By Jim on Saturday, March 9, 2013
The last few days I have been lucky to race with some of the countries best paddlers.
Surf ski paddling in Australia has to the toughest in the world when it comes to surf life saving ski races, the quality of the top paddlers is the best there is. So when you race in the open section you are against the best, no matter how old you are, how much training you have done, it's just all in together.
This season I have done ocean ski racing and enjoyed every minute of it, the reason is that I get to judge my performance off people who are my age, my ability and my amount of training. Not this weekend at NSW state surf, just get in amoungst Olympic Gold medalists, Olympians, young Australian champions and any body willing to race around a set of 3 bouys and back to shore.
As previously written, I'm not happy about it but this weekend I have relized that at 41 years you no longer have the speed to match the young guys, maybe you can be smart at racing but speed over 50 metres, it's GONE. In one race I lined up next Lachlan Tame, Australian Champion 2011,2012 and todays winner, at 24 he is amazing and disspointing to me. What I mean by dissapointing is that by the time a have jumped on my ski and taken 10 strokes he is already 30 metres in front, and I have got on as fast I can. Dissapointing for me not him. So age creeps into my paddling I finally have to relize that competing with young bloke is for young blokes. To say it's fun it is not, as you have to push your body so hard and be under so much stress and pressure to succed, that I find no fun. I still find it fun being on the beach and being around paddlers, but paddling against young guys is not fun. So good luck to all the young guys paddling on, may you do well and not come across old blokes like me thinking they can still match it. I will always be watching and enjoying the whole scene but after aussies it's just from the beach.
The sport of surf life saving needs more young guys to stop blokes like me still being in races, if you are thinking of getting involved do it, there is no greater racing, passion, tough,enjoyable,some times lucky, sometimes not, one thing is for sure great times are to be had.
Get out there.