2010 Duke’s OceanFest Events – Recap by Connor Baxter


Aloha Everyone!!

What a fun week in Oahu!!

2010-dukes-oceanfest-events-recap-by-connor-baxter-01 Long Distance Race – finish at Waikiki.

The 2010 Duke’s Ocean Fest was a great event. The purpose of this event is to honor Duke Kahanamoku. This event has swimming, surf polo, surfing, and stand up paddling events throughout the week.

The first event I participated in was the stand up paddle surf race on Thursday the 26th (C4 Waterman SUP Surf Race). It was run quite differently than other SUP events I have participated in – it was run like a surfing contest with heats and the top four would advance. There was one lap that was one mile and then you came into the beach. My first heat I advanced and made it to the semi finals. The next heat there were 12 people and only 6 people advanced. When I rounded the last buoy I was in second place, but racing in the waves anything can happen, which it did to me and I fell on the wave that I caught and four people passed me. This meant only one more person could make it to the finals and I caught the next wave with two other people.

On this wave, out of the three of us – only one of us would make it to the finals. When we got close to the beach I tried to jump early to beat the other two guys to the beach. When I jumped, the other guy jumped too and his board shot out and hit me, which made me crash on to the beach and I sprained my MCL. So the other guys beat me. But the good news was that I made it into the surf part of the contest on Friday the 27th (C4 Waterman SUP Surf-Off). The doctor on the beach said I should not do the surfing part – but I did it anyways and it was a good thing because I made it to the semi finals. I was pleased with my results, because I have not been surfing much this summer.

The next day – Saturday the 28th – was the long distance event from Hawaii Kai to Waikiki – a little over 10 miles (Hawaii Paddleboard Championships – Duke’s Race). The race was suppose to start at 11:00 am. But – there were so many beach entries that we started about 20 minutes late. It was a great turn out – 168 entries (stand up and prone paddlers).

We started in the bay at Hawaii Kai – and headed out and had to go around the outside channel marker. When I rounded the outside buoy I was in 6th place, behind Ekolu Kalama, Aaron Napolean, Sepa Napolean, Livio Menelau. But once we got in the swell, I started to catch up and pass everyone in front of me. During the next several miles I paddled hard and stayed focused to keep in front of everyone. I also knew I had to put a good distance between me and second place, before we got to the flatter section of the race. At about the Outrigger Canoe Club, about 2 miles from Waikiki, the course heads into flatter water – which is not my strongest area – yet. Still working on my muscles!!

When I got to the last mile and I was still in front – I knew I had first place. I rounded the outside buoy off of Waikiki and caught a wave into the finish line.

I did it – I won the prestigious Duke’s Hawaii Paddleboard Championships.

I want to thank my sponsors for all their help and support – Starboard, Nike 6.0, SIC, Dakine, Sunrite Maui, Waterman’s Sunscreen, Ion Wetsuits. Also, my newest sponsors Kaenon Sunglasses, EFX Performance USA and On It Pro!!

And, I want to thank my friends Mark Raaphorst, Livio Menelau, Bart de Zwart, Scott Trudon for all the time and support they have devoted to training with me!!! Also, Scott Sanchez (MPG) for his wisdom on fitness and training!! And, of course my mom and dad.

Also a big Mahalo to all the event organizers and volunteers. Great Event!

Aloha -
Connor Baxter

My time was 1 hour 26 minutes and 5 seconds. For complete results: http://pseresults.com/events/45/results


Here are a few photos my mom took of the Start & Finish.

Waiting for the Start of the Race:


Start at Hawaii Kai:



Finish at Waikiki:









*** The End ***

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2 Responses to “2010 Duke’s OceanFest Events – Recap by Connor Baxter”

  1. JJ 1JJ

    I know the women’s results in the race are of interest as well.

    Local paddler Heather Jeppesen won the women’s race as well as the unlimited division, followed by Waikiki surf instructor and beachgirl Jennifer Lee who also won the 14′ division, and in third was local paddler and model Beccy Cravens who took second for the 14′ division.

  2. Evan Leong 2evan

    Congratulations to all the women too!

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