Jersey's Heritage Paddle Race pulls people together to test their strength, experience and knowledge of the sea. There is no divide here between generations, gender or ability, they're all in the same boat, as it were! Laughter rings out across the beach, looping its way in and around paddlers and supporters, linking them to one purpose- to prove their worth against the sea and to other paddling and surfing devotees.
Prior to the race, the competitors are excited, nervous - the humour, banter and camaraderie thinly disguises the competitive spirit of this group of hardcore paddlers. A myriad of colourful surfboards stand upright, proud and reliable. They will carry their masters past Devil's Jaws, dwarfed by La Grosse Tete, then head East past the sentry, La Corbiere lighthouse, into the last stretch to El Tico and home!
Scrambling across the beach and into the surf, the paddlers are spirited, determined and enjoying in the warmth of fellowship and another glorious Summer's day in Jersey. The young and skilful among them, tanned, toned, with sun-bleached hair, race ahead, powering their way through the waves, glancing side to side, checking out their competitors.
At the finish, the music pounds out at from the popular venue of El Tico - the hub of the community, where RNLI lifeguards, Laneez Surf School, surfers, paddlers, beach lovers, and sea-souls bond. There is something spiritual here - a shared affinity with the pounding surf and the changing tides.
The race ends in a celebration of the paddlers' skills and expertise. Results are announced, winners cheered...evidence of a community bound together by their respect and love of the ocean. Older paddlers take pride in the youth they have mentored and encouraged. They raise glasses in good humour and high-spiritedness.
This is a laid-back and jovial group. Some have found a home and a purpose in this tightly knit community, a reason to be. The circle is formed. This is Ocean Culture Life. This is genuine Jersey.
Film & Production - Googsi @ Ocean culture Life
Tom Hall @ Ocean Culture life
Photography - Robbie dark @ Ocean Culture Life
Editorial - Mandy Snook @ Ocean Culture Life