The starting of James Van Drunen.
James was born in Spain, 1999.
He tried paddling in 2013 at El Portet beach in Spain where he lives. He’s first time on the SUP was very hard, he didn’t really like it at first because his younger sister was better than him and it didn't help when he was weighing over 105 kilos as well. But he didn't give up that quickly, he started getting a competitive side to be better than his younger sister, so he rented a board out for a year at a local surf school at El Portet beach and paddled for 3 hours a day just so he could get his stability good and get faster than his younger sister.
After a year time from 2013 to 2014 he achieved something that many struggle at, and that’s losing over 20 kilos just by eating healthily, paddling on a daily bases and started training at a local gym called Motive8.
When he started losing weight at that time, he's confidence in is self increased and he felt more comfortable around people, stand up paddle and getting plenty of sport in, has change his life completely and now he's a new person in the making.
While months pass by, in late 2014 he got the chance to compete in a local race in Alicante, Spain. It was his first race that he has ever done so he was very nervous of course but he felt confident in his self because he was training for a couple of months before this event started.
James competed in the under 16 junior race, coming 1st place in the technical short distance and the long-distance race, but not only that straight after the junior long-distance race he competed in the open race against the adults. James only wanted to see how close can he be with the top males but he was in front of all of them surprisingly, in the end he came 1st place, with big smiles and cheers from he's family members and from people at the event.
From that day James knew that he wanted to compete in Stan Up Paddle races through out all the years to come.
Now he's 18 years old and competing against elite Racers around the world and soon for his up coming race season he will be doing the Euro tour and major long-distance races like the 11 City tour (220K).