Inspiration : 100 Mile Paddle Day 2

Some paddlers muscles are sore, pampered with Ibuprofen or Superfoods to keep going, others just wake up after the first 13 hour paddle day. ” I prefer continuos events, after 15 years of adventure racing, my body gets in the groove on day two to day eight,” says Robyn Benincasa. Like William’s hands most everyone’s fingers are taped for today’s paddle and the start is very competitive. Everyone pushing hard resulting in the field sticking together for quiet a bit, but it is still 40 Miles to go. Unlike yesterday we have a slight river down wind, which combined with the outgoing tide will speed everybody up a bit.

 
Constantly counting paddlers, binoculars are the only way to see them at times, Roman Kraus, co founder of the event, while updating Facebook to over 900 virtual followers … Touch and go, the adventure teams are getting the paddler exchanges down utilizing the launch 5 boat ‘Patrolman Henry A. Walburger’ under Capt. Porteus’s secure navigation … Time for a cool down, race director and co-founder Andrew Mencinsky leads the lapsing members of the adventure team into the Hudson river.
 
William Rich stood his ground and finished first, followed by Ian, Garrett and Ed of the adventure team, closely followed by Carol Choi in her outrigger. Karen Wrenn finishing first in the women’s elite class followed by Robyn Benincasa. Though, with almost $20,000 raised for the various charities, it feels like everyone involved in this amazing event won. This has been a great inaugural launch and it always amazes me how people pull together under more extreme condition and the great energy it produces, check how Shane Perrin, Robyn Benincasa and Timm Ed line up to finish together in a great display of comradery after paddling 100 miles.
For more info go to 100MilePaddle.com or check their Facebook.

Inspiration : 100 Mile Paddle Day 1

No novices at this event, paddlers signed in are either full pro or very passionate ‘semi pro’s’. Everybody knows what there in for, this is the real deal. The line up of the latest high tech in endurance paddling equipment is impressive and the pre dawn start prep has something meditative. Start at 5:30am, the sun had just risen above the horizon. Welcome to the Hudson River.
Once getting out of the wind protected creek leading from Kingston to the River, the Hudson feels big, vast and majestic and the headwind reminds us all… this is a serious challenge. Lush summer green frames the river with sandbanks, rock walls and wetlands Nature and the wildlife is beautifully present everywhere. Soon the field of paddlers spreads out and they become tiny specks dancing on the horizon

 
“Hydration is king for shorter distances, for this kind of event you also need to eat, eat and eat ! ” endurance athlete Karen Wrenn changing camelbaks. Local paddler William started strong and while leading the pack found time to clean up the river, throwing a pot of grease back to the support boat.

With the weather ever changing down the river, though thunderstorms were in the forecast, the first one caught everyone by surprise. The support boats raced to picked up paddlers bringing them underneath the bridges for cover from the lighting, Shane Perrin, Robin Biancalla and Tim Ed were sitting on their boards clinging to our support zodiac avoiding the destroying shore rocks in almost 2 feet chop at 40 mph wind gusts. Tim Ed later described this challenging moment as one of the best during the entire race, it reminded him of his times as a US Marine.
 
After 13 hours of paddling, the head wind is killing the timing and in the name of safety, the race organizers decide to pull some boards and paddlers from the back of the pack off the river before nightfall. The night will give a short rest, some food and time to aid the aching muscles, but this is only half way, the most treacherous waters around Manhattan are still to come tomorrow.

Inspiration : 100 Mile Paddle

Every challenge is relative !

Paddling 100 miles down the Hudson River to circumvent Manhattan in forecasted 100 degree Fahrenheit reminds me of an Ultra-marathon in the desert.      What are you made of ?

You can follow these remarkable women and men paddling to raise awareness and money for many great causes on the 100 Mile Facebook page or come out to cheer them on this weekend anywhere along the rivers. The Start is in Kingston, NY around 6 am on Saturday, July 20th and the Finish is around 4 pm on Sunday, July 21st in Manhattan on Pier 66 at 26th St. and the Westside Highway. For more details and the race course visit their website.

I figure, I’ll find out what motivates these unique humans that are willing to push themselves to their limits in the name of charity and while documenting some of the paddlers personal journey, I am hoping to feed updates to my blog here.

NYC: Tomorrow 6th Annual SEA Paddle NYC

Come on out tomorrow and cheer on the athletes paddling around Manhattan to bring awareness and funding to the Surfers’ Environmental Alliance (SEA) environmental projects and ancillary Autism charities.

Join us at the start at 7:30am on Pier 40, and at the finish line around 12:30 when the first Elite Race paddlers will be landing on the beach underneath the Brooklyn Bridge, or for the White Water Party on Pier 17 at 6pm. For more info please visit SEAPadddle NYC.

As in the last years, I will be covering the event with photo and video front to back. Here are some images from last year.

 
Yesterday, PDN Magazine featured my SEAPaddle portraits from last year on their PDN Photo of the Day site highlighting the great cause of the event.

It would be great to see you there!

Chile Adventure Dispatches: More SUP at Glacier Grey

Second day at the glacier and our mission is to explore the Western side. It’s a rainy, somewhat chilly morning and the 1 1/2 hour approach paddle alone promises to make the day more of a challenging adventure.

 
For starters, the hot water certainly helps to take the edge off of a wet, ice cold wetsuit…

Coming up around the ‘Big Rock Island’, the sheer presence of the glacier and its size is just impressive.

The forces of Nature can be humbling with a lake temperature of 0.5 degrees Celsius / 32.9 Fahrenheit. Gusty winds mixed in with rain and sleet. The camera gear is partially wet and my fingers start getting numb, but our excitement and curiosity keeps us all pushing closer to the glacier, with the occasional amazing window of sparkling sunlight.

Touching the ice is like reaching into another world, somehow there is an energy, it’s hard to describe.

It is the last day of the trip here in Southern Patagonia, hard to believe all the adventures we had … I even got to do a short paddle this morning … what an amazing trip.

Chile Adventure Dispatches: Iceberg and Glacier SUP

We were very excited to be here, no matter the condition or temperature, we wanted to get close to the glacier and explore the icebergs along the way before night fall. Glacier ice is purely magnificent, sublime, and raw.

Experienced guides, like Rodrigo Bahamondez, can tell if an iceberg is unstable, but believing you are safe would be foolish. Proceeding with respect, caution and very open alertness certainly got our adventure juices flowing. Philip Muller from standuplatino.com had brought his board and proved to be almost fearless and certainly immune to the cold.

The distance to the glacier is misleading. The mountains and glaciers are so grand and big, it feels so close, like it’s right there, you keep paddling and it just gets bigger and bigger until when I was close enough in touchable range I was again in pure awe of the immenseness of the glacier wall.

 
We were humbled very fast and with the outmost respect moved along the ever changing face of the Glacier.

It was so pure. We stayed silent in awe, you just do not want to disrupt the vibe. When focusing in on the shapes, I felt like the glacier was talking to me. Ancient works of nature on display in all it’s beauty … constantly changing.

Jorg to Photograph SEAPaddle NYC 2011

New York City lends itself to unexpected things, but nothing quite like this. The SEAPaddle is a 28-mile long paddling marathon around the isle of Manhattan that fundraises money and raises awareness for Autism Organizations and the Surfers’ Environmental Alliance (SEA).

A true sight to behold with nearly 200 paddlers sprinkled about the waters of Manhattan, they will embark on an arduous, and the simultaneously humbling task of navigating New York City’s waterways, beginning at Pier 40 on the Hudson River and ending at Pier 17 at South Street Seaport. This is not your typical leisurely weekend cruise about the city, and can take the fittest of the fit anywhere from 4-6 hours to finish.

Since the creation of the SEAPaddle, Jorg Badura has been dedicated to capturing the spirit and inspiration of these selfless athletes. You will be sure to find him floating on a barge somewhere in the Hudson River or on a boat fervently racing to capture this fearless bunch tomorrow for the 4th Annual Sea Paddle.

Here are some images that Jorg photographed from last year’s SEAPaddle:

Paddles and hands entwined, the day begins with a circle of prayer, mirroring their unity and collective efforts for the greater good. They come from all walks of life: pro-surfers, teachers, wall street business men, celebrities, parents of autistic children, water lovers alike from the far reaches of California, Florida, South America, Hawaii, Germany, Australia, and so forth.

The SEA Paddle is a collaboration between the Surfers’ Environmental Alliance (SEA), which advocates the preservation of our “fragile coastal habitats, natural ocean waves, a clean ocean, non-restrictive beach access, as well as the cultural and environmental integrity of the sport of surfing,” side by side with autism advocacy groups like Surfers Healing, which hosts day camps at the beach where autistic children and their family undergo an adventurous type of therapy through the act of surfing and the healing properties of being in the ocean. Last year, the event raised a whopping $400,000 which was split between SEA and their partner Autism organizations.

Here are some of the SEAPaddle stars that appeared in the water in 2010:

 

Fourth place winner, Ernie Johnson is an international rider for Starboard. His sincerity and humbleness are common traits associated with his name. Ernie is also talented in the art of carpentry and founded his own paddle making company called “Johnson Big Stick Paddles”. A connoisseur of the trade, he creates custom wood stand up paddles made out of the finest of woods and care.

 

 

Second place winner, Slater Trout, is often referred to as the “future of stand up paddling”. At the age of 16 he has competed and even surpassed athletes that are oftentimes double his age. This young prodigy already has a wide array of accomplishments on his belt. Here a but a few successes in 2010 alone: Stand up Journal honored him as the “2010 Junior of the Year”, US Champion in the 14ft. Elite Class Men’s division at the Hennessey’s Paddleboard Championships, and 3rd place at the  Gerry Lopez, Rainbow Sandals Battle of the Paddle, which is more commonly referred to as the “World Championships of Stand Up”.

 

 

First place winner, Thomas Maximus Shahinian, rides for OHANA Paddleboards. A true gladiator in his work ethic, he has the utmost dedication which translates in everything he does from selling real estate to the many water sports like paddling and kiting. Fun fact: he is one of the only SUPs to get a ticket, which prompted him to become one of the founders of the Stand Up Paddle Alliance organization, which advocates for SUPs rights.

 

 

Garrett McNamara is an extreme surfing world champion who has pushed the realm of surfing to the limits. Always searching for the next biggest wave that mother nature can spew out, he has made quite the reputation as a fearless big-wave or tow-in surfer. He’s explored much of the world’s oceans and ridden some of the most unforgiving waves in the world such as Teahupoo, Jaws, and even the tsunami waves off the coast of South-Central Alaska.

For more information on SEAPaddle 2011, or to pledge your support, check out SEAPaddle NYC Website. If the paddling seems a little overwhelming and you feel more at home on shore, there are lots of happenings to enjoy like the Ultimate Beach Party at the South Street Seaport’s Water Taxi Beach. You can buy your tickets here for $35 and join everyone in the cause and watch these noble athletes drag themselves out of the East River. You won’t want to miss this event!

Text by: Jorg Badura’s Studio