Starboard’s Bart de Zwart Recaps Wild Maui Race.
Seems the winds of Hurricane Willi weren’t finished with Maui and gave the racers of the Maui Paddleboard Race a run for their money.
Starboard Team Rider, Bart de Zwart, gives an inside look at how intense the conditions were and how he was able to maintain his position to come in 5th place. Titouan Puyo was able to secure a 4th place finish even after running into the reef.
More from Bart here:
Sunday we had the Maui Paddle board race in untypical wild condition for Maui.
The remains of Hurricane of Willi made an impact only 6 hours before the race with wind gust over 55 knots and pouring rain.
Just at 2 o’clock the wind slowed down to 25 knots slightly onshore and big swells. The race started with only half the amount of competitors, but off course all the best racers showed up, especially the 14’ foot class was well represented with Paul Jackson, Titouan Puyo and always very strong local and maliko downwind specialist, Travis Baptiste.
We paddled out of Maliko in choppy conditions, wind from the side and hectic seas.
I was paddling my All Star 14’ x 25.5, which was just stable enough in these conditions. Once we got past Hookipa the sea cleaned up a bit, still the fog was thick and you couldn’t see where we had to go.
For a little bit I was keeping up with Titouan, but at some point he took off only to see him disappear between big wave on the reef. Half way through the race most of us realized we were to far in because the outside reef showed up on the wrong side of us. We tried to go around, some went over the reef and took the waves, which didn’t work out for them, one even broke his board, others lost it and had to swim a lot until they reached calmer waters.
We managed to stay outside, but that also costs us a lot of speed and time. Only when we got almost to the harbor I recognized the outline of the cruise ship in the harbor. I paddled as hard as I could, as Belar from Spain, was breathing on my neck the last miles. I managed to get a few very good glides and came into the harbor before him after which I didn’t give up my fifth place in the 14’ foot class.
Travis came in very strong with a 4th place overall and 1st in the 14’ class. Titouan Puyo came in a couple of minutes before me in 4th place after some trouble coming over the reef.
Again the All Star 14’ x 25.5 proofed to be a very good board even in conditions which were far from ideal. In 3 weeks we all meet again in very different conditions, Japan.
2014 Maui Paddleboard Race RESULTS
1st: Kaeo Abbey
2nd: Armie Armstrong
3rd: Livio Menelau
4th: Kody Kerbox
5th: Vinnicius Martins
1st: Travis Baptiste
2nd: Josh Riccio
3rd: Paul Jackson
4th: Titouan Puyo
5th: Bart de Zwart
1st: Sonni Hönscheid
2nd: Andrea Moller
3rd: Penelope Strickland
1st: Angie Jackson
2nd: Karla Gilbert
3rd: Manca Notar