Last Saturday 25th May, Exmouth Beach saw 73 Ski’s and 10 Outrigger Canoes complete a 14km course. It’s the start of the Ocean Racing season for SLSGB, the next race moves up to Colwyn Bay and returns to Devon for the Icon on 15th June.
Jim Taylor-Ross the Epic organiser, ‘main-man’ and an Water Event Safety Manager with SLSGB told us “Epic Bay is the first of a series of three GB assessment races, giving a real test of endurance, performance and the ability to make the most use of the ‘runners’ to increase the Surfski speed on the downwind leg”.
Scooby Lark winner of the Epic stated: “Judging by the grimace on other peoples’ faces I think they found it just as hard as I did! There were a few bumps which made the conditions to be challenging as it forced you to ride the swells more tactically. The three course lap made it tiring having to work against the bumps, and yet you had to reserve some energy for the downwind stretch. These challenges are what makes the race quite entertaining as you can always get a bit carried away with trying to force all your energy on the first downwind stretch. I was relieved to go around the last buoy and head back home as I don’t think my body had much left to give after the last lap”
Pete Holliday who worked with the Ocean Racing team at SLSGB to encourage the Outrigger Canoe attendance and finished 2nd in the OC division said: “All our guys & girls loved the race & felt extremely welcomed by everyone. We’ve been working closely over the winter with SLSGB and some of their member clubs to formally integrate several of the Ocean Ski events into a brand new OC1 series of races, the first of its kind in this country. It’s been a huge success launching with the first race, the Epic Bay race. With nearly 100 entrants across the classes, we were blessed with superb conditions, and a very well thought out course to take advantage of some good swell in the latter stages of the 14km race. On behalf of the Outrigger community I want to express our thanks for welcoming us in as a fellow ocean-based paddle sport. The future looks promising with this structure finally in place. Next up is the point to point infamous Icon Classic where the Outriggers & Surf Skis alike will be praying to the wind gods for a good 17km run.”
Keith Hoppins Emouth BRC Member and SLSGB Water Event Safety Manager: “With the Epic bay ski race being in its third year Exmouth Beach Rescue Club are delighted to say it’s going from strength to strength. This year with the help of SLSGB, David Tidball and Pete Holiday from Bournemouth outrigger canoe club we were incredibly pleased to be able to offer a separate start for OC1’s. The addition of this class has shown that the passion we all have for ocean racing can be shared and embraced by all disciplines. The feedback has been awesome, and we are looking forward to being able to offer up to 100 places for next year’s race.”
Entries for the Icon can be made using this link but you must have passed the pre-requisites to enter https://oceanski.org.uk/calendar/
The other SLSGB approved race the Longest Day July 14th at Sidmouth can also be entered via this link.