Professional paddle boarder takes Rum Run trophy

| 10/02/2014

(CNS): Facing wind speeds of up to 21 knots local and overseas paddle boarders pitted their skills against each other and the elements last month during the Rum Run paddle board competition on Grand Cayman. While the strong winds kept the more faint hearted paddlers away, those who braced themselves to battle it out had a fantastic weekend on the water. Chuck Glynn from Laird Standup was the winner of the main event – a 2.5 mile leg from Rum Point up towards the Sand Bar and then nearly 6 miles riding the swells downwind. Photo by Mark Lewis.

Prior to the main race on Saturday 14 January professional riders from Laird Standup shared their expertise with the local enthusiasts in a technique clinic.  Glynn , the winner of the 2013 Battle of the Paddle unlimited class and Noa Hopper, one of the most promising upcoming teenagers in the SUP world) were an inspiration and wonderful ambassadors for the sport.  Both riders took part in the various sprint races through the afternoon.   

The Corporate Relay race was a chance for paddlers of all abilities to try the sprint course set up from Public Beach.  After some good humored competition, the Relay was won by Ocean Dental.  The Mens and Womens sprint races were slightly more serious affairs, with Chuck Glynn, Katie Matos and Jane Magis taking the top spots.  The children’s or “Grom’s”  race saw Freddie and Jonny Robson taking 1st and 3rd with William Priaux in 2nd.

On Sunday 18 paddlers completed the course but Glynn dominated the long distance down winder paddle from the start.

“The man is a machine!!”  said race organizer Neil Martin.  “His winning time of 1 hour 13 minutes on the 8.25 mile course across the North Sound was insane.  Hopper (only 14 years old) came in 15 minutes behind him and the fastest local rider, Sharn Mentz, finished in 1 hour 30 minutes.  The fastest woman to finish was Jane Magis with an impressive 1 hour 48 minutes.”

Prizes were awarded in various categories (unlimited, race board and surf board) at the prize giving held at Dukes.  

“All the paddlers deserve to be commended” said Martin.  “This is still a new event, only in its second year, but everyone had an absolutely fantastic time and we look forward to welcoming new participants from home and overseas next year.  Our aim is for the Rum Run to become part of the regular Stand Up Paddle racing calendar so that we can bring more tourists to the island to experience paddle boarding in our beautiful waters.”

He was also keen to thank the sponsors that made the event possible – Carey Olsen, Cayman Stand Up Paddle Co.,  Olukai,, Miller Lite, Caribbean Canvas Company, Laird Standup, Camana Bay, Blue Wave, Bliss Living Yoga, Seven Fathoms Rum, FCS, Sun Bum, Quickblade and SIC.

The Laird Standup team spent a week in Cayman hosted by the Cayman Stand Up Paddle Co.  “We were thrilled to enjoy some beautiful surf at different locations around the island” said Glynn. “The distance race from Rum Point to Camana Bay is one of the best down winders I have ever experienced.”

As the winner of the Rum Run, Glynn took home the unique Seven Fathoms trophy –  4 litres of locally made Cayman rum – a perfect momento of his first trip to the Cayman Islands.

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