Hamilton-Vale sets new world paddling record
2017 is going to go down as the year all kinds of records went down. The UK’s Joanne Hamilton-Vale, who is know for her ultra marathon distance racing in events like the 11 Cities race — recently set the world’s 24 hour paddling record on her 14-foot Naish Javelin. 179.99 kms in 24 hours.
Here’s what she said to Standup Paddling Magazine UK about the attempt:
“Of the 24 hours of paddling, the first 13 hours were good. I was pacing above what I had planned, everything was on target and then sickness hit me. I believe I suffer from motion sickness on the water after about 12 hours. I thought it was my food making me ill but I have been adjusting this with no luck so I now think it may be motion sickness. The second half of the attempt was a battle with my head to keep myself eating whilst feeling so nauseous – my strength disappearing and pacing slow. Also as the canal has no flow it was full of debris. My Black Project Maliko fin is always great with weed but the canal was so messy I had trouble shaking this from the fin sometimes. I found it soul destroying catching weeds, branches and even a dead rabbit. Now and again I had to paddle backwards to clear my fin. Watching my speed drop to zero really sapped my mental strength.”
What inspires Joanne to do the kind of paddling she does?
“My biggest role model and inspiration in SUP paddling has been Bart de Zwart since the day I met him. I think that he helped lead me down the ultra-endurance path. I have done the short racing thing for three years and raced many times in the UK and internationally with some success. I wasn’t keen on the way I was beginning to feel before an event, wishing failure on my competition, so I had a serious choice to make last year – stop paddling or find a new discipline. The support from other ultra-endurance competitors is awesome. Everybody suffers, everyone is breaking their body down, dealing with serious mental pain and having to fight the desire to stop. There is a respect and pride from all the other paddlers in the race for everyone who puts themselves on the start line. It takes a tough person to know they are going to feel so much pain but they are willing to challenge and endure it, time after time.”