When most people think of Las Vegas, thoughts of slot machines, black jack and the roll of the dice usually run through their minds.
Yet the city of “sins and lost wages” has another side, 20 miles on the outskirts is an oasis in the desert in a town called Henderson.
Here paddlers have a man-made waterway to themselves and this weekend’s fall season 72-75 degree air temp was combined with
mild humidity. Glassy calm waters, became home to paddlers from South Africa, Canada, Slovenia, Bahamas, France, Australia,
Switzerland, Japan and the United States including a local contingent of Vegas paddlers.
Welcome to Lake Las Vegas
Aloha and welcome to the N1SCO Sprint World Championships. The venue, a resort on a man made lake located on the beautiful
grounds of the Hilton Resort includes a launch dock, spectator viewing area, competitor area complete with several restaurants,
coffee bar and of course, Lake Las Vegas, a reservoir in the resort community and an ideal place to flat-water paddle that stretches
for 5 miles to the north making for a great SUP inland training ground.
Naish Race Director Chuck Patterson giving instructions
With the Saturday international field of competitors, the mood was relaxed and mellow and as Naish race director
(former world champion) Chuck Patterson gathered the sprint racers for pre-race briefing to mesh the language
barrier from the nine representing countries, while Sabine Schindlbauer scurried behind the scenes getting heats rolling
throughout the entire day.
600 meter open
Said Naish marketing manager Michi Schweiger about the inaugural event, “The N1SCO Championship is
not about bringing down your fastest board and comparing equipment, it’s about everyone having a good
time on the water while riding the same Naish inflatable 12’6”.”
Ethan Koopmans from South Africa had a great weekend.
“Connecting the cultures by water and just going out there with no pressure to race on
the best board”, he continued, “Racers came over from different countries by winning qualifiers and
airfares from their respective countries for the opportunity to be in Las Vegas.”
South African Ethan Koopmans, winner of the morning 600m race and the short sprint
Such was the case for young Ethan Koopmans from Western Province, South Africa. Koopmans
first had to qualify by winning races in Cape Town then headed to the European Championships in St. Moritz in
Switzerland earlier this year. Saturday he dominated both the 200 and 600-meter sprints followed by Switzerland’s Dani Reinhart.
Womens Double Sprint race winner Manca Notar from Slovenia
For European champion Manca Notar, from Slovenia, a double win was just a follow
up to her European Championship domination as she stayed far ahead of the women’s field with Japanese
champion Yoshimi Yatani runner-up respectively in both divisions.
Sprint leading the pack from South africa Ethan Kopmans with Denmarks - in second
Not only were the international paddlers stoked and happy to be here, so was the SUP community here at the Lake.
Kathy Holesapple, who moved to Lake Las Vegas 3 years ago, and also runs her Paddle To The Core
retail store and rental, fitness business represented the local of competitors while making the top ten in the women’s
200 meter sprints while placing it to seventh in the 600 meter.
Dani Reinhart from Switzerland runner-up
As Naish team rider Jerry Bess, who flew over from Hawaii and had to manually hand pump
as many as 15 boards on Friday afternoon said, “The concept of a 1 board format gave
everyone the same opportunity to compete and win. I’m having fun here even though my thing is not sprints,
and this flat water course is perfect for the format.”
Desert Paddle Mirage
Look for this format to grow throughout the world of the Naish N1SCO.
200 M Short Sprint Race (Top 10)
1.Ethan Koopmans (South Africa)
2.Dani Reinhart (Switzerland)
3.Franck Le Ven (France)
4.Taka Yatani (Japan)
5.Yann Nguyen (France)
6.Raphael Ziegler (Switzerland)
7.Jerome Weder (Switzerland)
8.Jeff Sargent (USA)
9.Gustavo Yacaman (Slovenia)
10.David Coburn (USA)
Mens Sprint final
1.Manca Notar (Slovenia)
2.Yoshimi Yatani (Japan)
3.Teressmarie Tucker (USA)
4.Nici Reinhart (Switzerland)
5.Kathryn Naoumidis (Autsralia)
6.Judy Shasek (USA)
7.Megan Ahn (USA)
8.Tie -Nicole Epp (Switzerland)
8.Tie- Jenny Gomez (USA)
8.Tie- Dannon Foster (Bahamas)
8.Tie- Kathy Holesapple USA)
Womens Short Sprint Final.
600 M Distance Sprint Race (TOP TEN)
1.Ethan Kopmans (South Africa)
2.Dani Reinhart (Switzerland)
3.Jerry Bess (Hawaii)
4.Franck Le Ven (France)
5.Taka Yatani (Japan)
6.Yann Nguyen (France)
7.Jerome Wender (Switzerland)
8.Raphael Ziegler (Switzerland)
600m finish with Ethan Koopmans from South Africa (1st) and Switzerland's Dani Reinhart (2nd)