The new paddleboards arrived at the last minute, just in time for a weekend race at Lake Tahoe. The alarm’s set for 4 am. Shannon Falcone is heading to the lake from San Francisco. Is Jimmy coming? He said he was on…
At Lake Tahoe, Jimmy is there waiting, ready to go. It’s much warmer than the city. The lake looks nice, flat and fresh, quite a strange contrast with this temperature and all the pine trees around.
Jimmy and Shannon enter the six-mile-long distance race as a warm up. Around 200 paddleboarders are at the start line – 3, 2, 1…here we go! Jimmy and Shannon are in the top pack, recognizable with their ORACLE TEAM USA buoyancy vests. Jimmy rounds the first mark 7th and Shannon not too far behind. They’re gone now, almost invisible in the beautiful landscape. On the way back Jimmy is 3rd, close to the top two guys. He jumps in the water and starts running to the finish line, but he forgets his paddle. He must cross the finish line with it and loses places. Shannon is pushing hard around the last mark, but falls off the board. He recovers and pushes even harder.
Now it’s time for rest and stretching before entering the pro race. The heats eliminate eight racers in each round until there are six remaining for the final. The heats are tough. The big paddleboard stars are here. Jimmy makes it into the second heat, but there’s less than two minutes recovery time between rounds. Pushing as hard as he can on this last leg he gets eliminated. He reckons that paddling technique makes the difference and vows to do more training.