Devil’s Isle Challenge | Meet the Athletes of the World’s Longest Open Ocean SUP Race

The 2017 Devil’s Isle Challenge is now less than two months away, and athletes are climbing aboard to test themselves among some of the world’s stoutest watermen and women in one of the world’s longest ocean SUP races. Along with its kids’ camp, environmental focus and paradisaical (albeit feared) setting, the Challenge—hosted by environmental nonprofit Plastic Tides May 5 through 7—attracts caliber of a fine caliber from all over the world. After all, it is a 40-mile SUP race around the island of Bermuda. I’ll be there covering, racing and hopefully, surviving. And the slew of world-class athletes joining me is intimidatingly stacked. We’ll get to know the racers well before it’s all said and done, but until then, here are some of the faces we’ll be seeing come May 5. –MM

 

Mike Tavares (@rivershred)

Whitewater SUP champion, professional adventurer

“The Devil’s Isle Challenge struck me as a great challenge, both mental and physical in an incredible environment. To top it off, it’s for a worthy purpose.  The longer I paddle, the more I seek out challenging and unique races that are out of the box and offer more than just a quick couple hours on the water. I’m looking forward to paddling around the island and seeing what conditions come our way! Let the journey begin!”

 

 

 

Josette Lata (@josieolata)

IDOSUP team paddler, Starboard ambassador

Josie was the first woman to circumnavigate Bermuda, and she’s coming back for more! Here’s what she shared with us: “I want to do the 2017 Devils Isle Challenge because I did it last year and it was a personal challenge. I used it to channel my personal frustrations into something positive. I told myself if I could do that race, setbacks in life would become less painful. I also loved being the first (documented) woman to circumnavigate the island on a SUP. I like that :)”

 

 

 

 

Garrett Fletcher (@garrettfletcher7)

SUP athlete, @yoloboard ambassador

“SUP has given me a unique opportunity to see the world in a way that many people never will. I don’t know that I would have had such amazing experiences without this fantastic sport. When I heard that there was a race in Bermuda I was hooked instantly. I have competed in events all over the Caribbean but I have never had the privilege to visit the famed island of Bermuda. The fact that it the race is forty miles is a bit daunting but that just means that finishing will be that much sweeter.This will be my longest solo SUP undertaking.”

 

LouAnne Harris (@ctrlfitnyc)

Standup paddle athlete

“I knew I wanted to be a part of the Devil’s Isle Challenge as soon as I heard about it, because who doesn’t want to go paddle in Bermuda? Then when Plastic Tides asked me to hop on board to help organize the event it was a wrap. Now the only decision was whether to put a relay team together or to go solo, and who doesn’t want to come straight out of the off season into a 40 mile race to kick off the season right? Solo it is!”

Andrew Dima (@waterman_dima)

Owner A-Team Paddleboarding, Surftech team paddler

“When my friend Jules told me about The Devil’s Island Challenge, I first said ‘Hell no’ because, who in their might mind would want to not only paddle 41 miles, but want to race it and hopefully win? Then I got to thinking on the reasons why I started paddling to begin with. The majority of my accomplishments have come from something I was scared to do. You start to really find out who you are as an athlete and also a person by pushing your limits and testing yourself mentally and physically.”

 

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Devil’s Isle Challenge website

More about the Devil’s Isle Challenge.