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What I packed for the Head of the Dart SUP race

Two weeks ago I took part in the Head of the Dart (HotD) SUP event. This was my first event of

2017 and I was struggling to decide what I needed to take with me, because unlike my first ever event last year there was no easy popping home to collect something I might have missed.

Usually I am a very organised person and I have packed weeks before or at least started writing a list of items I need. For this event I was not that organised and left the packing and thinking of the event to the Friday before, luckily this didn't cause to much of a issue because I had most of what I needed ready at home.

This got me thinking, what do you need to take for a SUP event...


Clothing -
The only thing I did look at running up to the event was the weather, was it going to be sunny, raining, windy or all of the above. This would have a big impact on what I would pack because I am known for getting cold easily and didn't want to be unprepared. Also the weather watch was preparing me for how tough the event might be, seeing as I had not been out on the water for a while or even stood up...I was hoping for light winds!

For this event it was looking like fair weather, so I packed the following:
  • Gym leggings
  • Swimwear 
  • Long sleeve rash vest
  • Short sleeve top (for options) 
  • Wind proof top
Clothing is very important because this will make and break if you finish your paddle. Knowing this race was going to be a good 2-3 hours long for me I didn't want to get cold half way down and cause a safety issue. I debated for ages before the start as to whether or not I was going for a long sleeve top or short. The sun kept hiding behind the pesky clouds! In the end I went short and glad I did because I warmed up quickly when paddling...but I did have the long sleeve top on the board just in case. 

Equipment -
It goes without saying that you need your board, leash and paddle, oh and a pump if you have an
inflatable one. I wrote these on my list, along with my fin, the screw and screw driver because again I would really need these to compete. The rest of the equipment is then optional, a month before the race I bought a new GPS watch so I could track the paddle and look back later at what I had completed. My husband kindly lent me his GoPro for the event to capture the whole thing...it lasted an hour and that was mainly of my board and very bad stroke! I invested in a new camelbak because after the SUP for Cancer event last year I realised how useful they were, this allowed me to stay hydrated during the race without having to stop.

Food and Drink - 
This was difficult for me, I knew I would need something for energy but there was no way I wanted to stop. As I said above I took a camelbak with water and then had an emergency food supply in my bag, as well something in my very useful pocket on my leggings.

On top of all of the above I also needed to take my car key with me, because this event we finish in Dartmouth and not back where we started. I was paranoid because this was my ticket home and I couldn't afford to get it wet. I was lent a dry bag for this and another for my phone incase of an emergency...with all this packed up and the start time in site it was time to hit the water!

Oh and don't forget the sun cream!

Before the race


Just before the finish - thank you to Mike Lister Photography for the photo

At the finish - I couldn't walk properly! 



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