It sure was nice to see the Maui paddle community come together for the first paddle IMUA in person SUP and canoe race since the pandemic. As we all know SUP without a foil has not been very fashionable lately. Initially the paddle IMUA was going to be an “anything goes” race, but due to permitting issues any kind of craft with a sail or a foil was prohibited from entering the race. From what we hear some authorities on Maui think foils are too fast and there fore not save. Sounds familiar? Read this article here.
I was actually debating to paddle anyway even downwind foiling is so much fun. With this new situation the decision was taken off my hands and I was happy to get my good old “SS Stand Up Magazin” out of storage and paddle the race, after all it is paddle IMUA and not foil IMUA or wing IMUA.
The turnout was actually surprisingly great, we had 28 SUP racers and I am sure if it would not have been for the historic south swell we would have had more paddlers. It was nice to see Connor Baxter showing up and of course he smoked the race course in just about one hour wit a time of 1:05:05, ten minutes faster than the 2nd place. Sadly the SUP race was not like it was back in the day when we had so many elite paddler on Maui during downwind season.
I personally had one of my best Maliko Runs ever, the winds were gusting up to 45kts (so I was told) so even a guy like me finished with a decent time, despite falling in the water 3 times, filming the start and adjusting my camera a few times. Still a solid half hour behind Connor, but that makes me happy.
I hope you enjoy this video and I hope to see you out paddling the Maliko Run soon.