By Chase Kosterlitz
Standup paddling has taken me to some amazing places in the brief time I have been involved in the sport. Tonight I will be on my way to a month long journey through 5 different European countries, 3 stand up paddle races and 3 pro clinics. My girlfriend Sarah and I will paddle the canals of Amsterdam and Venice, sizzle on the French Riviera, race in Bavaria, slice through Switzerland and relax in Lake Garda, Italy.
Our flight lands in Amsterdam tomorrow morning where I will put on a pro clinic and media exposition with the local paddlers and press at the Fanatic Dutch headquarters. After a couple of days in Amsterdam we take a train to southern France for the SUP Race Cup in Sainte Maxime on May 26th. From Sainte Maxime we will make our way to Marseille, France for another race on June 2nd. The Massilia SUP Race is only about 100 miles from Sainte Maxime and will be another two day event. Both stand up paddle races will have a course race on Saturday and a distance race on Sunday.
Once the Massilia SUP Race is over we will drive with Spanish Fanatic pro rider, Belar Diaz, to Munich. In Munich we will pick up a camper van and head to the Lost Mills Race on Kleiner Brombachsee in southern Germany. The Lost Mills event starts June 9th and is on a man-made lake in the Bavaria region of Germany. The race is a 13.5 KM distance event and I am looking forward to my pro standup clinic on the Wednesday before the event. Germany is of particular interest to me as my grandfather was from there I’m excited to trace my German roots.
After Germany we will make our way through Switzerland and on to northern Italy. Here we will be staying at Lake Garda, a popular European holiday destination. Lake Garda is famous for it's consistent thermal winds that blow every afternoon. Fanatic will be doing their annual dealers meeting at the lake in conjunction with North Kites and ION clothing. I am a featured guest at the meeting and will be helping out with a pro clinic for the European distributors. This week will be full of kiting and downwinders on the lake.
After an action packed week in Lake Garda we will head to the canals of Venice. There are strict rules on the canals, but we are looking forward to exploring Venice on standup boards if we can. This will be the last stop of our European SUP tour. On June 26th we will fly from Venice back home to Tampa. I can't wait to see Europe and to check out the European standup scene.