Tandem glagla race

"We had the opportunity to try out the Itiwit 15'x35'' tandem board with the aim of completing the 15km GlaGla Race course." Fannyย 

Barely recovered and it's inflation time: a good warm-up for us to share ๐Ÿ˜…. We get into the water in the bay of Hendaye and even go all the way out to the ocean through the channel. Stable and playful, our first impressions of this board were accompanied by plenty of laughter and fun. It was also a question of maintaining a certain level of concentration to stay in sync and communicate the slightest change of position, otherwise the crew would get out of step!

After several training sessions at Hossegor Lake, even practising starts and mixing up the pace, we were finally ready to set off for Annecy.
We got on the water the day before the race to soak up our magnificent surroundings and fine-tune our outfits for the next day (without forgetting to make sure the tunes were ready on our waterproof speakers).
On the morning of the GlaGla Race Long Distance, we start to feel the pressure even if we are only aiming to complete the 15km course in about 2 hours.
It's minus 3 degrees and the sun is shining.

The start was a bit of a mess (the organisers had barely given the signal before the impatient competitors were already setting off!). We chose to stay to one side to avoid the chaos of the waves created by more than 600 boards!
We find our rhythm quite quickly and all the competitors we come across love our playlist ๐ŸŽถ
With frozen feet, we stay focused and motivated to keep up the pace until the end. We glide really nicely, the stability makes us comfortable and committed in our paddle strokes.
The finish line is fast approaching, emotions are high because we are heading for victory in our 1st tandem race (1st competition for my teammate who had never done more than 8km on a SUP before!) ๐ŸŽ‰

Delighted with this experience, we are grateful to Itiwit for lending us the equipment and we hope to see you soon for new adventures ๐Ÿž

Glagla race 2022

Tarn Water Race 2021 on an ITIWIT x100
Tarn Water Race 2021 on an ITIWIT x100
Tarn Water Race 2021 on an ITIWIT x100
Tarn Water Race 2021 on an ITIWIT x100

Final stage: millau viaduct and pushing for a sub 10-hour time

From here, the aim is to paddle under the Millau Viaduct. Towering 343 metres over the Tarn, it can be seen from miles away and should allow us to cut this final stage in two.
We empty out our kayak on a small beach at the bottom of the rapids and set off again towards
Creissels (Evolution 2), where our support crew is waiting for us with our final supplies.
Just outside of Millau, we spot them. We beach ourselves on the slipway of the outdoor centre, do the standard exchange of backpacks, words of encouragement, back paddle and off we go again.
Our strategy is also based on losing as little time as possible and no or very few stops. We can only go so fast, so we need to spend as much time as possible on the water and paddle non-stop.
We keep an eye out for the Viaduct to loom into view. The river has been a lot calmer for a while now,
wider, and the race becomes a mental game. Finally, at km 59 we see it. Paddling under
it is magical, impressive. A photographer positioned in the middle of the river
immortalises the moment.

Tarn Water Race 2021 on an ITIWIT x100

It feels like the end is near, our arms hurt and our hands are stinging. It's hot. From this point, we don't see a soul: no one in front or behind, we are alone. We went back over most of our usual discussion topics, changed position 50 times, emptied the kayak at least 10 times.
Down an umpteenth straight we hear a horn somewhere near the road through the
trees. Our super support crew is with us now, giving us the energy to go all the way. We pass Peyre, our last known waypoint on the river. Beyond
is the realm of the unknown, both in terms of the nature of the river and knowing how far there is left to go. We still have about 20 kilometres to cover.
Convinced we will see the finish line after every bend, we adapt our pace according
to these successive bouts of motivation. Passing under Saint-Rome-de-Tarn bridge is a huge relief, the final straight is starting to take shape.
In the distance we think we can hear the voice of the announcer. Then finally, behind a big
rock, we see the arch marking the finish line. Boosted by emotion and a final rush
of adrenaline, we draw on what energy we have left, and we begin the final big sprint. We land on the finish beach after 10 hours and 12 minutes of racing!
Speechless, satisfied, tired, we hug each other. We can't believe it, we did it!

The Tarn Water Race was our big challenge for 2021, manageable compared to what we were imagining, but demanding enough to have taken us far out of our comfort zone. Our ITIWIT x100 2p held its ground well, it lost a fin, but didn't let us down in any other way. Inflated properly at the start, we did not need to adjust the pressure of the chambers. Its high-pressure floor provided good glide despite its not particularly streamlined bow. We covered 78 km in 10:12, which works out at 7.5 km/h on average including portages and stops. We still had to stop often to empty it, because it took on water in the rapids. We could have also managed without our support crew since we mainly consumed water and bars that can be stored in the craft, but it was very motivating to meet up with them along the way.
One thing is certain, we fell in love with long-distance paddling. We've signed up for another adventure in 2022, longer and harder this time, but still in an inflatable kayak, the ITIWIT x500, better suited to this kind of challenge. See you in June 2022 for the Loire 725!

Tarn Water Race 2021 on an ITIWIT x100


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