Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cline Mann goes off in hairy water!

The Ko'olaupoko Cline Mann 2012 race was arguably the roughest, biggest water I've seen on race day. We were all prepared to be hating life with a South swell at 3ft 14 seconds combined with a backing up tide coming at us. Lucky for all of us, the raging ENE wind (19-23 MPH) that had been building all week combined with a a ENE swell at 8ft 8 seconds to push us along and make the course actually really fun (once we got around Makapuu corner!).

All in all, it was an amazing day on the water. Clark Abbey gave a pule and told stories about Cline Mann, and how he had revived the traditional sport of paddleboarding, with a ceremonial Budweiser before we headed out.... we were all feeling pretty proud to be paddleboarders, and I remembered my first time ever paddling the Ko'olaupoko, Makapuu to Kaimana course (with Clark Abbey and Greg Quinn).... I remember watching Greg and Clark surf their Malolo paddleboards down what I thought were giant waves and thinking "aaaaahhh... I'm scared! this is so cool!"... Yesterday in the race, I saw a similar vision, watching my good friend Marc Rocheleau teatering on the top of some large swells along Sandy Beach... in the middle of all the chaos, however, dolphins surfed with me along Hanauma Bay. I also caught a nice wave in at the finish.

Brian Rocheleau won the men's field for the first time (Yeah Brian! - happy 1 year old present from son Eli, who's birth kept Brian from racing last year!). Keoni Watson was the runner up, and long time paddleboard winner and coach, Mick DiBetta, from AUS, put in a good showing too. Most impressive to me, however, were the women. We had 5 women (most ever!) do the solo long course. Up and coming super star Leanne was right behind me, and Joanna finished 3rd (on a stock board). Joan and Kiyomi rounded out the women's field...  Unfortunately, Colleen lost her board at Sandy Beach (she joins a long list of distinguished paddlers who have had that fate - a testimate to the conditions of the day - thankfully Colleen is okay as is her board, and she'll be back for the Molokai Channel in a few weeks!). All in all, the women's field was a great lead up to Molokai where we have 12 girls going solo paddleboard!

I really like what Chris Owens had to say about the day (he didn't gloss over the hard stuff - telling it like it is is the man who repeated Tarzan Smith's legendary Oahu to Kauai paddle...)
Chris Owen's Facebook Post-race Entry. 
Hats off to everyone who raced, long and short (Scotty Gamble took top honors in the short course SUP division and Marc Haine won the paddleboard - I'll have more posted if I get pics), as well as to the race organizers and the Outrigger Paddleboard Committee headed by Kristin Lee Watumull. Mel Pu'u and The Straight Up Band were fabulous as well (although Mel's stories at the after party rivaled his on stage performance!).

Mahalo also to our sponsors: Outrigger, Maui Jim, Dukes, Wahoos, Vertra, Pualani, and Blue Planet!

Long Course Results:

Long Course Cline Mann 2012
Short Course Results:
Short Course Cline Mann 2012

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