News | Bart de Zwart Sets 24-Hour SUP Distance Record

Photo by Mayola Dijksman

Bart de Zwart Sets 24-Hour SUP Distance Record

Maui paddler Bart de Zwart is known as the godfather of endurance and expedition paddling for good reason: the guy is an animal.

The Flyin’ Dutchman just claimed the 24-hour SUP distance world record after logging an unbelievable 120.4 miles in a single day. The feat officiates a trend in endurance paddling underway, with de Zwart’s record overtaking two others set within the past year. The 120.4-mile effort gives de Zwart the title after exceeding English paddler Joanne Hamilton-Vale’s record-setting attempt of 111.84 miles, which she completed in April to narrowly beat out Robert Norman’s previous record of 111.8 miles set back in February. The turn of events once again reaffirms de Zwart’s reputation as the undisputed king of distance paddling.

De Zwart set his record on a seven-mile loop located in Erlach, Switzerland. His record setting paddle began on Monday evening, but it wasn’t long before challenges arose. While he chose the location for its typically calm waters and light winds, the weather turned on de Zwart during the night.

“After setting off last night, the conditions changed by the hour,” de Zwart said. “The wind picked suddenly bringing with it thunderstorms and lightning, which meant my speed dropped down to around 6km/hr at times.”

Despite the unfavorable conditions, de Zwart would not be denied. He drudged through the storm and kept his eye on the clock as valuable time ticked away.

“Paddling alone against the clock was very stressful as I needed to maintain speed to achieve my goal,” de Zwart said. “When you lose 3km/hr it is very difficult to get that back, and the minor differences all culminated in the last hour. Fortunately, the weather improved and I was able to get a few more kilometers in the bank.”

This latest feat adds to an already long list of accomplishments for the Dutch paddler. In addition to victories at extreme endurance events including the Yukon River Quest and MR340, de Zwart has completed several open-ocean SUP expeditions including a five-day, 300-mile paddle from the Big Island of Hawaii to Kauai back in 2011.

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