HAD A CRAZY EXCITING RACE (JULY 14, 2018) HYDROFOILING THE PAILOLO CHANNEL FOR THE 26 MILE M2M (MAUI TO MOLOKA’I) CROSSING.
From the water start outside of Fleming’s Bay on West Maui I looked over my shoulder at the brave crew of Hydrofoilers taking on one of the first ever major foil events. On my side was Austin and Dave Kalama, Mark Rapahorss and Alen Kadiz. (Video of the finishing stretch and winning pass on my YOUTUBE channel)
On the blast of the start horn, 40 minutes after the sup start, I popped to my feet and felt like I had already made it to the flying position after just 3 sprint strokes. With that start, I had a nice lead from the get go. I then surfed the entire 26 miles, flying, except for one fall. Near the most exciting part of the race with the biggest, fastest moving swell I noticed that Dave Kalama had a line that seemed to be faster. It seemed he was gaining ground on me. I moved away from my dad who was my escort boat to feel the water further south towards the line Dave was following. I quickly realized I had made a bad choice getting psyched-out by my competitor and not just following my line and the course my very knowledgeable father had me on! My dad came over to me and reminded me to get back on course and I was able to catch ground on Dave. Soon after, we were neck to neck when we had a change of conditions that gave us an extra challenge.
The wind started to die and the swell was getting flatter as we neared our finish at Kaunakakai and I knew this was a good time for me to take advantage of the hard sprint, interval and Pump-training that Larry Cain with Paddle Monster has had me on for about 3 months. As the swell and wind died we then felt the wind on our face. At that point we still had almost 4 miles to the finish. I was sprinting and pumping hard doing my best to mentally block out the raging cramps in my legs. I was relieved to see Dave Kalama on my side touching his board onto the water- I knew it would be very hard for us to get the foil back up flying after touching down in these flat waters so I kept sprinting and pumping and flying as much as I could. I worked through my cramps and exhaustion until finally my board touched down and I was paddling the last 2 miles or so on a 6’9” Hyper Nut and my Iwa GoFoil. Dave was on a shorter board than I was so I knew I had to keep on padding and grinding. We both had a tough job, Uncle Dave, like me, was pushing water and pulling a foil.
And then I was at the FINISH! I was stoked to break the new record time across the channel and win overall between all crafts! My time was 2:24 with the help of the 25 knot winds and big swell- although the last 2 or 3 miles were into the wind and flat. If the wind was its normal NE Trades I believe I could have crossed the finish line foiling in close to 2 hours! It was a tough paddle when landing in those last ~2 miles of flats dragging the foil on my 6’9” after max focus and pumping for 23 miles! But man was it a fun session and run filled with countless epic full-speed drops and rides I couldn’t even time they were so long!!
Big mahalo to my team for the support firstly to my Dad and his crew on the escort boat; Uncle Joe and Uncle Scott Shoemaker, my coaches Larry Cain (Paddle Monster), Uncle Braddah Kamansi (Native Action) and my brother Matty Schweitzer! Also mahalo to my supporters and sponsors for the best equipment, Starboard 6’9” HyperNut, GoFoil Iwa, 5’ Revolwe BioLeash, VestPak Hydration, and as well Kim Yap and Donica Shouse for the meal prep and race fuel!
It was an epic run!!