Sean Rice, former ICF World Surfski Champion and the first South African ever to race in the Amsterdam Waterland Marathon, will be joining us at the classic race coming Saturday 22 April. He will be racing against former world champions in the marathon discipline like Adrián Boros and top athletes like José Leonel Ramalho. We are curious to find out what his views and expectations are of the race.
Only one more week to go, and 100 paddlers ready to compete. What do you expect from the Waterland Marathon?
Sean: I’m very excited! I haven’t raced a marathon race like this for a very long time! I’m no stranger to this type of racing, but I do hope I’m no too rusty on the portages. Getting back into a K1 has been a fun experience.
How did you get to know the race?
Sean: I have visited Amsterdam to coach and race surfski many times. I have good friends in the area and they have always suggested I come race. The race also seems to attract the best K1 guys so why not I guess! Something different to do and a nice warm up for my surfski racing season.
What do you think of this classic style of marathon racing?
Sean: Growing up as a paddler in South Africa means LOTS of marathon type racing. I mostly race Surfski these days but I have always loved the bunch riding tactics of a good marathon race.
It will be interesting to see you race against top athletes of the marathon discipline. From experience I know the first part of the race can be quite difficult with big waves and lots of chop, will your surfski experience help you here?
Sean: Maybe, but I’m sure the others are not strangers to some rough water either. I will be in a K1 so maybe I should change for a Surfski after this new information haha?
Will any of your special skills be part of your workshop ‘the day after’?
Sean: Yes!! I am hosting a coaching workshop open to anyone who wants to learn about or improve their surfski paddling! This will be the best experience and each paddler is guaranteed to come out with more knowledge of stroke technique, wave riding and everything surfski! What’s best is that we even will provide surfski sand equipment for free if you don’t have anything. I only have a few spaces available so go sign up quickly!
Who do you expect to be your strongest opponents?
Sean: It will be my first race against most of the guys so I have no idea! I’m sure I will find out quickly after the start though!
Have you made any special preparations for this race?
Sean: I have been preparing for the 50km Molokai surfski race in Hawaii that happens at the end of May. Molokai is my main focus, but I have been in a K1 through the winter to stay warm! I have also been doing some sprinting and other things to keep my training interesting. The Waterland Marathon will be an experiment for my K1 conditioning, but I know it will be great for my surfski season preparation