Its always enjoyable doing the channel because its a chance to think about nothing else for hours except accomplishing the task at hand while enjoying the beauty of the ocean. There is a bit of suffering (I’m sure there is lot more suffering for those racing to place or win) but there are also moments of extreme clarity as your body responds to changes in how it burns fuel and creates energy. It requires almost constant focus except when you are awakened by things like a dolphin playing with you and crossing your bow, whales jumping, or flying fish buzzing in front of you. Then you are reminded of how amazing this place is that God created for us.
This year there was no wind! At the start and the days up to the race I was very disappointed because I was so looking forward to surfing the canoe all the way across. You can catch and surf every little bump and its way faster than a standup. At the start the boat wakes did provide some interesting little rides and from 1/3 to 1/2 channel there were actually some swells to ride but from halfway to Sandys it was pretty lake like. Once at Sandys there were tiny bumps to ride and my boat captain Cory said there was wind at our back but I did not feel it. Cory took me on a great line. As you can see he made a course correction where I was heading too south. A knowledgeable captain is key. I was aiming for Kokohead for most of the race but you can see how the current pushed me north then the slight wind pushed me south. I know it was a good line because I passed about 5 boats that were south of me as we went from Allen Davis to Hanauma. I got a great wave at China Walls that took me all the way to poles and it was high tide so you could surf all the way in without worrying about the reef. So it was a pretty successful day, I got a good workout, and it was another great experience.