May 6, 2014
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

So That Was The First Big Weekend Of The Summer…

Well that was a big weekend… There were major stand up paddling events in California, Florida, Hawaii and Nicaragua on the weekend; from flat water to downwind to charity events to kids racing to world championships and everything in between. It was a busy couple of days on the water.

Larry Cain and Helga Goebel won the Key West Classic in Florida. The Malibu Downwinder had a big turn out, but not as massive the gigantic Stand Up For the Cure charity event in Newport Beach. Just up the road at Huntington it was the Youth SUP Fiesta, while over on Maui Connor and Andrea were showing their class at the Paddle Imua race. Meanwhile there was a certain ISA event kicking off in Nicaragua…

In short: There’s been a lot happening the past few days.

Riviera has a pretty good recap of the weekend but here are the basics:

Stand Up For The Cure

Hundreds paddled in pink for a good cause (photo: Riviera Paddlesurf)

Perhaps the highlight of the weekend was not actually a race but rather a SUP charity event: Stand Up For The Cure. Hundreds and hundreds of paddlers (early reports suggest 800+) took to the water at Newport Beach to raise over $50,000 for breast cancer research.

>>> Stand Up For The Cure pics

On the other side of the country: After a solid showing at the Carolina Cup, the ageless robot Larry Cain stayed on the East Coast and proceeded to clean up at Florida’s Key West Classic. Florida local Helga Goebel won the women’s race.

For some reason Larry was spotted wearing a tutu after the race. I’m not sure either…

>>> Key West Classic RESULTS

Key West Classic paddle board race Florida

Over on Maui we saw the start of Mini Downwind Month with the Paddle Imua race. Held on the world famous Maliko run, the wind didn’t exactly turn on but the talent certainly did. Andrea Moller, hopping straight off the red eye from California and onto her unlimited race board, was too strong in the women’s, while Connor Baxter amazingly took line honours on a 12’6.

>>> Paddle Imua RESULTS

Andrea Moller stand up paddle downwinder

Andrea Moller on her way to yet another victory in Maui (photo: Standup Paddle Magazine)

At the same time, dozens of ripping little groms were taking to the water at Huntington for the 2nd annual Junior Pro & Youth SUP Fiesta, which is organised by Candice Appleby and Anthony Vela. The event saw not only a bunch of uber-talented future stars but also a bunch of older paddlers . The water safety team included the likes of Chuck Patterson, Rob Rojas, Matt Becker and Thomas Maximus (who was apparently everywhere this weekend).

In the event itself, the stand outs were Fiona Wylde and Mo Freitas. Hard to think that these two still count as juniors…

>>> Pics and recap from the Youth SUP Fiesta

Youth SUP Fiesta

A little ways up the coast, Thomas Maximus took out the Malibu Downwinder race on his unlimited, with James Donovan the quickest of the 14s and Ryan Murphy winning the battle of the 12’6 class.

While all this was happening in North America, down in Central America the ISA Worlds were kicking off in particularly colourful fashion.

The opening ceremony set the scene for 8 days of nation-based competition, with the SUP surfing in the water now and the racing events set for Thursday-Sunday.

With over 200 paddlers from 27 nations, we’re in for a big event.

>>> ISA Worlds Predictions

ISA World SUP Championship Opening Ceremony

A colourful start to the ISA Worlds in Nicaragua… (photo: Tweddle/Gonzales/ISA)

Florida, California, Hawaii, Nicaragua.

Over 2,000 paddlers at 6 events across 4 different time zones.

So that was the first big weekend of the summer