And so, another SUP 11 Cities event comes to an end and once again Mistral maintain their ranking as ‘The Brand To Beat’. As sponsors of the event and in having this 220km 5 day marathon on our doorstep in Holland, since 2014 we stepped up to the challenge to put our signature on this now iconic international race.
Since that time, Mistral has played a significant part in making the event truly international, by bringing in paddlers from Tahiti, Japan, USA, South Africa, Brazil, the UK and others parts of the globe. Beginning with a blue print to design a board capable of winning this gruelling event beginning in 2014, the Vortex was created and from here we needed quality paddlers to deliver the results we were looking for. Since 2015 we’ve made our intentions known, we aim to lead in this event, not follow. Since then the Vortex SD1 was created for 2018.
We have had mixed fortunes not all of which we had control of, such as when a strong Mistral Tahitian team, suffered at the hands of cold high winds and waters, which did not suit their optimum paddling conditions, on the other hand we’ve always made the podium and indeed our Elite Women have been winners on 3 of the last 5 years including runners up through 1st and 2nd, whilst our Elite Men have placed 1st through 3rd.
2019 was no exception, with Lena and Petronella dominating their division from start to finish, with Lena taking 1st narrowly over Petronella. As the saying goes ‘You’ve gotta be in it to win it’ and being as this race is so tough, it truly is ‘The Everest’ of the International SUP event schedule.
It’s little wonder many world class paddlers do not want to take this race on or indeed return once they have experienced its full force. Regardless, we take pride in our paddlers who back up each year to take on all-comers and indeed, this makes Mistral’s standing in the SUP international community on a unique level that says ‘No Limits’.
Newcomer to the Mistral stable, Italian Martino, managed a solid 3rd place, repeating his position from last year in which he will again be looking to improve upon in 2020. He’s a solid, fair paddler with high levels of sportsmanship, qualities we value as a brand – even if the racing and antics of others can get quite tense on the water at times.
Congratulations also to our Mistral Mixed Team from Japan Universities who paddled with great enthusiasm and passion to win their division. Back home they paddle the Mistral International One Design (IMOD) 12’6 boards and this was a trip of lifetime to compete on our Vortex hardboards over such a distance.
Inevitably we will return in 2020 and will no doubt once again, rise to the challenge in this Everest of a contest!