier Endurance Race king… Next to cross the finish line in second place was Starboard team rider John Hibbard followed in third by local guy and all round legend Jock Patterson and over the course of the next 2 hours the rest of the racers would cross the finish line… From the first to cross the finish line to the last all the competitors have entered the hall of fame by being the first to compete in a race of this length and my hat comes off to each and every rider for digging deep and completing the race… They are all surely legends by setting the bar for others to follow.
Elliot Dudley SUP Enurance Winner
John Hibbard SUP Enduro 2nd
Jock Patterson SUP Enduro 3rd
Paddle Round the Pier is totally organised by a dedicated team of volunteers, supported and sponsored by progressive businesses all in the name of charity.. Top marks to every single person involved have a few days off before starting to plan for 2010.
Airhead was happy to be apart of Paddle Round the Pier 2009 and we are now looking forward to 2010.. (after a bit of rest) and make sure you come along to enjoy the fun at next years event or better still compete… more for Airhead soon on the world of fun..