click to see through Dean’s eyes: sight switch 

Prone – Loch Venachar, Scotland

June 2023

Rhona and I wanted to get there early to get ourselves sorted before the race. But, as the first ones there, we soon became a full Scottish breakfast for the million and a half midges living nearby. Fortunately, as more racers arrived, the 2 meal breakfast became an all you can eat buffet and most of the midges moved on to younger, fresher meat, leaving us with just a few thousand loyal munchers.

After the briefing it was over to the startline, where the midges were blown away.

Starting off into a headwind, the advantage was to the prone paddlers, (Lindsay and me), as being low down, the wind didn’t affect the prones as much as the SUPs. But on turning almost 180 degrees at the first buoy, into a tailwind, the advantage was lost, and for the next two and a bit kms, most of the SUPs I’d passed, now flew past me.
At the next buoy it was back into the wind, where I did my best to catch as many SUPs as I could, (which wasn’t many). I may not have caught many SUPs on this stretch, but I did catch a lot of waves in the face, which I love!! For this blind guy the sensory overload of crashing through waves on my prone board beats any of the “nice views” the rest of you get!!

The race was great fun, and was made much easier with Jonathan, Avis, Ally, and Rhona guiding me via my Milo comms, and by several paddlers, (including Martin & Angela), who, although competing against me, took the time to help keep me on course. Thank you!

Out of the 14 participants in the 2 circuit race, (approx. 8.5km), I came 10th, and Rhona came 13th. Lindsay, (the other proner), and had only done one 5k race previously, came in 7th, a full 3.5 minutes ahead of me! She was a machine!!
We had a lot of fun and hope to see you all again at the next GBSUP race at Loch Lomond!
Thanks Piotr K, and Andrew & Maria for the pics and vids!!


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