|Sup Relay Wins $4000 at Painkiller Cup|
|Monday, 23 July 2012 00:00|
Photo by·Marc Montochio/TUUCI
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS, Caribbean - The inaugural Painkiller Cup took place on July 6 in the British Virgin Islands. A 13-mile race pitting 3-person teams paddling one board on an epic downwind run through the British Virgin Islands. Teams, which had to include at least one women, started at Trellis Bay on Beef Island and finished at the iconic Soggy Dollar Beach Bar on White bay, Jost Van Dyke. The race saw teams start in the shallow flats off Trellis Bay and make their way downwind through the channel between Beef Island and Caminoe. The fleet squeezed between the cut separating Tortola from Guana Island where race rules mandated a changeover of paddlers. The fleet continued in the now flatter water down the islands North shore with Team Fanatic made up of Chase Kosterlitz, his girlfriend Sarah Byrne and Spanish team rider Belar Diaz stepped out into the lead.
A race for second took shape between the stronger of two teams from St Thomas consisting of Colin Butler and Eric and Gail Walker who stayed well off Tortola's North shore and Team Antigua consisting of Shannon Falcone, Nik Bohachevsky and Joy Chien. "We know from experience that refraction of the islands headlands can be really hard to handle," explained Butler. "Our strategy was to keep well out from Tortola and work to catch larger waves." A third of the way into the race the St Thomas racers were still abeam of Team Antigua with the Aloha Express close behind. At the halfway point sea conditions became a little more rough. By then Team Fanatic was well in the lead with Kosterlitz and Diaz working hard and connecting on waves to surf as often as possible while their 40ft Moorings catamaran followed nearby. St Thomas had moved into a clear second. The local racers had to feel comfortable as they paddled West past Sandy Cay and approached Jost Van Dyke. "We could see St Thomas in the distance said Butler. "It was like we were on our home waters."
Team Fanatic won in convincing style. Riding a 14’ Fly flat water race board they touched the flag on the beach in front of the Soggy Dollar Bar after just over a two and half hour effort.
First place was worth $4,000 while 2nd earned $600 and 3rd took home $300.
A second St Thomas team finished 4th while Team TUUCI hung in there for 5th overall.
The Painkiller Cup was an "event-within-an-event" during the weeklong Highland Spring HIHO 2012 event. "We wanted to do something a little bigger, and different," said race organizer Andy Morrell. "We like the team concept, and that one of the riders has to be a women. We plan to double the prize-money for this race next year.
Would you like to stand up paddle and race in the British Virgin Islands?