Turtle Bay Resort hosted their second race of the North Shore Stand Up Paddle Summer Race Series on Sunday July 8th. Stand up and prone paddlers were dealt an interesting playing field for the sprint style race. The trades were blowing hard and a north east swell was coming straight through the start and finish line zone.
The race was different than most of the downwind races held on Oahu. Elements like turning around buoys and catching waves to the finish line made it action packed and exciting.
There were divisions for all abilities including novice to prime. Hans Hedemann Surf School provided SUP boards for the novice division which allowed Turtle Bay Resort guests to enter and display their abilities. The primes featured some of Oahu’s top SUP and prone contenders paddling it out for the $1000 prize purse.
It was a stacked final for the SUP men’s prime division. Paddlers got off to a nearly even start around the first buoy. Approaching the second buoy, Mo Freitas and Riggs Napoleon were battling. Freitas edged around the buoy first and Napoleon hung himself out to dry as he got blown on the wrong side and had to back track to get around.
Kaeo Abbey pulled into second, but this was short lived as Napoleon dug hard to pull into the second spot. Rounding the third buoy and final stretch through the surf, Freitas held the lead and caught the first wave of a set which escorted him to a first place finish and a $250 check. Riggs Napoleon cruised in on the next wave for second, followed by Kaeo Abbey cashing in a third place.
In the female prime SUP division, the youngest competitor Halie Harrison, showed her elders a pace they could not keep up with. The 2011 Molokai to Oahu champion dominated and sailed into first place by a long shot. Laura Birse took second place while Beccy Hailstones riding for Everpaddle took third place.
Kaeo Abbey, a dual division competitor, was the man to beat in the men’s prone final. Drew Wilkinson took a slight lead around the first buoy, but Abbey answered back and pulled into the number one spot on the way to buoy two. Wilkinson was right beside Abbey as they bumped their way around the third buoy. Abbey led the final sprint into the surf as a wave approached. They both caught the first wave setting up for what could be a photo finish. The wave steepened and Abbey was thrown off balance causing him to lose the wave and allowing Wilkinson to surf his way into a first place finish and a $100 check. Kaeo Abbey took second and Pomai Hoapili third.
Thanks to all of the sponsors including Turtle Bay Resort, Hans Hedemann Surf School, and Naish for putting on a fun event and throwing together a nice shwag bag for all the competitors. The next race of the summer race series will be Saturday, July 21st. For registration information check out the event website.
1. Halie Harrison
2. Laura Birse
3. Beccy Hailstone
1. Judy Harrison
2. Rob Neid (guest)
3. Karen Hedemann
1. Marvin Freitas
2. Rachel Crowl
3. Schuyler (pronounced Skyler) Cole
1. Mo Freitas
2. Riggs Napoleon
3. Kaeo Abbey
1. Drew Wilkinson
2. Kaeo Abbey
3. Pomai Hoapili