Amateur and Pro paddlers gathered in Ramlet el Bayda on Sunday morning to take part in the stand up paddleboarding race.
The 5km race, which took place at open sea, started at 8h30 am from the beach of Ramlet el-Bayda. The contestants had to paddle all the way to the Pigeons’ rock and come back to the beach. “The path of this year’s race was a bit different from the previous years. The race was shorter by 150 meters but paddlers had to go inside the Pigeon’s rock, which forced them take a more abrupt turn in order to go back to the beach and required a better control of their boards because of the waves and currents”, explains Annette Khoury, co-founder of the Lebanon Water Festival.
Last year’s winner, Ahmad Farhat from Jiyyeh, took the first place again with a time of 28:34:23, breaking his previous personal record and the Lebanese record. The second place was a real battle, which lasted till the last seconds between Mohamad Ghaddar and Paul Abbas. Paul Abbas won second place with a time of 33:39:46, and Mohammad Ghaddar finished third with a time of 33:41:32, where only fractions separated them.
“It was a great race. My time was better than last year, but there were less waves and the race was a bit shorter. It’s great to have an organization like the Lebanon Water Festival to push forward sports like stand up paddleboarding”, says Ahmad Farhat who has been training for two years.
The winners received trophies and money prices during the award ceremony on the beach. The winner of the first place received $100, while winners of the second and third place received $75 and $50 respectively.