I know, this race was last Sunday and in two days there will be already another race (the way more important Molokai-Oahu), but I found the time to post this only now... hey, better late than never!
Sunday morning I went to Maliko with a 12.2 Starboard (it's a surfing SUP, not a race board... thanks Bart for the loan!) and 60 dollars in my pocket.
The weather was pretty gloomy with frequent squalls and light onshore wind.
"I'm not going to pay money to do something unhealthy!", I said to myself.
When the wind is not exactly on your back, in fact, on a board with no rudder you end up paddling on one side more than the other and that's not exactly the best thing for your body.
So I grabbed the camera and earned a good spot on the rocks to shoot the start. As you can tell from the photos, fortunately the sun came out just before the start. I was told that the first part of the race sucked, but then the wind picked up and it was fun.
Doesn't matter, because I left Maliko with the awesome feeling to have just earned 60 bucks without doing anything...
Here's a couple of shots of the start of the unlimited SUP division (prone paddleboarders had already started).
This is the start of the 12.6 no rudder SUP division. Mark Raaphorst and Zane Schweitzer syncronize their strokes on the right.
And on the left.
The 12.6 division approaches the exit of the bay. In front of them, the 14 foot division that started 3 minutes earlier. The guy on the right shows how bumpy the ocean can get.
Watch out the rocks!
SUP unlimited division winner Dave Kalama cathes one last little glide before hitting the shore in the Kahului harbor.
He was the first to get there, so they say he was the first overall, but that means absolutely nothing to me. All different categories had different starts, it's like comparing apples and oranges.
Livio Menelao was second right after Kalama.
Aussie Jamie Mitchell won the unlimited paddleboard category. This guy is a legend and even Dave Kalama pays him tribute on this post on his blog.
Kalama should be the Hawaii governor!
Andrea Moeller won the women unlimited SUP division.
Bart didn't win, but he lended me a board and so he gets a shot on the blog!
Here's where the volunteers were lining up the boards on the beach. I heard that the wind made one fly over the others causing some serious damage. Lesson for the competitors: go get your boards as soon as you cross the finish line!
And this is the real reason why I'm happy I didn't do the race. I would have not had enough energy to go surf afterwords, like I did instead.
This photo is a bit deceiving, since the conditions weren't as good as it looks (the offshore wind was just a bit too strong), but I sure had fun. More fun than on a downwinder, that's for sure!
Allright, full results of the race here.