Pushing the boundaries-The Head of the Dart race 12/4/2015

Billed as the "World Fastest Paddle Board-ever!" Is it?

Billed as the “World Fastest Paddle Board-ever!” Is it? Read on and judge for yourself.

Last September after the Starboard conference, I got in my head to try the sprint unlimited
in a race, how fast is it? Do something that perhaps hasn’t been done before, push the boundaries!The opportunity to do a race in the UK and overseas (perhaps) on an unlimited board is very limited:-) How about the Head Of The Dart (HOTD)?



Asking very nicely my sponsors and all round good people at Tushingham, if I could please, please borrow it? Ok, the plan went into action…..
Tried it down in Dartmouth on Friday before the race for an hour, 17’6” x 23” and only 11kg- at 5’9″ and 72kg I manged to stay on it…..just.
The thing just glides in between each paddle stroke, so timing the next stroke is critical or you just create drag by putting the blade in. Also, couldn’t turn it-would’ve been faster to get off and stand on the ground and lift it up and round!P1030965 - Copy (2)
The race-well……….a very fast, fast start, but got it on the plane quickly and settled into a relaxed, but hard, technique focus paddle. Made it quickly to the half way buoy in about 28mins, and then turned sloooooooowly round it.
The upstream leg was pure torture! Fast ebbing Dart flow, head wind gusts, boat wake, going across sections too shallow to put in a good stroke and think I hit a tree stump or similar! Must have got harder the shallower the Dart got as the last person over the line’s time was round 2 hours, 50 minutes.
I just focused on staying relaxed; aiming for the fastest time I could paddle. Pushed hard the last mile or so, legs fatiguing and found it harder to stay on. At last, finished, the sweet release from all that effort!
Here’s the data from my GPS:

My max HR should be 220-45 (my age) +/- 10 BPM, so a max of 185-does this add up? Can I go for an hour at this heart rate? Please could anyone shed some light on this?

My max HR should be 220-45 (my age) +/- 10 BPM, so a max of 185-does this add up? Can I go for an hour at this heart rate? Please could anyone shed some light on this?


6 thoughts on “Pushing the boundaries-The Head of the Dart race 12/4/2015

  1. Joel Campbell

    Andy just reading your GPS stats and saw your question about MHR. I can see your basing your current calculations on Coopers theory, which is good but has a variable of as much as 15% which can be quite a lot at the top end. If you use karvonen formula its much more accurate. would recommend this for HR training. Whats your resting Heart rate?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joel Campbell

    ok cool, so for Karvonen formula, you would take 220-your age-your RHR X by the % you work at and add back on your RHR, this will give you a very accurate BPM to work to. So yours would be,
    The equation below shows your BPM when at 60% of your maximum
    220 – 45 = 175
    175 – 55 = 120
    120 x .60 = 72
    72 + 55 = 127
    The equation below shows your BPM when at 90% of your maximum
    220 – 45 = 175
    175 – 55 = 120
    120 x .90 = 108
    108 + 55 = 163
    If we used this theory to compare to your GPS data so did it for 91% max which your gps shows 168 it would be
    220 – 45 = 175
    175 – 55 = 120
    120 x .91 = 109.2
    109.2 + 55 = 164.2
    Your GPS is well configured as its about 4 BPM difference, obviously over 1-2 hours race this starts to add up.
    In terms of how long you can go at this rate really depends on your fitness, stamina and cardiovascular function. The best way to test is to get your heart rate up to that rate and see how long you can sustain it for .
    You can use this formula to work out all of your HR training zones. Hope that helps (and makes sense)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gareth

    Congrats on the time. I was one of the ones struggling against the savage tide and wind later on. Was fascinated in the UL board and missed the chance for a natter at the Central Race in Notts the next week.
    My question is do you think the UK scene needs to encourage and reopen the races for UL boards and riders? Both are out there but at the moment only the HoD race caters for them. And only then will offer prizes if 10 riders take part.
    Being a bigger unit I see the UL boards as a way to enjoy my SUP racing and distance paddles more.
    I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. kiwiandyjoyce Post author

      Hi Gareth,
      Thanks for your comments and you posed some interesting questions. Competition in its nature requires rules and regulations to make it fair, so having unlimited boards puts this competative enviroment, being bound by rules, under pressure and so threat. This is what I felt from some elements of SUP at the HOTD. Most sport’s developments are stifled by not pushing the boundaries of what is and isnt possible, which with a new sport like SUP could be very detremental. Personally it’ll be nice to have a few UL events or catagories included, especially open water/sea, but cost and the limited use and number of these boards in comps indicates maybe only a small up take? I loaned the Sprint UL (thanks Tushingham-Starboard UK), i don’t think I could have one due to the above mentioned factors. I’d like one, but my family would exclude me from the group:)
      What does everyone else think?


  4. Gareth

    Thanks for taking the time to reply and your effort really opened my eyes and got me thinking- but that’s the great bit of the sport, that its still so new that you can innovate, break whatever mould is seemingly being formed etc. Bravo in short- I wouldn’t expect less of a Kiwi.
    I think it will take a UK Downwind Race or Mixed Ocean/ Closed Waterway race a la the Carolina Cup to bring the UL boards to the fore. True enthusiasts/ exponents of the sport would make space, but yes it would not be widespread.
    Question is where would such races take place- Poole? Hayling Island? Its the one kind of race we do not have in the UK yet- an opportunity for someone perhaps!
    But that said at the Central SUP race the class which you would have thought potentially would have had the widest possible range of entrants- the Leisure/ Surf Shape class- had 1 male and 1 female entrant. If the sport is willing to accommodate limited entrants in this class why not UL- even if not eligible for prizes at least allow people to Time Trial in races against themselves as you did at the Dart?
    As a larger unit for me to be near competitive with some of the smaller lighter guys I need boards with 300ltr+ volume, of which out there hardboard-wise are a handful or less all of which 14ft. Inflatable-wise there are 3 or 4 at best but again these are a compromise in terms of the impaired stability they inherently present. All cost over a grand at least and the 2nd hand market is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
    The UL boards have the necessary volume and the water length- as you found- that favour my frame. And I see the coastal exploration/ solo long distance paddles as more my long term aspiration so again they seem a good fit. I’m less a speedboat, more a diesel powered tanker!
    My final comment would be that the SUP scene in the UK is so inclusive, welcoming to all young, old, male, female to its eternal credit that to not be truly open to all board lengths it lets itself down a wee bit.

    Liked by 1 person



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