What a great event!
The Rainbow Sandals – Battle of the Paddle – presented by Quiksilver Waterman Collection – is an event that everyone should attend at least once in their paddling life.
Having been to the BoP event in Dana Point last fall I had a bit of an idea about what I was getting into.
There are technically 4 race events during the two days.
Saturday has the Open race – which is a 4 lap race around a rectangle that is in and out through the surf once each lap – for a total of about 4 miles.
There is also the Elite Race which goes in and out of the surf several times each of its four laps for a total distance of approximately 7 miles.
On Sunday there is the Distance race from Hawaii Kai to Duke Kahanamoku beach – for a distance around 10 miles.
The last race of the event is the relay race – with teams of 4 people in and out through the surf – witch each paddler doing 2 laps.
I entered the Open race and the Distance race.
On the Friday night before the event Quiksilver hosted an awesome party at their store in Waikiki for the competitors. The food was awesome and it was a “who’s who” of the SUP and Surf world.
On to the races.
The Open race went well – except for the part where on one of my “in” runs through the surf – while I was on a wave a gal 20 yards away caught the wave – instantly turned left and speared me and my board. Her board (with no leash) went between me and my board – her fin catching my leash and then the 2 boards dragged me over the reef. Ouch! Managed to get back up and finish the race, all though my leg, feet and back were now covered in “reef rash”.
The next day was the Distance race – that is normally a “downwinder” – except there was little to no wind for the majority of the paddle.
Was still a fun race and Delmer, Jeff Maddox and I all finished within a minute of each other.
Thanks to Naish for lending us boards, and to Quiksilver for all the help.