Bart de Zwart smashes SUP distance record by paddling 120.4 miles in a single day!

Bart de Zwart SUP World record distance Switzerland Starboard
Bart de Zwart broke the World's Record for greatest distance in a 24-hour paddle in Erlach, Switzerland this week.
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Starboard team rider and ultra endurance waterman Bart de Zwart has broken the world record for greatest mileage achieved in one day. Yesterday, he paddled 120.4 miles in a 24-hour period. Here’s the scoop!

Bart de Zwart on his Starboard Sprint Unlimited returns to land victorious after having smashed the Sup World Distance record by nearly 10 miles in Erlach, Switzerland this week.

Stamina, Endurance and Mental Strength:  Bart de Zwart achieves a New World Record in 24-hour distance paddle

Bart de Zwart this week has smashed the 24-hour World Stand Up Paddle record for greatest distance paddled within a 24-hour period.  The record exceeds the previous one set at 111.83 miles (179.00 km) by Joanne Hamilton-Vales who completed this trial back in April of 2017.  Bart, however, not only beat that previous record but did so in the midst of thunder storms and serious weather conditions in Erlach, Switzerland that held him back.  His final distance covered:  120.4 miles (193.9 km) in 24 hours.  Congrats to YOU, Bart de Zwart!  At 47 years old, you make paddling new world records look GOOD to the rest of us!

Bart’s greatest challenge was keeping a focused average speed throughout the paddle in order to achieve his dream.  His track was a 7-mile loop in Erlach, Switzerland.  In order to break the previous record, he knew that he must paddle at a consistent rate throughout the event.  Here’s what he had to say about the struggle in this exclusive interview with Standup Journal online.

Bart de Zwart Starboard world record
Bart de Zwart achieves the dream and sets new World Record in Erlach, Switzerland. Photo by: Joerg Husi

I started the day before in nice conditions. I used a Starboard Sprint unlimited.  At 21.5 inches wide, it was just stable enough to stand on for 24 hrs.

The first 3  laps (10.5 km laps) went  well with a 9.2 average.  At that pace, the record was right on track. Soon after, however, clouds came in and gathered  to form thunder and lighting.  Luckily, it stayed in the mountains nearby, but the winds kicked up, changing directions every 20 minutes.

At some point , 6 hours into the record I was paddling at 6km per hour, not really record breaking speed. In the next few hours the wind lightened up, but having used a little more energy than I should have in the windy conditions, my average speed went down in the next few hours. I had to adjust my goals. My first goal was to break the existing  179.99 km record.  My second goal was 192 km and, on my wish list, I was going for 200km.

It became clear pretty quick, that the 200 km would be hard in these conditions.  I kept a pretty good pace during then night and picked it up slightly the following day. Racing like this is very different than any other long  distance race I have ever done. It is a constant pressure to not losing time and watch your speed.  I had four different GPSs on the board to document my distance. This is required for a record-setting event like this.

My support crew consisted of Joanne Hamilton-Vale (the previous 24-distance record holder) and two locals Micheline Hauchecorn (local paddler) and Philipp (SUP station, Erlach). Every couple of hours they supplied me with a fresh hip bag with my liquids and some solid food. I had one bladder filled with Hammer , Perpethuem (liquid endurance food) and one with water.   The Perpethuem energy drink  gives  a constant energy level.  Apart from that,  I used energy bars, bananas and nuts.  

During the afternoon, when I drew closer to the finish of the 24 hours, it looked like I would get to my 192 km goal. I was hurting everywhere.  At times it was hot and, at times, there was wind again. But knowing I was breaking the record motivated me even more. The first part of a record like this is about your power, strength and endurance. The second part of a 24 hour paddle is endurance, but mostly mental.  I had to cope with increasingly sore muscles and just keep going, although every part of my body wanted to stop and relax.

After 22 hours and 20 minutes,  I broke the original record and finished at 24 hours with 193.8km.  New World Record set.

– Bart de Zwart
   Team Starboard
   New World Record Holder for 24-hour Distance Paddle

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Evelyn O'Doherty, editor & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0 is a former school teacher gone rogue. She left her career as a teacher in order to spend more time near or on the water after learning to surf turned her life around (upsidedown?). She is a year-round surfer and paddler living on the eastern tip of Long Island in NY who is a certified SUP instructor, seasoned SUP racer and avid longboard surfer. Evelyn was hired as Online Editor to Standup Journal in 2016. Her passion for the project quickly led to her success and eventually taking over the mag herself in Oct. 2018. Today, as editor, publisher and chief bottle washer at Standup Journal, Evelyn keeps her toes wet writing, traveling, paddling, surfing, and learning to foil. You can find her most days paddling out on Gardiner's Bay or surfing Ditch Plains in Montauk, NY.