100 km SUP Challenge
Six months ago, the phone rang, and Duff Gibson — Olympic Gold Medalist, Torino — was on the other end, asking questions about paddling Stand Up Paddle boards on the coast of Canada. I told him I’d happily share all I knew about weather and wind patters, about currents and camping spots… if I coiled come along. Duff, without hesitating, said yes. (Thank you Duff!)
The plan slowly morphed, and eventually Duff settled on attempting to paddle 100km in a single day, on Lake Kalimakha (near Vernon, B.C.) The paddle would be a fundraiser in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Dare Campaign, combatting AIDS in subsaharan Africa.
Having never even stood on a SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) before – I had my work cut out for me. After ordering an inflatable board (these are total game changers, allowing for the easy transport of these traditionally long and awkward watercraft) I began racking up the miles. Day one; six kilometres left me gassed. But day after day, week after week, I went back to my local lake. 10km. 20 km. 30 km. 50km. A week before the event, I completed my last long paddle: an 80-kilometer 12-hour day – and felt ready.
We set off at 4 am, just as the first light warmed the eastern sky. Hour after hour we plugged away, focussed on maintaining an efficient hull-speed of approximately 6.6 kph. It was almost 10pm — after 18 hours of paddling — that we finally landed, 100km behind us.
You can learn more about Duff’s astounding fundraising efforts here.