Two days after completing the Yukon River Quest I headed to Maui to train and compete in down wind race season.
Down wind racing is certainly not my thing and it would take me so far out of my comfort zone but that meant for great challenge. My first race was a 42km crossing of the Pailolo channel between Maui and Molokai. Strong winds, big ocean swell and much of the race was complete open ocean.
I struggled with my balance on the 24 inch wide board I borrowed and my surfing skills were pretty poor. During the 42km (5.5 hour race) I fell in around 20 times. Within the first half hour of the race I fell in and whilst climbing on my board I lost the mouthpiece of my hydration pack. Sadly, I did not realise this until 10 minutes later when I had to drink. During that 10 minutes I had lost all 3 litres of my fluid and my fluid contained all my nutrition. Therefore 5 hours of this event I had no fluid or calories.
I crossed the line in last place but at least I finished. Many paddlers did not make the crossing and were ferried back to Maui on the safety boat.
It, for sure, was not my best race but I certainly learned a lot