GlaGla Race 2023: why you NEED to go back according to Petronella Van Malsen

In just over a month, let’s go back to The Glagla Race! The annual winter meeting at Lake Annecy will take place from January 20th to 22th, in Talloires, for the first stage of the Alpine Lakes Tour 2023. This race always brings together stand-up paddlers of all levels and backgrounds, from beginners to pro, on the same giant starting line. At the previous edition in this year 2022, under a radiant sun, among all the paddlers at the start there was the Dutch rider Petronella Van Malsen. After an epic race with the other ladies, she finished second, and loved her experience of the GlaGla Race. And so, Petronnella is already registered for the 2023 edition! She tells us why it’s an ideal competition to stay focused on SUP in winter, and why you shouldn’t miss it!

Photo: Alexis Fernet

Hi Petronella! You participated in the GlaGlaRace 2022, was it the first time?

Thanks for inviting me for this interview. Here we go… 2022 was for me the first time that I participated in the GlaGla race. I really enjoyed racing at the beautiful Lake Annecy, especially with the support and good vibes from everyone around.

Photo: Alexis Fernet

What motivated you to participate?

Racing in this stunning scenery with more then 700 like-minded people makes me happy For me it’s important to set some goals off season to stay fit and motivated. So thanks for organizing this cold and special event in January!

Photo: Alexis Fernet

How was the battle on the water with the other women to have this second place?

After a fast start I managed to ‚Äėsit‚Äô in the first ladies train. At some point I saw Michel Kleermakers. I know this guy and his speed from the SUP11CityTour. When we where close enough I decided to make a move. I managed to paddle to Michel and sit in his draft. Laura Quetglas was following me and together we made the gap. At some moment she took me over and was sitting behind Michel. The chasing pack (with Anna and Iona) was not so far behind us, so we worked together to speed up every time. At the end Laura was too strong and I couldn‚Äôt speed up anymore and finished this race second. I was really happy with this result.

Photo: Alexis Fernet

What board did you race with?

I used the fast and stable Vortex SD1 14x 20.5.

Photo: Ana√Įs David

In 2022, the weather was exceptional: bright sunshine, no wind, not too cold but still a little ‚ÄúGlaGla‚Ä̂Ķ as a Dutch, what are your recommendations for comfortable stand-up paddleboarding in the cold?

If you have the chance go for some training sessions in bad weather, for example stormy headwind or driving rain. Be prepared during training or racing and choose for thermo or neoprene layers.  Important for me by all kind of weather is to stay by my goal and task. Visualization, thought control and positive self talk will also help me before and during this kind of distance races.

Photo: Alexis Fernet

Do you recommend to international pro riders like you to come to the GlaGlaRace, the biggest race in January and of the off-season?

Yes, definitely one to add to the bucket list. Racing with more than 700 like-minded people in a wonderful scenery makes this cold event really special.¬†To my opinion, the combination of having (off season) goals and to achieve them together with the right mindset is where it all starts for me. Obviously, this takes a lot of time, effort and energy. In addition to this, a fulltime job, social impact around me doesn’t make it always easy to stay focused.¬†The GlaGla race was the best choice to get back on board and start the race season!

Photo: Philippe Millet

During your visit, were you able to enjoy going skiing or do other winter sports ?

Yes, we had a wonderful long weekend in Le Grand Bornand. This year we go again and stay a bit longer for some snowboarding and (apres) skiing ūüėČ


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Finally, do you plan to come back at the GlaGla Race 2023 and what are your projects and other competitions planned for 2023?

I’m already on the starting list and looking forward to come back! Actually I’m in for all kind of challenging races and experiences. Spending time outside and enjoying as many moments as I can (on the water) is important to keep me fit and happy!

Photo: Philippe Millet

Thank you for your answers Petronella and have a good time at the GlaGla!

More informations about the GlaGla Race:
Officiel website / Facebook event / register

More informations about the Alpine Lakes Tour:
Officiel website / Facebook / Instagram

Follow Petronella van Malsen:
Facebook / Instagram