Sunday, September 14, 2008

Henry Ayau 2008 - Redemption

Our crew did good today in the 32-mile Henry Ayau. We needed it. Mentally, I needed it. I was starting to lose heart in the season, and wondering if I was even cut out for long-distance paddling. I love the culture, I love the guys, I love what it's doing to my body ... but I was seriously suffering in the races. I was tired of being humbled. You reach a point where you're just over it.

Today we ran solid lines. I kept up my strength the whole time (eating every change helped - one change a fruit cup, one change applesauce, poi on one change, etc). I was mostly in seat two and four. I feel good about how I stroked in two. Four was a bit more difficult; I couldn't find the groove as well back there.

In the end we finished in 5:10, roughly. The results should be up tomorrow. It's actually slower than we did last year in our B Crew, but it's hard to compare. The were only small swells, and plenty of areas were flat (though we seemed to ride more than last year). The vog was rough, and you couldn't see Wai`anae for a lot of the race - we just paddled out and into the haze.

The big boys shot ahead, but we caught a great line outside the first buoy and passed lots of canoes. The first change was rough, we lost ground. Gained it back while passing Diamond Head, and then had some great runs going towards Pearl Harbor. Alex took us way outside; I think we were in international waters. There were about three canoes we were battling with. I sailed past one, but couldn't shake the Koa Kai 55+ canoe.

A nuclear sub held up a lot of the boats behind us, and by `Ewa we were pretty much locked in place. We couldnt' catch the boats ahead of us, and then we had some rough spots & Koa Kai and then Lanikai shot ahead.

But it felt good, the whole time. No "what ifs?" or "If onlys." And now I feel a bit refreshed, a bit more prepared for the crossing.


Anonymous said...

The paddle in four was too short

haw'n boi said...

You guys were great. It was really quite fun jockeying back and forth for the entire race. Safe passage and a great time to you and your crew during the channel race. IMUA KAMEHAMEHA.