Outrigger Winter Series: Hanohano

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I really have been remiss in updating Far and a Wey, so I’m on a mission.  Hanhano 2014!  This year’s race was a great event.  Perfect weather, huge turnout, big swell for the long course OC-1 race, and, yes, I won a little something at the raffle — a new QuickBlade outrigger paddle.  Sweet!

Hanohano 2014

Hanohano is a good time.  All your friends that you hadn’t seen since before the holidays show up, laughing and joking, and everyone goes racing with a smile on their faces.  It’s also an event that brings out really fast paddlers (OC and prone); the one’s that eschewed an ‘off season’ and bring the hammer.
I was particularly excited  because I got to roll out the new AlexSeal OC-1 and the sexy new paint scheme.  Needless to say, the boat turned heads and all kinds of folks stopped by the tent to inquire about the paint and the story about the outrigger (I won the sled at last year’s Hanohano event).
My race was mixed.  I should leave it at that, but, well, the devil is in the details.  It took the organizers a LONG time to start the race.  After a 1.5 mile paddle out to the start, we sat around for 30 minutes waiting for the gun to go off.  The swell was big and we just all sat around resting on the boats waiting for something to happen.  Finally, we got the 10 minute signal…and the gun went off in four.
I got caught with my pants down, near the back of the pack, and off the line none too fast.  I settled in quickly and figured out the 10 or so OC-1s that I’d be battling — and they certainly weren’t coming to me.  In fact for 7.5 of the 9 mile race, the group I was paddling with somewhere in mid-pack, just stayed locked together.  We banged boats around every buoy; I could hear them breathing; and they could hear my stroke start to come apart.
Finally, we hit the entrance channel for the last push to the finish and I found one more gear.  I passed five outriggers coming into the finish, which made my day.  A burrito and a beer was a just reward.  I scrounged up a few dollars for the raffle and, lo and behold, I won a new paddle from the good folks at QuickBlade.  Good times.

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