Seychelle SUP - Standup Paddle Yoga Teacher Training - January 13-15 2017

Learn how to teach Yoga on a Standup Paddleboard in the beautiful Florida Keys!!! Winter Retreat and Training

SEYCHELLE SUP 25HR SUP YTT INCLUDES:

  • The basics of SUP – Paddling skills and technique –Learn from a Professional Standup Paddle athlete.
  • The ins and outs of all equipment used – Boards, paddles, pfds, anchors, accessories, including the use of inflatable and hard constructed boards.
  • Learn how to safely and confidently instruct a beginners SUP lesson and take small groups out on the water.
  • The basics of SUP Yoga – guiding a SUP Yoga class – sequencing and modifications – for one the water
  • Creating a floating studio – location, orientation, and how to use different anchoring methods
  • Water safety – know local and international regulations, safety equipment required, how to perform water rescues
  • Weather – reading weather forecasts, navigational charts and determining local conditions
  • All equipment necessary for training including: board rental, paddle, anchor, and pfd
  • 25 hours of Yoga Alliance CEU’s
  • SUP Yoga Teacher Training Manual
  • SUP Yoga Instructor Certification from Seychelle SUP - E RYT200, Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider, Professional SUP instructor

Pre-requisites:Up to date CPR and First Aid required before receiving certification.

200 hours YTT or equivalent.

Must have some knowledge of SUP and be a proficient swimmer.

 

Price: $495

Please contact me with any questions and special requests SeychelleSUP@gmail.com 305-849-3885

Sign up at: www.seychellesup.com

facebook event link : https://www.facebook.com/events/1006285929493996/

 

Blessings and gratitude :)

Life is not a race...

I forget that sometimes. Life is not a race. Just because I love to race, doesn’t mean I need to always be racing.

The last two weeks I finally took some time off from racing through life. Not by choice, but by necessity. I’ve been fighting one injury or another for quite some time now and it’s finally caught up to me. The last time I stepped on my race board was the finals at PPG. 13 days ago. This is the longest I’ve gone without a workout since I can’t remember. I haven’t lifted a weight or gone for a swim or even been to a yoga class. I was finally in enough pain that I slowed down to listen to what my body has been trying to tell me for months. “I am injured and I need rest.”

There have been so many signs and I knew this was coming, but I really really wanted to make it through to December for my final race of the season. I even kept this rest period quiet because I was in denial. I thought maybe I could make it through the Chattajack and then stop. I was trying to rationalize it by saying “but its only 32 miles on flat water. It will be easy.” Now, that kind of race is my bread and butter, but 32 miles is never easy.  

It is frustrating and disappointing, but I know in the long run, it is the right thing to do.

I have a rib that every once in a while goes out of place. I don’t know how it happens or what I do to make it slip, it is something we are working on figuring out. What I do know is that recently it has been going out every single week, and that is just not okay. I have been holding myself together with tape. I saw the red flags, but I was stubborn and wanted to keep training and racing. I am glad I made it through PPG, but looking back, even to get there was a struggle. My training has suffered because I am always trying to maneuver around one symptom or another.

I saw 2 different chiropractors while I was in CA and neither of them helped with my rib. I was so happy to get back here to see Dr. Austin who own Keys Mobile Chiropractic. He has been my chiropractor for 10 months now and knows my body well. He was able to reset the rib and get me back on track once more. I don’t know what I would do without him and wish I could take him everywhere I go.

 Super happy face... 

 Super happy face... 

I have taken 2 weeks complete rest and it is starting to feel better. I will take two more and do some physical therapies to help the rib stay in place. 

The body is an amazing machine and it is capable of incredible things. Feats of skill and stamina beyond our wildest dreams, but only if it is well taken care of. Recovery is a fundamental part of any training program. I believe everything happens for a reason and I just need to not fight it any longer and go with the flow. Life is not a race. Life is journey.

Slow down. Relax. I have not taken an off season since I began racing and it’s about time. 

PPG delivered!

What an incredible weekend!!! I finally made it to my first Pacific Paddle Games and my first ever stand up paddle race on the West Coast! You know the saying, the more you learn, the more there is to learn? I love it! And it pretty much sums up my weekend. Winning is a triumphant experience, and one that I strive for at every race, but the amount that I learn from my failures makes being defeated every now and then extremely worth while.  
I knew this would be a challenging race for me. I organized to arrive early in the week to get a few days of practicing in the surf at the race location, Doheny state park in Dana Point, CA. (Really a few months or better yet years of surf practice is what I need 😜) 
My amazing sponsors at surfstow live 5 mins from the park and offered me a room at their house and a car with a roof rack for the week. This was super convenient and I am super grateful! 
The first thing I did upon arrival was collect my board and head to the beach. I hooked up with Jamie and Mike from the Paddle Academy and joined in on a training session at the beach with their squad of about 25 groms! (water sports slang for: youth) They have such a great program going, getting the youth stoked on the sport and doing legit training sessions with them 3x a week. This interests me a lot. Maybe when I slow down my own racing schedule, I will start a sup school. 
My first surf session didn't go so well and I really wasn't liking the feeling of the new board. I decided to make a different plan. Luckily this industry is small and everyone is helpful. I was able to hook up with NSP and ride one of their boards for the weekend. I can't really go in to details about the boards and why I made the choice I made. I know it was a big disappointment to my sponsors Mistral, and a big risk for me to ride a completely foreign board design for the first time during a race, but sometimes you gotta take risks. And whether it works out or not, without risk, there is no growth. I am very grateful to the entire surf tech team for temporarily adopting me as their own and especially to Ryan Guay for the gear. 
I spent the entire week trying my hardest to master the surf, but this was not without its setbacks. I was dealing with residual shoulder and rib injuries and had to really take it easy and could only do about two 1 hour sessions a day before the pain would creep in and I would have to stop. But, there was definite improvement throughout the week. It was so cool to see all the athletes and the teams training at Doheny Beach throughout the week. I jumped in on as many sessions as I could and everyone (and I mean everyone) offered help and advise. That is the cool thing about this sport. Even the women who were going to be my competition were trying to help. (Maybe it just looked like I I needed it that bad. Lol) 
On Tuesday night we had the awards ceremony for the Euro Tour I did this summer. This was the first time all the athletes were together in one place since June. It was so nice to see everyone! I ended up getting 2nd place women overall and received a giant check which was super cool! Thank you Euro Tour!
Wednesday night was the SUP Awards, presented by SUP the Mag. The "red carpet" of SUP. I was shocked and honored to be awarded Female Breakthrough Performer of the year! It was a monumentous year for me and it felt incredible to be recognized by my fellow paddlers for all of the hard work I put in. I walked up to the stage with tears streaming down my face, unable to make acceptance speech, yet full of pride and gratitude. Thank you to SUP the Mag for this honor and to all who have helped me on this journey. Whether your contribution was big or small, I couldn't have done it without you and I feel truly blessed.
On Saturday we had our first race, the semi final heats for the pro women's technical event. The technical race is 3 laps around a course of buoys. There are 6 buoy turns in each lap and two of them are in the surf. The swell was up and the conditions were very challenging for me. I got so smashed in my warm up that I went and hid and cried like a little girl before the start. I was f*king terrified. Then I remembered to breath and finally to meditate. I re entered the beach ready to take on the surf and whatever the outcome would be. It certainly wasn't pretty, I didn't make it over any white water without falling and I didn't surf any waves, but I managed to stay calm and to somehow finish in the top 8 and made it into the finals. I have to admit I was feeling pretty low after how poorly I performed, but everyone was once again so encouraging, which really helped. 
On Sunday morning was the "distance" race. It was meant to be a 6 mile course of two laps all outside the surf zone. Even though the waves were not breaking, the water was a bit rough. It wouldn't have been so bad except that I was once again on a new board and didn't quite have it dialed in. I lost the entire draft train from the very start because I just couldn't keep steady in the white water. It took me about 20 minutes, but once the field of women got spread out and I could actually get into my rhythm, I felt super strong and the board began to glide. By the end of the second lap, I went from about 18th place up to 8th. The women were starting to get tired and I was only just warmed up. The actual distance of the race was a little over 5 miles. I wish we could have done another lap or two so I could have closed more of the gap made by my bad start, but before knew it, it was time to turn the last buoy and surf on in to shore....except that I once again proved how much I have to improve in the surf. I wiped out on every single wave coming to the beach and watched as the girls I had worked so hard to pass, just surf right by me to the finish. I ended up finishing 12th. Not terrible, but not the result I was hoping for. To win a race, you need to begin and end strong. I did neither of those. Oh well....
That same afternoon we had our technical course race finals. Much to my delight, the wind had picked up and the swell had died down! With the waves a more manageable size, and me feeling more comfortable on the board, I was able to have a strong race. I fell ever time we hit the inside buoy, (but so did pretty much everyone) but I didn't wipe out in the white water AND I caught a wave and surfed all the way in to beach for the first time without falling! April Zilg and I were on the same wave and jumped off at the same time and I won the sprint race up the beach!  I came in 12th again. Just to keep it even, but I felt that I had had a good race. It was the first time all weekend I wasn't embarrassed running up to the beach. 
In the final standings /combined points  I came 11th overall. I am not super stoked as I would have of course liked to do better, but I am happy. Happy I came here. Happy for the opportunity to race in challenging conditions, to get out of my comfort zone, to learn, to grow, to take risks, to meet new people and make new friends. The Pacific Paddle Games really delivered! 

Thank you to my sponsors whom I couldn't do this without. @ Mistral SUP, I wish you guys were here. @vestpac for the new prototype hydration pac. I am liking the improvements! @remedys nutrition, the extra strength pre-work out never lets me down.  @carbonerro @surfstow, it was great to hang out with you guys at the West Marine tent. @sweet Waterwear, the race jerseys were awesome! @vmg blades @keys mobile chiropractic @kaenon 

love and blessings and gratitude! 

RPhotos from @onit pro 

Lake Mary Jane Paddle Race, Surf training, and I'm getting Married!! 😄

Lake Mary Jane Paddle Race, Surfs up in Melbourne Beach, oh and I'm getting Married!!!
   What a weekend! This weekend was spectacular for so may reasons! First off, my super, sweet, sexy, smart, supporting boyfriend popped the question on Thursday morning at sunrise. While getting engaged is not a surprise for us, Thursday morning was quite a surprise for me. We were out on our inflatable paddle boards spending some quality time together before I had to leave town again on my next traveling adventure. Will is in school right now so his traveling ability is extremely limited, but his plan to become a fire fighter in the next year will allow him much more freedom once schooling is complete. I know this next year will be hard on the both of us, being separated so much, but it is definitely worth it. I love that he has a dream and a plan just like I do and although they are very different, we each have promised to support each other in accomplishing them. 
   On Friday I headed up to see my parents new house in Melbourne Beach in order to be closer to the start of Saturday's race in Orlando. They kept telling me that their house is a 5 minute walk to the beach with a great surf break right out front, but my parents aren't surfers so I honesty didn't believe them until I saw it for myself. They were not lying in the slightest. One of the nicest breaks in the area, with no public access, and it's right in front of their neighborhood homeowners park. Wow! And to top it off, there is a tropical storm out in the Atlantic and the surf was perfect this weekend! How did I get so lucky? I got in about an hour of surf training on my 12'6 race board in preparation for the PPG (the biggest SUP race in the world) next week in CA. My little brother drove down from law school at UF and we had a nice family dinner. 
   Saturday was the Lake Mary Jane Paddle Race in Orlando, FL hosted by Wave of Wellness. This was the final race in an 8 race series titled the "Fastest in Florida." Your top 5 out of 8 scores were added up to see who will win the title and the bragging rights. Florida has a very strong SUP community and its great to see the paddlers and organizers who work hard and who represent at all of these events get rewarded and recognized.
   If anyone reading this is from the state of Florida, you probably know that the competition in the women's division was heated and very close. There is one woman in this state who has consistently challenged me throughout the year. In fact she won the very first race in the series back in January. After that I always managed a 1st place finish, but not by much and never without some sort of drama after the race. (I hate drama) I knew she would be there on Saturday to take a last stab at earning the title. If she had won, we would have tied for 1st. Because neither of us could attend all 8 races, after 8 months in competition, it was THAT close. All week my nerves were killing me. I didn't even want to show up on Saturday. Thank goodness for the encouragement and support of my family who really wanted to be there to witness me see this through. 
   Almost my whole family came (my sister lives in CA and I will see her next week) to the race which was so awesome and I did end up winning the 6 miler and the sprint race and the title of "Fastest in Florida." I seem to be collecting a lot of those these days. ☺️ Although I won the title of "Fastest paddler on Earth" and a few other minor accomplishments this year like SUP Woman of the Year and SUP Athlete of the Year, (no big deal 😜) winning the Fastest in Florida was a huge challenge. Based on 8 races instead of 1, and determined purely by results and not votes or nominations. There is nothing but hard work and determination behind this achievement. 
   Back in Melbourne the surf was still up and I got in some more surf training on my race board. I surfed it until the deck pad was almost completely ripped off and my coil leash was no longer a coil leash. Lol. Ive got a long way to go, but it's safe to say, I'm getting better. And that is the goal. Just keep getting better. 
   I met up with friends from Ft Lauderdale who were in town for a surf competition and even rode a few belly waves with my brother and my dad. All together an amazing weekend! So grateful for my family for their love and support. 
   Thank you to my sponsors who make this all possible. Mistral SUP, Remedys Nutrition, Carbonerro paddles, Sweet Waterwear sup gear, Vestpac hydration, VMG Blades fins, Keys Mobile Chiropractic, Kaenon sunglasses! 
  I made it home on Sunday in time to play with my puppy and unpack my car before dark then immediately pack my bags for California as I had to leave for the airport at 5am Monday morning. On the road again. Another race. Another adventure. Yay #SUPlife! 
I wouldn't have it any other way. 
Blessings and gratitude,
Seychelle 

 

SUP 11 City Tour - Review of the event and a few things you didn't know about my experience at this years race

Last week I participated in my second SUP 11 City Tour in Holland. The 11 City Tour is a 220klm (136 miles) 5-day standup paddleboard race through the northern part of Holland called the Friesland. The race is extremely unique for several reasons.

1.) The shear distance of the race 220klm, is extremely long. The is definitely and ultra-distance event. Today there are a handful of other ultra-endurance paddling events, but when the SUP 11 City tour started 9 year ago, it was certainly one of a kind.

2.) The 5-day stage race format is something not seen in other SUP events just yet. We this this format in other sports, cycling for instance, and in fact this race is often called the “Tour-de-France of SUP.”  

3.) The entire race course is inland 95% on man-made canals. There are a couple of small lakes to cross, but otherwise you are paddling quite literally through fields, farmlands, and right through the center of the 11 cities.

4.) Most of the competitors stay on 3 large Dutch sailing ships that travel with us as we race and are always at the finish line, the next city, when we arrive. Its like SUP summer camp. 

It is pretty far out! If you’ve never experienced a race like this or been to Holland before, it is an incredible way to see the country. That is if you remember to look up every now and then from your draft train and take in the scenery. ;)

In 2015, my first 11 City Tour, I paddled primarily by myself with a pretty substantial lead on the rest of the female competitors. With the daily distanced between 25-28miles, (5 1/2 hrs a day for me and up to 8 hours for some) it was a long way to paddle without taking turns on leading a draft train. But I was able to go at my own pace the entire time and easily won all 5 stages of the race.

This year was quite different for me. I ended up winning again all 5 stages of the race, but the margin was much smaller. And I believe I had to work much harder. I could tell from the get go that something wasn’t quite right and it egged on me the entire 220klm. My average speed this year was slower than last year and I know for a fact that I am a faster paddler than I was in 2015. So what was the problem? I am never one to complain or make excuses, so I did what I needed to do to make it happen. I used a different strategy and tactics, paddled my ass off, and I won every single day. I never let on to my competitors and other participants that I was struggling. I pretended like I was just taking it easy, but really I just could not find my power nor my speed the entire race… I am thinking that I made the wrong decision on which paddle to use. Trying to travel with the least amount of gear, I only brought one paddle, my smallest blade, thinking that over the long distance it would fatigue my body less. I wish I could have switched to a larger blade after the first day to try it and see, but I didn’t have that option. My board sponsors, Mistral, tried to bring me one of their paddles to use but then made a mistake while cutting and gluing rendering the paddle useless.

I took the whole situation as a sign and a well learned lesson.

“Use what you got to get what you need” – I ended up with the win regardless

“Live with your mistakes. Move forward and don’t let them get into your head” – I could have given up when my normal stroke rate of about 48 had to be increased to over 58 to maintain a decent speed and my body just didn’t want to cooperate. Instead I put my head down and pushed harder.

“Always bring a spare paddle” – It’s not like it weighs all that much. Lol. But 3 times in the last 3 months I have had paddles broken during transit, so I figured just bring one and pack it up real good.

I am so grateful to have had Petronella, the second place female to work with the entire race. It made the distance go by much faster because we were able to share the lead position and help to push, challenge, and motivate each other every stroke of the way.

Everything happens for a reason and It always works out in the end whether it seems like it at the time or not.

136 miles is a LONG way to paddle, let alone RACE! But we did it. We all did it. One of my favorite things about this event are the people that you meet while doing it. We are all as unique as this race and everyone has a different motivation for wanting to complete the challenge. When you get tired and exhausted and you don’t want to keep paddling and you never want to paddle again and you can’t remember why in the world you ever thought this would be a good idea and absolutely every muscle in your body is hurting, knowing that there are over 100 other people right there with you all experiencing the same thing, well, it helps. Because at the end of each day you get to commiserate and share with those people and you leave Holland having made a bond that very few people in the World will ever understand.

 

I want to say a huge thank you to the organizers of the Race!!! Once again a fantastic job.

Thank You so much to Mistral SUP for bringing me out here and treating me like a queen! The Vortex 14 does it again!

To my sponsors at home for their continued support and incredible products Remedys Nutrition Carbonerro Paddles, Sweet Waterwear, Vest Pac, VMG Blades, Surfstow, Key Mobile Chiropractic, Kaenon

 

Blessings and Gratitude to ALL!!!!

XXX

Seychelle

SEA Paddle NYC part II ...

This weekend I participated in the SEA Paddle NYC, a 25 mile standup paddle race and fund raiser for the SEA Foundation and Autism non-profits. The entire event was absolutely incredible. New York City is one the most unique places I have ever paddled and what a way to see the city than from the water going 6mph. The race was well organized by passionate and wonderful individuals who care more about this event than words can describe. The energy of our collective efforts to paddle our asses off for 25 miles and at the same time raise over $250,000 for a more than worthy cause, was truly felt by all who were involved. 
The race started under the Brooklyn Bridge where there was lots of excitement and buzz from participants old and new about the course, the weather, and the challenges ahead. A group of recreational paddlers departed at 930 am and the elite race started at 10am. The course started by going up the East River and through a section of the channel called "Hell's Gate." This part of the course I was familiar with from my old sailing days when we spent a month in NYC each year. In Hell's Gate, the current can get up to 5mph!!! We fortunately had the tides in our favor, but there was a slight head wind. The wind combined with several boats wakes and the rapidly moving water was enough to create some very steep chop that we had to paddle through. At least this part went by fast. My average speed was over 8mph. Kai Lenny took an immediate lead and we never saw him again. Behind him was a group of about 6-7 guys in 2 draft trains who I stayed near or just in front of. I decided early on I was going to have to be "one of the guys" if I was to have a competitive day of racing. Even though I couldn't be in their trains, I was determined to not let them pass me. 
Then we veered left and headed up the Harlem River. this part of the course was flat and hot and the current, which I had thought would be traveling with us, switched to be unfavorable. I put my head down and hammered up stream and actually enjoyed this part because I was able to put a gap on the men's leading draft train. 
By the time we reached the Hudson River with 10 miles left to paddle, the current started playing tricks on us. It was seemingly in our favor so the majority of paddlers took a wide line and headed for the center of the river. The lead men started to pass me. Oh no! I paid close attention to my gps and started looking down the river at the moving water. The current was in fact against us. I headed left near the shore and watched as slowly the mens train near the center of the river broke up and slowed down and I once again took the lead. Looking ahead, some rain showers started moving across the city and coming down on us. This was my favorite part of the race. Getting cooled off by the rain and cloud cover. I felt great and motivated me to keep pushing hard. The wind was pushing from left to right with the mini squalls, so once again I was in a better position already being on the left side of the channel and all the paddlers who were now trying to head left and get out of the current were hitting head winds. 
The closer we got to the finish, the wind and rain died down, but the boat wakes from all the city water taxis got horrendous and a few times I was terrified of getting run over at full speed. All the safety boats for the event stayed close so I felt safe. I took one fall during the race about a mile from the finish due to a boat wake and tired, shaky legs. My left forearm started to cramp. This is the first time I have experienced cramping during a race. I adjusted my wrist position and it eventually went away. 
We were met by cheering fans and volunteers at the finish line at Chelsea Piers. I ended up finishing in 4hrs and 15mins, 1st female and 2nd SUP overall. I was very happy with that. The showers at Chelsea Piers were open for us to shower and the after party was on a large party boat docked at the pier. Lots of hugs were given and stories were told about everyone's adventure paddling around New York City. Drinks and dinner were provided as well as a DJ although I couldn't find anyone with enough energy left to dance with me except the DJ himself. ;p
The awards were tear jerking. Richard Lee, Chris Macioch, and the SEA foundation volunteers are so incredible! The prize purse was $30,000, so I walked away with a really big check and a Tag Heuer watch! But the real winner was the lead fund raiser, a man who raised over $40,000 in donations by himself and did the 'recreational' 25mile paddle. (I can't remember his name.) WOW!
 Definitely put this event on your calendar next year!
A HUGE thank you to all my donors who helped me raise a little over $1300 in donations. 
And as always to my Thank you to my AMAZING sponsors who make all that I do possible.
I drove myself to NY just so that I could do the paddle on my Mistral SUP Vortex 14' board. My World record setting board, as I couldn't imagine paddling on any thing else. 
To Carbonerro for my winning blade. (after a huge fuss about getting a new pro 85 blade, my usual choice, I ended up using my 75 for this race and loving it.
To Sweet Waterwear, my trusty compression and quick dry gear.
To Vest Pac for the new prototype hydration pac, which fit 2 full bladders in one pac, giving me over 3 liters of water for the race so I never had to stop and fill up!
To VMG blades for the mako 37, for extra stability in those choppy conditions. 
To Remedy's Nutrition for long-lasting energy, good sleep, and a healthy body. You keep me rockin!
Keys Mobile Chiropractic  
Kaenon
KT Tape
and a special guest Thank you to a friend who helped make this race possible, Florida Veterinary Cardiology <3 <3 <3

Love and Blessings and Gratitude to ALL!


to be continued... the ride home ...  

SEA Paddle NYC part 1 ...

This weekend I am participating in the iconic New York City paddle marathon, the SEA Paddle NYC. It is a 25 mile race around the island of Manhattan and a fund raiser for Autism and the environment. This is their 10th year and in total over $2.3 million have been raised by the foundation and this event in support of the environment and Autism non-profits. I am stoked to be involved and to have helped in a small way by raising over $1300 in my campaign. 
I decided to drive to NY instead of trusting my World Record setting board to luggage handlers at an airport. I was offered a board to borrow for the event up here, but I just can't imagine doing a long, flat water race on anything other than my Mistral Vortex 14.  
My trusty Taurus, which I just found out classifies as a "classic" now. (lol) is definitely not suitable for driving that distance. So I rented a car on Wednesday and loaded it up with a universal roof rack, my board, and one more for a friend. The drive is 1400 miles, about 20 hours non-stop. I left around 3 pm and took my time making my way out of Florida. As a general rule I like to stay hydrated, so frequent bathroom stops are required on road trips, plus checking on the boards, fueling up the extremely small gas tank on the rental car, and stretching my legs and back. I decided to try and get some sleep at a rest stop a little south of Savannah around 11pm. I layed in the reclined front seat of my car curled up with my yoga mat and a sweater as I forgot to pack a pillow. I tried to sleep for about an hour and then gave up and kept on driving. I stopped again around 1 and managed about 3 hours and then again around 5 for another hour or 2. In total about 5 hours of sleep at 3 different rest stops. (yes, in my car, on the side of the road. I know, I'm classy like that. I'm also cheap) 
I kept cruise control at 70 as that seemed like the best speed for the least board vibration and drove all day through the next day. I kept thinking and laughing to my self, how crazy am I? This is a long-ass drive. Why didn't I fly? Who thought this was a good idea? I must be certifiably insane. But, I kept an upbeat and positive attitude the whole time and really it wasn't that bad. Turns out I have a talent for doing things for really long distances for a really long time. I told myself, if I can paddle for 24 hours non stop, I sure as hell can drive for 30 when I get to stop as much as I like. I think it helps that I enjoy my own company and the thoughts in my head. I can space out and/or entertain myself for a long time. As the hours ticked by, I actually felt better and better about the drive. The last 8 were pretty fun. (Besides 3 hours of traffic trying to get around DC.)

I use essential oils a lot. At home I have a diffuser. In the car, I put a few drops under the a/c vents and I think it also really helped to keep me calm/focused/energized during the drive depending on which oil I was using. 

Nothing really crazy happened. I only drank 1 5-hour energy (split in to 2 doses) and 1 cup of coffee. I am not a caffiene drinker so small amounts go a long way for me, which I am grateful for.

I arrived a little after 9 pm on Thursday. 30 hours after departure from Key Largo, FL. Both boards and I are 100% safe and intact. I am not releigious, but I do beleive in good energy. So I said a few prayers and offrered essential oils to my angels and spirit guides for a smooth and perfect journey and that was indeed granted. I am so grateful to the universe for that.

  I am staying in Waldwick, NJ with an old friend who has parking and storage space so I don't have to worry about cars and boards in NYC until Saturday morning. Thank goodness. I'm not looking forward to that part. lol.


Now its time to chill out and rest up for the Race on Saturday.  

To be continued... (with results!)

info on the race: www.seapaddlenyc.org

info on SEA Foundation: www.seasurfer.org

Donate to my race campaign. It's not too late:  bit.ly/sey4sea

Euro Tour Week 3 - Victory in Bilbao

What a week! My final days in Europe were definitely the most epic.

I said good bye to my Mistral teammates and boarded a plane for Barcelona. From there I rented a car for the week to get me around Spain. I quickly realized that Barcelona is not a place you want to be driving and ditched my car as a soon as I found my friends. I went to visit Ely, a local girl who teaches SUP Pilates on Mistral inflatables just like me. We have been following each other on Social Media for quite some time and I am super grateful we got to meet. She hosted me in her home for one night. We met some of her friends and went out to a fabulous vegetarian restaurant in the city. The next morning we headed to the W hotel for Ely’s SUP Pilates class. It was a blast!!! 

Then I got in my car and drove 6 hours to Madrid where I met another friend, Nicole, who I have only met twice before in the US. Nicole invited me to stay at her place and I couldn’t resist seeing a little more of the Spain with a free place to stay. Madrid was a fun city. We saw her friend's rock bands play live, more of a local gathering than a touristic adventure, which was really cool. Then ate probably the best vegan food I have ever had at this restaurant called Vega. 

I finally made it to Bilbao on Thursday and managed to get my board out of the Euro Tour van where it had been stored and on the road and went for my first paddle of the week. Its been a while since I had 4 days without paddling and I was going a bit crazy.

Bilbao is a beautiful city! My favorite of Spain so far. The river is very much a city river, (not a place you want to fall in) but the scenery/architecture while paddling is gorgeous. 

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The race organizers certainly pulled out all the stops for this event. The production was over the top. So much fun and so worth the 80EU entry fee. 3 parties, 4 meals, and 2 races included.  The first party was a welcoming on Friday on one of the top floors of the Iberdrola Tower with a 360 birds eye view of the city. Saturday afternoon was the 8 mile long-distance race. The course was two laps in the river in the city center, with the start line being right off the World famous Guggenheim Museum. 

I started off well, Fiona Wylde and I fighting for 1st position, but shortly after things got a bit more difficult for me. They started the mens class after the women's which meant that for the whole first lap, we were being passed by draft train after draft train of men. I learned quickly that I had chosen the wrong fin for holding a straight line or being able to draft in those wake-y conditions. I lost Fiona and she gained a significant lead. As I watched her get away, I was very close to giving up and settling for yet another 2nd place finish. Once we started the 2nd lap, I saw that I was using the current to a better advantage. I saw Fiona slowing down and it gave me the confidence that I needed to pick up the pace and close the gap. I knew I could catch her, There is so much of this and every sport that is mental strength, strategy, and just plain ‘how bad do you want it?’ I wanted it. I passed Fiona in the last 2 miles and was able to hold the lead all the way to the finish line for my first Euro Tour victory!

It feels incredible. I was a little too exhausted in the moments after the race to celebrate, but it was cool to hear everyone say they saw my interview on SUPracer. 

That night we partied pretty hard. There was a dj dance party on the dock at the event site and an after party at a nearby bar after that. The Spanish know how to party and everything happens super late. My favorite part was when we were all dancing by the water and two of the race organizers picked me up not their shoulders and paraded me around the dance floor as their victor. I made so many friends in Spain. 

Sunday was super fun too. They had fun sprint races all day long and I joined in on the giant inflatable races with about 10 people per board. We all ended up in the nasty river water after pushing and ramming and splash battles, but it was worth it. :D

I toyed with the idea of staying another week in Spain and the Euro Tour, but I think I will need to plan better for it next time. 

I am still on Cloud 9. So happy with myself and my results on this tour. It has really been a break out experience for my SUP career. I learned something at each event and know where I need to make the most improvements. Always training and getting better. Always doing my best.

My favorite part of the three weeks in Europe was winning the Fastest Paddler on Earth. To hold two titles so distinctly different as the 24 hour Guinness World Record and now the Fastest too! Its incredible! I look back at how quickly this has all happened and I know I am exactly where I need to be. 

I want to once again thank the people and products that make this all possible.

@Mistral SUP for the winning board the Vortex 14. Seriously it’s a rocket! And for the support to be in Europe making my dreams come true!

@ Carbonerro for the the Champions paddle, the pro series 85

@Remedys Nutrition for keeping my healthy and energetic for 3 weeks of travel and racing 

@VMG Blades for the fastest fins around 

@Keys Mobile Chiropractic for keeping my body held together for week after week or heavy racing

@Vestpac for my new pink hydration pac

@sweetwaterwear and @kaenon for keeping me protected and in style!

Euro Tour Week 2 #FastestPaddlerOnEarth!!!!

Week 2 

Day 1 Monday 5/23

Today we drove more than 12 hours from Ste Maxime, France straight to Brombashee, Germany with the Mistral Sprinter van. This was a long journey, but Steeve made a bed in the back on top of the inflatable boards and we took turns getting some sleep as we cruised along. We felt like we were being smuggled across the European boarders like refugees. 

Day 2  5/24

Its cold and rainy in Germany. Today was a double training session day, but the first one I did indoors in the fitness center because I didn't want to face the weather outside. Such a baby. The food at the hotel is excellent. Huge breakfast and lunch buffets with vegan friendly choices. :) We also made a trip to the grocery store for snacks to keep in the room. I found organic peanut butter. It made me very happy. 

Day 3   5/25

Morning sprint training and a paddle around the race course which is already laid out on the lake. Food, siesta, food, then we rented bicycles and had a super fun bike ride around the lake and got to scope out the race course from a different perspective. Its still cold, but they say it is going to warm up this weekend. I really like Germany. I like that it is clean and neat. Things are well taken care of and organized.  Other racers are starting to arrive at the hotel.

Day 4  5/26

Rest Day. Found the Hotel pool and Spa. (Why have I not been coming here all week?!?) Amazing massage jets in both pools and a sauna. R&R, lots of Yoga and eating and catching up on computer work. What a relaxing day. Feeling great and ready for tomorrow’s race.

Day 5 & 6   5/27 & 5/28

The weekend was the Lost Mills Race in Brombashee, Germany. It is the largest, most competitive SUP race in the Euro Tour and possibly in all of Europe. I came primarily to see how I stacked up against the best paddlers in Europe on a flat-water, long-distance (11mile) race. I have a had my eye on this race for 2 years now, since I first started paddling. The key element for me being the flat water. Most of the elite SUP events around the World take place in open water and it doesn’t matter how fast you can paddle, if you are not good at surfing, you can forget about winning the race. Also at the Lost Mills, they start off the weekend with a 200m sprint race to see who is “The Fastest Paddler on Earth.” I wasn’t even sure I wanted to enter this event as I thought sprinting and out-right speed was not my forte. I consider myself a diesel engine. One speed. Go forever. This is something I have been working with my coaches on correcting and I guess its been working! However, I never trained specifically to sprint 200m. I ended up winning the event and now hold the title for the next year of “Fastest (female) paddler on Earth!!!!” It goes to show you never know until you try. I was taught as a runner that there are fast and slow twitch muscles fibers and to be an entrance athlete, you work primarily slow twitch and therefore end up losing out in speed to gain endurance. But in the last 6 months I have gained the Guinness World Record for longest distance in 24 hours and now the title of Fastest Paddler on Earth. Endurance and Speed. When I heard my time and knew that I had won the event, I screamed so loud and jumped up and down on my board and fell in the water and screamed and shouted and jumped some more. I am so unbelievably happy and proud. This is really a huge accomplishment for such a short time paddling. 2 huge accomplishments. 

On Saturday I came 2nd place in the distance race with the top female finishers in almost the same order as last week in Ste Maxime.

Next week I head to Spain for the Bilbao paddle Challenge. I will try and catch Sonni once more. She is so freaking strong, but I know with a little more technical experience, I will be able to keep up. I know that my weaknesses are mostly in technical errors and lack of experience, not in lack of strength or speed, and that I am gaining and learning more and more every race. 

 

Huge Congratulations to Mistral for their Vortex 14!’  The board that has brought me to Victory at the SUP 11 City Tour, The 24 hour Guinness World Distance Record, and now the Fastest Paddler on Earth!

To all my sponsors for there amazing support and incredible products! I couldn’t do it with out you! 

Carbonerro with the winning paddle all the way. 

Remedys Nutrition for energy to paddle for days

VMG Blades with the fin designed and proven to win the 200M sprint!

Sweet waterwear - woudn't enter an endurance event with my compression pants

Keys Mobile Chiropractic - I am missing you SO much over here!

VestPac

 

 

 

Seychelle's Euro Tour - Week 1

 

Day 1  5/18/16

Arrived in St Maxime after a long day of travel. How wonderful it is to be here. I am joined by 2 of my sponsors from Mistral SUP and 1 other team rider, Steeve Teihotaata. I can’t help thinking what an incredible feeling it is to be here for the Euro Tour. Some of the best Standup Paddlers from all over the World are being flown in by their respective teams and brands to compete for a spot on the Euro Tour leader board and I happen to be one of them! It is an honor and a privilege that I have been working so hard for.

Day 2  5/19

Morning training session with Steeve on our brand new boards. Mistral just launched the Equinox 14’ Ultra and Vortex 14’ Ultra. It’s like the Mach II of our favorite Mistral 14’ boards. Technically improved, lighter, and faster. Lunch and Siesta as we are both suffering from some serious jet lag, and then back on the water in the afternoon for a photo shoot. Steve on the Equinox and myself on the Nautique, an inflatable SUP ‘yacht tender,’ paddling amongst the yachts in a Marina near San Tropez. I don’t think we could have left the harbor if we wanted to. This afternoon is was blowing a full gale straight down the Gulf of San Tropez. A fierce wind that is commonly called “the Mistral” here in the Mediterranean. 

Day 3   5/20

Gentle morning training and more fun filming video promotions off the beach in St. Maxime. Practiced my beach starts and buoy turns over and over and over again in preparation for Saturday’s technical race course. Fun stuff and great videos. Check out a quick clip here: https://www.facebook.com/mistralsup/videos/1203226376363288/

I am delighted to report that I have gotten over jet lag and getting a good amount of sleep at night. Last time I came to Europe I hardly slept for 5 days and it killed me! I am not so delighted to report that the food in France is not so Vegan or even health-conscious friendly. I packed a lot of protein powder and organic energy bars, but not enough to last me 3 weeks at this rate. I hope I can find some more nourishing food in Germany and Spain. 

Day 4   5/21

Today was the 4 mile technical race. It was 3 laps around a 1.3 mile course with 7 buoy turns each. The race didn't start until 330pm but we had to be at the beach to register and check in by 10am. It was a long day of waiting around. The nice, calm water we had in the morning was quite choppy by the time we started and all that buoy practice I did wasn’t much help in the waves. On lap 1 I was in 3rd place behind Sonni and Fiona. On lap 2 I was in 4th place behind Olivia and on lap 3, I fell twice and ended up finishing 6th behind April and Susak. What a bummer to miss top 5. I know it was not for lack of speed or stamina. Only a lack in technical skills required to turn 21 buoys in the chop. My board performed really well however. I didn’t think the Vortex would handle downwind, but it surfed nicely in the small bumps and even caught some action in the side chop. Upwind was a different story as I am not used to powering a 14ft board up wind, but in this everyone was struggling. 

Day 5   5/22

Definitely one of those “Best Day Ever!” kind of days. Today I came 2nd place in the 9 mile long-distance race in St Maxime. It was for me a short, long-distance race and a great learning experience. I got in the lead draft trains early in the race as they started to form and quickly realized that this was the first time I had ever been in a train with more than 2 women. I battled it out on several occasions with Fiona Wylde and Olivia Piani for my place in the train. Once, when Olivia pushed my off Sonni’s tail and promptly let her get away, I was able to sprint to catch Sonni, The second time it happened I made the mistake of thinking that Olivia, Fiona and I were working together and it was one of their turns to do the sprinting and catching, but it never happened and by the time I pulled ahead to make a go, Sonni was just out of the redline reaching distance for me to catch her. So I learned to not rely on anyone else and won’t let that happen again. I felt really strong the whole race and was able to gap Fiona and Olivia finally in the last mile. Even though it is not a big win, I feel this is the first time I have really proven myself on a competitive, international field of women racers. I knew I had it in me to be up there with the top women, I just hadn’t actually done it until today. I finished the race in tears of joy and self pride. So I will keep moving forward and up from here! 

After the awards I tagged along with about 20 of the other competitors and Euro Tour organizers to drinking the largest bottle of rose that I have ever seen, (I think went through 2 of them actually) losing track of time, then mass sprinting to catch the ferry to San Tropez where we walked the streets and eventually got some dinner. I had so much fun getting to know more of the competitors as we celebrated a fantastic and successful weekend of SUP racing in France. 

 

A HUGE thank you to my Team and Sponsors at Mistral for making this happen and for the new super fast, Vortex 14’ Ultra.

And to All of my amazing sponsors for the best products and continued support! Remedys Nutrition, Carbonerro, VestPac, Sweet Waterwear, VMG Blades, Keys Mobile Chiropractic