Connor Baxter Wins the 2018 OluKai Ho’olaule’a – Event Recap by Connor Baxter

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Connor Baxter Wins the 2018 OluKai Ho’olaule’a

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The 2018 Olukai was another great event with some crazy conditions that we will be talking about for years to come!

The race was originally supposed to be on Saturday, but with the crazy north winds and lots of rain it was postponed until Sunday. I woke up early to have the meeting about doing either a course race or the traditional downwinder. The decision was made and I headed towards Maliko for an 11:30 start. The conditions were not good, but definitely exciting with big surf, that completely closed out Maliko Glutch. Luckily, they started us on the outside to give us the best line to Kanaha Beach.

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Right from the beginning I hit the gas and didn’t look back, trying to milk every single bump out there. I took a pretty straight line and inside of James Casey and Travis Grant. I was able to grind it out and stay in front the entire race. Then we all had to get through the huge surf at Kanaha.

I decided to just charge straight through the surf and caught a little nugget. I was able to hang on, but right at the end I nose dived. I was able to jump to the tail and save it. I powered out the last little bit to claim back my Title and Superman dive!

Not long after finishing, I was convinced to go straight back out there on the foil โ€“ for the debut of the Foil Race. We went straight out upwind on the jet skis. At the Start, I was able to get the foil up on a plane right away and that’s what won the race for me. Kody and I pumped to the outside of the surf and caught a wave together. I caught my breath and had some fun on the wave, because I knew it was going to be a sprint to the finish line. We were crisscrossing all the way until the last 100 meters and I was somehow able to sneak in front. Stoked to be back on top and to do it in my backyard!

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I want to thank my sponsors for all their support โ€“ Starboard, Salt Life, Maui Jim Sunglasses, and Harmless Harvest Coconut Water.

Also a big Mahalo to all the event organizers, the safety patrol! and all the volunteers.

Aloha, Connor Baxter

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