It has been such an adventure here in Belgium, from finding my way to the event site, to finding my way home! Its always good traveling to a new place and always exciting when doing it on your own spontaneously, making new friends and fresh connections! Meeting the Happy Summer crew here in Namur and racing in the SUP event was real fun and the people here made me feel like I was in the right place.. Even though at first I was totally lost, almost debating where to sleep in the street! haha
After a few hours of walking around in town looking for the event site, I found myself at a local pub trying to contact anybody and everybody who was attending the event. It was already getting late and I was starting to feel like I was stranded.. Luckily I met a few nice strangers that led me in the right direction.. A young boy, Danny, 14 years old, who worked at the pub heard of the event and walked me about a half mile with his dog to the event site.. From there I was set and finally met up with my buddies like Jake Jensen, Leonard Nikka and Martjin from Starboard who lent me his 14’ Starboard Sprint Board! The event organizers were super cool and it was great meeting up with them. They got me a place to stay on a boat right at the event site and I was so stoked to take my heavy bag off my shoulders!!
I got to bed late but woke up rested for the race, and ready to get some good training in for Finland SUWS! I used a different tactic this time instead burning it to the first buoy, trying to take it easy and hang in the draft to save my energy for when its needed.. But around the first buoy there was a big pile up. I got caught up and had to go really wide around the turn, along with Paul Jackson. Jake Jensen and Leonard Nikka were the first to the buoy by just a big but took advantage of the pile up they just missed and caught a big gap on the rest of the crew when noticing the jam up. They worked with good teamwork together to break away! It was a 13 kilometer race. I had to power hard to catch up to them, but by then Jake and Leonard were the near the finish!! In the end it was a great race for Jake Jensen who finished in 1st place killing it! Second place was Leonard Nika always racing in the top off the pack, I finished in 3rd place just behind them, and Gaetan Sene finished in 4th place! 2nd through 4th place all are my Starboard team members so that was awesome too. I learned another great lesson at this event, at each race there is something to learn and on this European Adventure I have LEARNED A LOT! I am stoked because I know it all will help my racing skills and I am that much more prepared for the next one!!
Now it’s time to get some of those famous Belgium waffles and enjoy my first visit to the country for the Happy Summer Festival! It has been fun here racing, Blob jumping, slack line, live DJs and of course volunteering at the Kids SUP clinics! Today I got to take Danny, the young boy who saved me when I arrived and brought me to the event site, out for his first Stand Up Paddle and trying to teach him how to swim for the first time too!!.. Tomorrow I am off back to Barrika Surf Camp in Spain to organize my equipment and prepare for the Finland Stand Up World Series next weekend!!! To follow my adventures go to my athlete page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ZaneKekoaSchweitzer?ref=hl , InstaGram: zaniac1
and follow my videos on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/zaneschweitzer
Have fun, see you in the water! Innovate & Inspire in life and on the water!