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Blog Post

Recap of our first Challenge event and first Naish race
Last Sunday was the first of our six Paddle for the Polar Bears events, and the our first official Naish Series race. We were very pleased with the turnout and had participants from across the midwest from LaCrosse to Milwaukee to Chicago.

The day started with lessons and fun challenge competitions. There was a steady stream of beginners ready to take their first voyage on a stand up paddle board. We provided a few board options for beginners including Surftech Randy French series, the Bic 11’4” ACS and both the Amundson 11’3” and 11’6”. It was very rewarding to see so many smiles on the water. The only person to get wet was one of our instructors, and he claims it was on purpose. More and more we are finding that in less than 5 minutes on the water we can have all of our students standing and paddling. The demographic of Sundays beginners ranged in age from 8 to upper 50s (we did not ask for exact numbers, we know better than that), it was a good variety of kids, adults, male and female. Further proof that SUP is for everyone who wants to try it. Not only did we get a lot of new paddlers on the water, we also raised funds for the Arctic Passage Polar Bear Exhibit at Madison’s Henry Vilas Zoo.

Also on Sunday was our first NAISH 2010 SUP Championship series race. After we waited out a storm that showered all of us with rain and hail, the skies cleared for the race. There were thirteen racers in the lineup. Our winner was Dorian Hildreth who was up from Chicago and who had just competed the week prior in the Key West Paddle Board Classic. Second place went to Doug Hopkins, a rep for Amundson. Doug sure was representing his product well. Doug took second on a 11’6” Amundson board. This is the very same board we were teaching beginners on earlier in the day. Doug is living proof that good paddle technique can go a long way in a race. It also shows why we are in love with the Amundson series for anyone’s first board. It is a really solid board for it’s price tag.

Here are the complete results. For info on how the scoring works, official rules and a full race series schedule check our initial race post here.

Results for Sunday June 6th:
1stDarian Hildreth11:581pt
2ndDoug Hopkins13:132pts
3rdGary Stone13:203pts
4thScott Pauli13:224pts
5thKarl Eugstell13:485pts
6thSteve Hirn14:146pts
7thMark Miner15:187pts
8thDerek Nordeen15:208pts
9thKevin15:38 9pts
(please contact us, we need your last name)
10thCrisotomo Rosario15:3810pts
11thChance Howard17:0811pts
12thKevin LeRoy17:4012pts
13thErnie Estes17:4213pts
If you did not make it down on Sunday you still have plenty of chances to Paddle for the Polar Bears and to test your skills in the challenges and races. Our next event is Sunday June 27. If you can’t wait that long to get on the water, we also are offering lessons at Wingra Park, and are always available for private and group charters. For more information on lessons, events and all things SUP contact Gary Stone directly at (608) 849-0600 or email info@paddleboardspecialists.com.