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To Set a World Record You Need Data

To Set a World Record You Need Data

Setting an official Guinness World Record requires extraordinary training and determination plus you need evidence. A 2015 world record for endurance SUP paddling still stands, as verified by SpeedCoach SUP data.

As the ultimate authority and adjudicator of world records, Guinness World Records needs proof. They need data and other evidence that an applicant for a record does what they plan to do. Say you want to set a world record for the longest distance paddled on a SUP in 24 hours on flat water. How do you measure that distance? How do you know during those long hours that you are on pace to achieve the distance required? How do you know that all the training leading up to the attempt makes you faster and better? For Seychelle, the answer is easy – use a SpeedCoach SUP.

Set in 2015, Seychelle's world record still officially stands.

The greatest distance on a stand up paddleboard (SUP) on flat water in 24 hours by a female is 177.79 km (110.47 miles) and was achieved by Seychelle Hattingh (USA), at Benderson Rowing Lake, Sarasota, Florida, USA, from 5 to 6 December 2015.

Seychelle remained full of energy throughout this attempt - her witnesses reported that at 5 am, fifteen hours into the attempt, Seychelle was singing as she passed the checkpoint.

Guiness World Records

It is no easy feat to paddle for 24 hours, let alone going as hard and fast as you can. Navigating the process and meeting all the requirements to have your feat recognized as a world record seems almost as arduous. The first step is to research existing records and determine if what you want to do meets the general criteria of a world record. All titles awarded by the organization must be measurable, breakable, verifiable, based on one variable, able to have standards set for it, and be the best in the world. Candidates must apply. If Guinness World Records is intrigued, they set a challenging minimum requirement to beat and provide guidelines specific to the attempt.

SpeedCoach SUP for a World Record

On New Years Eve 2014, Seychelle participated in a 24-hour paddle in Florida. She clocked 90 miles. After the event she realized that she had beaten the women's world record for longest distance paddled in one session. She also understood that the feat was considered unofficial and unrecognized as a world record. So began her quest.

For a year, she trained. She clocked distance with her SpeedCoach SUP and worked on improving her glide and speed. At that time, cross-fit, intervals, and yoga supplemented the paddling (a training regimen she no longer follows). In September 2015, Seychelle won the gruelling SUP 11 City Tour in the Netherlands. Over five days, racers paddle 220 km, replicating a venerable ice skating race that is no longer possible with warmer winters.

It was time to set the record. Benderson Lake provided a roughly 5 km loop. NK Sports donated 4 SpeedCoach SUPs for the event. A Go Pro camera constantly pointed at the SpeedCoach mounted on her board while another tracked her continuously. Seychelle paddled 38 loops at an average speed of 7.4km/h. The flatwater basin offered no help nor hindrance from the current. Conditions were not ideal, with wind and chop on the course.

Meeting the Guinness World Record requirements seemed harder to Seychelle than the paddling. There was an official timekeeper and a distance surveyor. Designated witnesses monitored her, later required to submit original signed documents. Logbooks were recorded and video evidence tracked for the full 24 hours. A shortened but time-stamped and edited video was also required for the record package. They even videoed when the SpeedCoach and Go Pros were replaced with freshly charged ones. The data and proof were all submitted to Guinness World Records for review. About two months later, word came back. Yes, Seychelle joined the ranks of official world record holders.

World Champion in Sprinting

Seychelle is the best in the world and not only in endurance paddling. She is a repeat champion in SUP sprinting events, including winning the title "Fastest Paddler on Earth" for women, just six months after she set the distance world record.

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) lists 15 paddling disciplines on its website, including canoe sprint, dragon boating, kayaking, outrigger canoeing and stand-up paddling. In November 2023 Seychelle was crowned World Champion in the women's open sprint at the 2023 ICF SUP World Championships in Thailand. A few months later TotalSUP awarded her "Best Female Performance of the Year: Seychelle Webster's Comeback Sprint World Title".

After winning both the distance and sprint events at the Association of Paddlesport Professionals World Tour in 2019, Seychelle took a few years off competitive paddling. The Covid pandemic was partly to blame. Seychelle become a mother in 2022. She lost motivation to train and race at the elite level. As she puts it, Seychelle was on a rollercoaster of triumphs and tragedies.

Teaching Others

In the lead up to the 2023 racing season, Seychelle posted on Instagram:

I don't like using the word "comeback" because there's honestly nothing backwards about the direction of growth I've experienced over the last three years of not competing.

Though I would say almost none of that growth was in the SUP and fitness department.

Later in that post, Seychelle asks why she is returning to competition. It is not to be the best, look the best or even to win.

But because being an incredible athlete is my Gift. (Life, divine, god-given, however you like to think of it)

And helping, inspiring, motivating, and coaching others to move their bodies in ways that feels so good, push them out of their comfort zones, get them out on the water, and feel empowered through sport is still my purpose

Even as she trains for the 2024 race season, Seychelle coaches other paddlers, runs week-long retreats, creates training videos, supports her SUP Stroke School which is an 8 week SUP technique online coaching program and maintains her signature coaching app. She wants to assist all athletes, regardless age, ambition, experience and fitness. She especially loves to work with women. In March of this year, a dozen women learnt and laughed at the week long SUP & LOVE women's retreat in Florida. Her Holistic Paddle Coaching program is a full package aimed at female SUP racers, offering whole being, physical and metaphysical, masculine and feminine, balance, connection and power training.

In everything she does, Seychelle stresses the importance of data in real-time. She used her first SpeedCoach in January 2015, relying upon it to train for her World Record. She mounts her SpeedCoach SUP2 using a GoPro surfboard mount attached to the GoPro NK mount. It holds her accountable with immediate feedback on what she needs to adjust to achieve a faster speed, especially in varying conditions from wind and current. She is so dependent on that data that she felt she was racing blind at the 2023 ICF SUP World Championships – their rules do not permit direct feedback during the race.

Setting a World or Other Records

Put SUP into the search of the Guinness World Record website, and 718 results pop up. That is a lot of data, and a lot of proof required. Then the are all the unofficial records. Like Adrian Angell who paddled across England coast to coast by SUP, using a SpeedCoach SUP to monitor and record his progress.

If you think you might like to attempt to set a SUP world record or just achieve the best of distance or speed on your board, start training, educate yourself about the Guinness World Record requirements if needed and be sure to use a SpeedCoach SUP.