By Jim on Sunday, May 20, 2012
On the morning of 20th May 2012 paddlers set off what can only be described as the true test of ocean ski paddling. Although this is an event that I don't look to do as it's to far for me. It's sure high up on my list of wish I won that.
Although the event has been dominated over the years by a small few, including 2012 champion Oscar Chalupsky,Grant Kenny,Dean Gardiner and even Clint Robinson winning a few,it is event that challenges every part of paddling.
Paddlers are praying for wind the days before, as you know you have traveled so far and you are going to race anyway.
The mental factor of being your very best surfing runners and holding it all together so you can handle the almighty China Walls, Oscars home of dominance.
Also have a strategy that makes you paddle a straight and effective coarse, this can be very difficult to do when wind and swell pushes the other way, you have to be strong and land the perfect line. Otherwise you will be in a world of hurt over the last 3-4kms paddling into the wind and tide.
The thing about this is you have to think about this whilst trying to race the race of your life, in the Worlds number 1 ocean paddling event.
So is this why the top four ageing 40-49yrs of age did so well, because they could think about all these things level headed. The other agrument could be no, they are all so experienced great races and thats what made them go so well.
So for me back paddling after a decade off, now seeing a 49yr old do so well in the world stage, it gives me confidence to be the best I can be. I'm not saying for one minute that now I can win Molokai or go to the Olympics, what I am saying is that now at 40yrs I still can be as good as I want to be.
I thought in the decade that I had off that there is no way I would want to be a paddler anymore, the reason because I can't be competitive at 40. Things are starting to change in the world of sport now.
OLD IS HIP.
Older athletes in many sports are doing really well, just close to me Peter Scott 39yrs second Australian Single Surf Ski, Oscar,Clint and Dean ranging from 40-49 Molokai 2012.
So now why can't you be the best you can be, the inspiration that Oscar showed this morning at 49 yrs was just awesome. I thought to myself their people out there who just give up in life at 45yrs, they believe life has past them, they no longer have self worth. Well it's time to get active and know that 40 is not old and you can be competitive in sport to the hightest level or the level you want to be at.
So hopefully the efforts of Oscar Chalupsky today in a 56km World Championship race will inspire you like it has me.
Never view your life looking back and wish you did something.