Jason Sawyer, member of the Jimmy Lewis UK and Ireland race team recently took part in the The Exe Hammer Paddle – Exmouth, Devon.
On the 20th September 2014 , the Exe Hammer was the River Exe’s first up-river stand up paddleboard race/challenge from Exmouth seafront to the Turf Pub organised by Edgewatersports.
The competitors had to organise themselves at the start line at the new Exmouth lifeboat station, navigate two checkpoints as they entered the Exe estuary and then paddle all the way up-river to the Turf pub located across the estuary from Topsham.
The Exe Hammer Paddle attracted riders of all abilities with a range of paddleboard equipment. Some riders were there to set the fastest course time and others just wanted to have fun on the river whilst paddleboarding! Over 70 participants were on the water for the start of the race, all of which finished. Riders included; Lily Young (Youth Ladies World Champion), Alex Tobutt (Men’s World Vice Champion) and Ben Fisher (Men’s World Championship medalist) all of which won their respective categories as well as Jason Sawyer, team rider for Jimmy Lewis UK and Ireland.
Competitors raced in one of four categories based on their board size with an additional category dedicated to female riders. The categories ensured fair racing between competitors, reducing the influence of the equipment used on the result. Approximately 6 miles were covered by all riders. Focus was on having fun and getting stuck in. Many of the local riders, inspired by the professionals, really gave it their all and finished the course in under 80 minutes.
When riders arrived at the Turf Pub they were welcomed by an extensive BBQ buffet and ‘Yellow Hammer’ beer provided by Hanlons Brewery. Having had some food and drink and taken a bit of a break the Naish Stand Up Paddleboard team organised some team sprint relay races in which seven teams of four riders got to battle it out in some close proximity racing fun. Two rounds were completed and winning teams were rewarded with some Naish prizes.
To round up the event everyone gathered around for the prize giving. Those on the podium received cash prizes thanks to ATASS as well as ION products along with a goodie bag of other industry prizes (the full list of results is below). All participants then boarded a boat with their boards for a river cruise back to Exmouth.
This event really could not have happened without the generous help and support of ATASS and Hanlon’s Brewery and the organisers at Edgewatersports so a huge thank you is deserved. Get stand up paddleboarding and keep your ear to the ground for Exmouth’s next event!
Results: 14ft Hard 1. Ben Fisher 2. Jason Sawyer 3. Tony Handley 12ft 6” Hard 1. Jamie Harman 2. Matthew Wall 3. Richard Lipp Over 12ft 6” Inflatable 1. Alex Tobutt 2. Carl Sawyer 3. Stuart Appleby Under 12ft 6” 1. George Cornwall Brown 2. Alex Stowe 3. Alex Large Ladies 1. Lilly Young 2. Claire Cumming 3. Sara Ashmad.