Javier Jimenez, From Sayulita, Places Third At The 2014 Santa Monica Pier Paddleboard Race
Translation: Heido Sundstrom
The Paddleboard (SUP) has really taken off around the world and, in Mexico, there’s no exception. The town of Sayulita (in the state of Nayarit) has been the spot where top athletes and the elite of this sport have excelled. Many of them have also participated in international events, demonstrating that Mexico has talent.
Last year, Mexico ranked third overall in the SUP World Games, organized by the ISA. This year, they placed sixth overall for teams, maintaining their place amongst the top ten countries in the world.
Javier “Bicho” Jimenez and Fernando Stalla recently participated in the Santa Monica Pier Paddleboard Race, with Jimenez placing third out of 115 competitors. Planeta Surf caught up with him and shared a few words...
PS: Does the Santa Monica event belong to a world league or tour?
Javier Jimenez: No, but it seemed like it because there were several competitors that were present at the world championships and a few who were Top-10 finalists.
PS: Tell us about your major wipeout last year?
JJ: The wipeout was unique because nobody had ever seen anything like it in a race and, personally, I’ve never had anything like that happen before either. It’s a lot different when you’re surfing in a race because it’s very hectic and you suffer more below the water. [Laughs]
PS: I see that Fernando Stalla also participated in the event, was it a team competition or individual races?
JJ: The race itself was individual but we’re always supporting each other as a team in everything.
PS: Tell us about your race, when did you see the chance of winning and what were your emotions?
JJ: During almost the entire race, there was a group of about ten people that maintained the lead and in the last ten minutes, we separated into a group of the top three. Then, in the last 200 meters, the first two competitors caught a wave and I fell behind by about ten seconds, but it was a very intense race that gave me the opportunity to measure my level against some of the best in the world.
PS: How long have you been practicing this sport?
JJ: Professionally for about two years but I’ve been practicing this sport for four years.
PS: In general, how do you prepare for a competition?
JJ: Training is the main thing, plus nutrition and always doing the best you can.
PS: What do you feel like your strength is? Which competition?
JJ: Honestly, I feel very strong in the long-distance races that are six miles or more.
PS: Why do you think Sayulita has some of the best paddleboarders in the country?
JJ: Sayulita has some of the best because that’s where this sport exploded in Mexico. Thanks to Punta Sayulita who started doing annual contests and bringing the best in the world, which gave us the opportunity to see their level and compete against them.
PS: How many ISA world championships have you participated in?
JJ: I’ve been to two out of the three world championships that they’ve put on.
PS: Tell us about the 2013 ISA world championship where you received the bronze medal...
JJ: For that competition, we really had a unified and positive team and with the help of each teammate, we won the bronze medal, making Mexico one of the top three countries in the world and bringing the first medal from an ISA world championship back to our country.
PS: What were your experiences with the 2014 ISA world championship?
JJ: Well, honestly it was a really interesting world championship and all of the teams raised their level and were very strong. It was also interesting to race on a lake for the first time.
PS: Do you have any support from sponsors to help with competitions?
JJ: Yes, a big thanks to Punta Sayulita, Rogue Revolucion del Sueño and OX Endurance Waikiki for their support. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to do all the traveling that I do.
PS: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
JJ: I’d like to thank my family and friends that have always supported me and to Planeta Surf for thinking of me. Also, to the Mexican paddleboarders that are truly some of the best in the world.
|1||Mitchell,Jamie||58:56.6 M||Costa Mesa||CA|
|2||Kosterlitz,Chase||59:02.3 M||San Diego||CA|
|4||Becker,Matt||59:36.5 M||Santa Barbara||CA|
Santa Mónica Pier Paddle: SUP Cross Results
1st: Mo Freitas (0:02:37)
2nd: Matt Becker (0:02:48)
3rd: Brennan Rose (0:02:49)
4th: Javier Jimenez (0:02:54)
5th: Fernando Stalla (0:03:00)
6th: Dave Boehne (0:03:13)