Connor Baxter wins The 2015 St’Ives Bay Celtic Cup in UK


Connor Baxter wins The 2015 St’Ives Bay Celtic Cup in UK


The 2015 St’Ives Bay Celtic Cup was not only a hard race, but it was freezing cold – especially being from Hawaii. The conditions were very challenging with howling winds and overcast skies. It was a 3 lap course that was about 4k each lap.

It started off with a short upwind – then nice little downwind – then a brutal upwind back up to the top. I looked at my competition and lined up next to them for the beach start. As I waited for the start of the race – being freezing cold – all I could think about was that I had to paddle hard enough to keep warm. So when the horn blew I sprinted down the beach into that cold water and jumped straight to my feet. I started off super hard to make sure I got out of the bad water and into the clean water.

Fernando Stella turned the first buoy in first – then I did and we headed upwind to the next buoy. I made a nice quick turn at the second buoy and started paddling with the wind and bumps. I slowly started to pull away from the group and made my way to the next buoy. When I got there I turned the buoy and had a nice cold blast of wind straight into my face. It was only the first lap so I didn’t go all out upwind, which allowed the group of 4 guys to catch up to me. I knew I would be able to make a gap again on the downwind part of the race. We all worked together to the upwind buoy and once we got there I did the same thing and sprinted right away and slowly made a gap on the group and this time I wasn’t going to let anyone catch back up to me, so I kept the hammer down and for the second lap I was able to just stay in front of the group.

I knew I had to make it in first around the buoy for the next downwind leg, so I paddled hard and turned the buoy still in front with a small led. I tried to catch every little bump and kept up the hard paddling to the next buoy. I turned the second to last buoy and started grinding upwind to the last buoy for the win. I managed to stay in front, but they had a good pace and caught up a lot. I luckily stayed in the first place spot and ran up the beach with my numb feet and legs – in first place.

I was joined on the podium by my fellow Starboard teammate who won the women’s event – Fiona Wylde.

I want to thank my sponsors for all their support – Starboard, Discovery Land Company, Dakine, Maui Jim Sunglasses, Rainbow Sandals, Futures Fins, Hammer Nutrition, GoPro, Waterman’s Sunscreen, OnIt Pro and Hi-Tech Sports.

Also a big Mahalo to all the event organizers and all the volunteers. Really great job for their inaugural event. Everyone had a good time.

Connor Baxter

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That is COLD!


Getting ready for the start


Beach Start


The Drafting Train


Out in Front


Coming in for the First Place Finish


Great Event


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