On Saturday the 13th of August 2022, we brought back the Coast to Coast SUP sprints. Belhaven Bay served up a stunning day, warm weather, lights winds and lots of sunshine.

Our first event of the day was the “Beach to Beach paddle” which took participants downwind from Dunbar to Belhaven Bay. A decent paddle measuring approx 1.5 miles Around 25 competitors aged from 7yrs to 60yrs, lined up to raise money for Wave Project. Bruce Iron Smith from Durham completed the paddle in an astonishing record time of 16 minutes, 6 seconds setting the fastest male time. 2nd and 3rd places went to Falkirk’s?? and Dunbar’s John? In just over 18minutes . Karen Iron Smith again from Durham recorded the fastest woman’s 20 minutes 53 seconds and Tom Bunting at 16yrs again from Northern Sup Race club, set the fastest junior time finishing in 19 minutes and 19 seconds. We were lucky enough to be joined by seals and a pod of dolphins on our route making the paddle really magical.

Then on to the afternoon where the event moved to Belhaven beach as the tide pushed.  The individual 200 m sprint heats, semi finals and finals went first with all participants having to race 100 metres in open water out to a buoy and then 100 metres back. There where a lot of exciting heats and close semi finals but the top 3 men consisted of Bruce Iron Smith again in first, with Dunbar’s Peter Greaves in second and Malcolm Todd in third. Post competition we discovered that Bruce Iron Smith was currently in the British SUP sprint team and was a pleasure to see such amazing technique. The woman’s 200 m sprint was won by Dunbar’s Emma Welsh, followed by Northern Sup Race’s Gemma Cole and in third Dunbar’s Clover Christopherson.

Post the sprints we moved onto the really fun part of the day with the team events. The first of the team events was a 4 person race on the Red Paddle Dragon Stand Up Paddle boards. The teams had to race 200 m against each other, including a tricky manoeuvre around a buoy. Teams from both Scotland,  England and international entered. Winning the event in a very close final was a mixed team from Belhaven Bay and Falkirk who narrowly pipped Northern Sup Race top team.

The second of the team events was competed on a Stand up Paddle XL which is essentially a giant paddle board with ability to take up to 8 adults on the one board. A highly entertaining race the teams battled against one another to race again round a buoy for 200m. The Northern Sup Race team took the win narrowly from an international scratch team to round up the day.

Overall an awesome event, big thanks to Red Paddle for sponsoring the event providing us with lots of amazing prizes and the chance to try out the Dragon SUPs for the weekend and to Belhaven Surf Centre for supporting with an awesome event base and prize giving area. Finally thanks to all competitors for travelling across Scotland and England and even as far as New Zealand to join us for the day and really show us some expert racing skills! We are already training and looking forward to next years event!!

Photograph credit to Mark Marshall photography.