We thank Nick and Algarve Sup for organizing “The Guadiana Challenge” event and the ZEN SUP team were happy to participate in the 32km journey down the Guadiana river from Mertola to Alcoutim. The conditions on the day couldn´t have been better and the event was a tremendous success for everyone concerned.
The day began with a 6 o`clock departure from Quarteira and as we journeyed, direction Mertola, our spirits were uplifted by the beauty of the early morning sunrise over the slumbering eastern Algarve and Alentejo.
Great anticipation and exitement was in the air, as we drew ever closer to our destination. As we made our way we pondered as to how well prepeared we were for this epic journey.
As all 18 Challenge participants made their final preparations at the point of departure, the race drone took to the skies and there was a scurry camera activity and fairwell wishes from the spectators and other contribitors to the event.
After a short welcome and safety briefing from Nick the first oficial “Guadiana Challenge” got on the way!
Quickly the field of participants were dispersed over several kms. of this long and winding river. The racers, the salty dogs, the chatters and the newcomers. Testament to the nature of the Challenge, it held something wonderful for paddler´s of every skill and interest level.
With the river meandering on in it´s own inimitable way, drawing current back to the ocean and with a favourable wind from the north, we couldn’t have asked for more on the day.
After several short stops for refreshments along the route everyone arrived home, safe and sound, in Alcoutim in a very respectable 6 1/2 hours of paddling. As the sun was setting over the great Guadiana we downed some cool beers and reflected on a day that will live on in our memory for quite some time to come.
Many congratulations to Nick & Pedro, to Algarve SUP and to all who supported and participated in the event. Look forward to next year!!!