After yesterday’s race start of the 220km non-stop edition of the 11 Cities event, it has proven over 30hrs of mixed fortunes of pain, pleasure and disappointment. Race favourite in the women’s division and one Holland’s leading ladies, Janneke Smits, was over come with fatigue and regrettably had to retire . . .
Tatum Prins of South Africa proved her abilities and strengths in taking an early and narrow lead over 2 time champion and fellow Mistral paddler, Janneke Smits. This positioning was to change later on in the day, with Janneke taking over as the front runner. However during a tough, long night, Janneke began to experience a break down in her body and made the tough decision to retire from competition, which was a great personal disappointment. She’s now setting her sights on the 5 day event and the new concept of paddling the Mistral 17’6″ Stealth board, entered as a demonstration test with the vision of creating an Unlimited Division for future events. View the Gallery of Image from the Non-Stop Race
It was then left to Tatum to set the lead pace, but in a twist of fate and as happens too often in this arduous test of stamina and concentration, Tatum found herself taking a wrong turn, which was a set back she had to overcome mentally, in having to come back on her course and rejoin the correct route. Paddling on into the night and through the morning, Tatum went on to claim 2nd position in the non-stop 220km 11 Cities race, after some 30hrs and 45 mins. A superb effort and another Mistral board and rider victory podium finish in this event. View the Gallery of Image from the Non-Stop Race
Along the course yesterday, Mike Kranenburg (Mistral) paddling to raise money for cancer charity, received strong words of encouragement from Dutch Olympic swimmer Maarten van der Weijden, who recently swam the 11 Cities course to raise money for cancer researching, raising over €4.7 million in the process (read more here.) With Maarten’s support this added focus and impetus for Mike and an unexpected show of support and appreciation from a fellow athlete and philanthropist. Mike’s not in it to win it, but in it to raise money and spread hope for suffers and Mistral is proud to be a part of this constant battle. Amazing he will be backing up to also do the 5 day event as will Janneke and Tatum. What a huge effort and Mistral congratulates you on your heroic efforts. View the Gallery of Image from the Non-Stop Race