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Bart de Zwart Breaks 24 Hour Paddle Distance Record

Not a bad place to break a world record. Bart de Zwart on his way to doing just that. | Photo: Joerg Husi Not a bad place to break a world record. Bart de Zwart on his way to doing just that. | Photo: Joerg Husi

Photos Courtesy: Joerg Husi

ALRECH, Switzerland - On March 30, 2017 at 5pm local time, Bart de Zwart finished his 24hr SUP distance record in Alrech, Switzerland with a new world record of 193.8 km (120.42 miles). Here is a short recap of his new record in his own words:

I started the day before in nice conditions. I used a Starboard Sprint Unlimited, with 21.5 inch width which was just stable enough to stand on it for 24 hrs. The first three laps (10.5 km per lap) went well with a 9.2 km/hour average so the record was right on track.

Soon after, clouds came in and gathered to form thunder and lighting. Luckily, it stayed in the mountains nearby but the winds steered up, changing directions every 20 minutes. At some point, 6 hours into the record, I was doing 6km/hr, not really record breaking speed. In the next few hours the wind lightened up but having used a little more energy than I should have in the windy conditions, my average speed went down in the next few hours.

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Bart de Zwart paddling through the day and night to break the record. | Photo via: Joerg Husi

I had to adjust my goals. My first goal was to break the existing 179.99 km (111.84 miles) record. My second goal which I considered to be a good goal was 192 km and I hoped to reach for 200 km. But, it became clear pretty quickly that the 200 km would be hard in these conditions.

bart de zwart world record sup 5I kept a pretty good pace during then night and picked it up slightly during the day. Racing like this is very different than any other long distance race I have ever done. It is a constant pressure of not loosing time and watching your speed. I have four different GPS’s on the board to document the distance paddled, which is required for a record like this. My support was a crew that consisted of Joanne Hamilton-Vale (the Women’s 24-hour distance record holder) and two locals Micheline Hauchecorn (local paddler) and Philipp (SUP station, Erlach). Every couple hours they supplied me with a fresh hip bag with my liquid drinks and some solid food.

I had one bladder filled with Hammer, Perpethuem (liquid endurance food) and one with water. The Perpethuem energy drink gives me a constant energy level. Apart from that I use energy bars, bananas and nuts. During the afternoon when I got closer to the finish of the 24 hours it looked like I would get to my 192 km goal.

I was hurting everywhere, at times it was hot and at times there was wind again. But knowing I was breaking the record motivated me even more. The first part of a record like this takes power, strength and endurance. The second part of 24 hours is endurance but mostly mental. You have to cope with sore muscles and just keep going, although every part of your body want to stop and relax. After 22 hours and 20 minutes I broke the original record and finished with 193.8 km. New World Record set.

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Last modified onThursday, 01 June 2017 08:49
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