Posts Tagged ‘Connor Baxter’

Playlist – Maui to Molokai Downwind with Connor and Dave Kalama

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Check out some of the action from last year’s epic Maui to Molokai race (part of the Triple Crown of SUP race series). Our playlist consists of videos from Bill Boyum and SUPHQ

If you’ve seen the race results you’ll know that the finishing times were insanely fast, with the overall winner (Connor Baxter) averaging over 9mph for almost three straight hours.

The Doctor 2012 Race Results – Connor Wins SUP

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Perth, Australia: Freshwater’s Tim Jacobs today became the first man to win back-to-back Doctor ocean ski events in hot, flat, unforgiving conditions in Perth.The weather wasn’t what the doctor ordered –but it was a fascinating, gruelling race between some of the best surfski and SUP paddlers in the world…

  1. Tim Jacobs (Aus) 1:50:10
  2. Jasper Mocke (SA) 1:50:44
  3. Dawid Mocke (SA) 1:51:54
  4. Michael Booth (Aus) 01:52:20
  5. Bruce Taylor (Au s) 01:52:46

The women’s race was dominated by local, Ruth Highman.

  1. Ruth Highman in  02:15:36
  2. Claire Duncan (Aus) 02:24:02
  3. Kylie Broad 02:35:01
SUP 14′
On the SUP side, our very own Connor Baxter beat out a solid field to take the SUP title in his first attempt. The Doctor
1. Connor Baxter 02:46:52
2. Sam Parker 02:49:31
3. Kelly Margetts 02:55:05
4. Bart Dezwart 2:57

Full Race Results

Thanks to SurfSki.info

Connor Baxter wins Namotu World Paddle Challenge

Friday, November 18th, 2011


The 2011 Namotu World Paddle Challenge was a great event. The first day they started off big and ran the long distance race first. They said the race was going to be 19 miles, but it ended up being 23 miles. The race was from Natadola Beach on the main island to Namotu Island and there were about 15 of us at the starting line. We were all on 12′6″ race boards – which made the crossing that much more challenging. It was a beach start and once I heard go – it was on. Right from the get go all the young guns pulled out to the front of the group. Slater, Zane, Noa, Kai and I were in the front and headed out to the Navy Ship, which was our outside marker we had to round. I was the first to round it and turned down to start the fun. It was pretty light, but there were still some fun bumps to catch. I caught some really long ones in the beginning and then the race started to get worse and worse. It got littler and the current started to go against us. Around the half way mark, I had a good lead and still felt strong, but then it was getting flatter and flatter and there were no bumps to catch. By the time I got to Cloud Break, which is not too far off of Namotu, the wind stopped and it was a flat-water grind to the finish line. So I put my head down and I knew what I had to do. As I got closer I caught a wave at Swimming Pools and then I was on the home stretch. When I finally got to the beach and ran up to the finish line, I was so stoked to finish and to come in first place. The race took me about 3 1/2 hours. So, I rested up for the rest of the day and was getting ready for the next race of the event.

The next day we got to rest and surf it up, which was a lot of fun, but the next day was the race day. This race was run in heats – in and out of the surf around buoys. I was in the first heat. I waxed my board and headed for the beach. The top two made it to the next round, so my plan was just to go as hard as I needed to advance – and I did that and was second behind Zane. This put me into the next round, so I went into the shade and drank water. The next heat was a little harder, but I had the same strategy and I went hard in the beginning then took it easy to save my energy for the final. Once again I came in second, which put me into the finals.

As the day went on, the wind got stronger and the waves were getting bigger and the tide was dropping. Padding out for the finals I knew what I had to do and right when they said go I was gone. Kai, Zane and I jumped out in front and then I pulled away from those guys. I rounded the first buoy first and started heading in. Coming in I caught a big wave and it doubled up and I got pounded. I manage to get back up and still make it to the next buoy in first place, but on the way out the current was super strong, which allowed Kai to catch up. So Kai and I were battling it out to the last buoy and a freak set took us out but we got on our boards and kept going. I sprinted my brains off and got in front and rounded the buoy first, but Kai manage to catch a wave that I couldn’t get which put him in first and me in second. It is crazy when racing in waves anything can happen, you can be leading, but all of a sudden something happens and then you fall back a few places. Super stoked for Kai, but now we were tied for the Overall – both with a first and second place.

So, now we had to do a tiebreaker, which wasn’t going to be announced until the day of the race.

Once again we had a rest day – which was filled with surfing and playing. And then the next day was the moment of truth. We found out that the course was going to be around the island of Namotu, combined with a surf race. So I was super stoked and was getting everything together for a long day. Once I got down to the start it was blazing hot and I knew it was going to be a long one. So once I heard Tristan Boxford say “GO!!!!!!!” it was on. The race was super hot and long, but I lead the whole race and had the rest of the competitors draft me, so once we got to the waves I was drained. Slater and Jake passed me up, but my main goal was to stay ahead of Kai. We went in and out thought the surf a few times and then on the home stretch I got a good wave in and Kai did as well and was right on my tail. Coming in bashing boards with Kai until we got closer and I just gave it every last bit of energy I had, hit the beach and ran up ahead of Kai – Winning the Overall Event Title.

I was super stoked with the whole event and to top off the trip we got some great waves for surfing.

I want to thank my sponsors for all their support – Starboard, Rainbow Sandals, Rista Fins, Maui Jim Sunglasses, EFX Technology, Dakine, Nike 6.0, GoPro Cameras, On It Pro, Waterman’s Sunscreen, Sunrite Maui, and Hi-Tech Sports. Also, Scott Sanchez (MPG) for his wisdom on fitness and training!!

Also a big Mahalo to all the event organizers and volunteers. Scott and Mandy for all their hospitality on Namotu. Great Event!!

Aloha –
Connor Baxter

Connor Baxter wins 2011 Battle of the Paddle

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Who won the 2011 Battle of the Paddle? Connor Baxter Zane Shweitzer may have been more excited than the champ himself as he lifts Connor up on his shoulders. Connor was absolutely gassed after the closest Battle ever. The top three finishers; Connor Baxter, Jaime Mitchell, and Danny Ching were separated by seconds, and battled each other the entire race.

Special congratulations to Waterman’s Conner Baxter for his amazing win at the biggest SUP race of the year!

photo © 2011 Chris Bishow

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Results for the Battle of the Paddle 2011 California

Race Results – 2011 Battle of the Paddle Dana Point

Saturday, September 24th, 2011
Race Results For the 2011 Battle of the Paddle Dana Point, CA

Maui’s Connor Baxter, 17, won his first major stand-up paddle (SUP) championship today against the world’s best in the Rainbow Sandals Gerry Lopez Battle of the Paddle in California. In the most thrilling Elite Race battle in the four-year history of the event, Baxter fought off none other than 10x world prone paddleboard champion Jamie Mitchell (Australia), and defending Battle of the Paddle California champion Danny Ching (California) to win. The women’s Elite Race was won with by an incredibly inform Candice Appleby (Oahu/San Clemente) for the fourth consecutive year.

Full Results Elite Race 2011 Battle of the Paddle California

Full Results Distance Race 2011 Battle of the Paddle California

Full Results Age Group  Race 2011 Battle of the Paddle California

Full results Relay Battle of the Paddle 2011 California

Gorge Challenge 2011 Recap

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

The first ever 2011 Gorge Challenge was a great, fun event. There were three different races – the Elite course race, the long distance, and the most fun part  – the team relay.

The event took place in Hood River Oregon, which is one of my favorite places to go, because there is so much to do. Before the race I got to windsurf, kayak, as well as go down the rapids on a SUP board.

The first day of the event was the Elite race, which was about six miles through a tricky course. We were all on 14-foot boards and went though a course with six turns in it, which made it difficult. We had to go around this course 4 laps. Being on a 14-foot was faster than the normal 12.5-foot, but turning it around the buoy through a tight course with four other people next to you definitely made it interesting.

We all started in the water and I thought it would be smart if I started in shallower water, but this line was above the buoy, whereas everyone else wanted to get a straight line to the buoy.

So, when I started I was in shallower water then everyone else and also had less people by me, because everyone started below me. When the horn blew I got a good push off onto my board and everyone else had to jump on to their board and then paddle. I lead to the first buoy and for the rest of the race.

Here is a you tube link of the start from our friend Rod Parmenter

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFLAjMC1i3w[/youtube]

The whole race I got drafted by everyone and I was the only one that didn’t draft. Going to the second buoy I tried to turn as tight as I could and my paddle got stuck in the lines of the buoy and I almost fell in, but I saved it and fell on my butt and kept paddling. I also kept the lead.

It was light winds and it was about 98 degrees, so this was by far the hottest race I have ever competed in. I had a hydration pack, but I never stopped paddling, so I couldn’t take a sip to save my life.


It was four laps and I lead the way, but I couldn’t get a good gap on everyone cause they were all drafting me. I ended up coming in first place overall in the men’s elite. I was super happy with my performance, especially because this was my first pure flat water race.

That day they had the awards and I ended up going home with $2500. When I went home – well to a friend’s home – I ate a giant dinner and fell asleep right away dreaming about the next day.

When the next day came around I ate breakfast and headed up to Viento State Park for the downwinder.  The course was an 8-mile downwinder to Waterfront Park. The race started at 12:00 and the wind was up for a good downwinder.

After the start I was about the third person to round the first buoy and once I rounded it, I paddled as hard as I could. I passed the two people in font of me and kept it going and didn’t let one person pass me. It was a really good downwinder, because the wind blows one way and the current goes the other way, which causes the swell to get big. This makes it really fun with long glides. It is funny though; it feels like you are moving fast, but when you look at the shore you are barely moving.

I came in first overall. So I was super happy to clean up and get first in both events over the weekend.

But I can’t forget the relay race, for this race all the open class racers made teams of three people and then they picked one elite paddler from a hat. So this was just for fun and good memories.

At the awards that day, I ended up with a couple extra awards. The Waterman’s Award for overall, and The Sportsmanship Award.  At the end of the weekend I got to go home with a total purse of $4,000.

A big Mahalo to all my friends at the Gorge that really helped me out – especially Bill, Daryl, Nikki, Dan, Steve!!!

And, I want to thank my sponsors for all their support – Starboard, Rainbow Sandals, Maui Jim Sunglasses, EFX Technology, Dakine, Nike 6.0, GoPro Cameras, On It Pro, Waterman’s Sunscreen, Sunrite Maui and Hi-Tech Sports.

Also a big Mahalo to all the event organizers and volunteers.

Aloha –
Connor Baxter

Connor Baxter shatters course record to make SUP history

Friday, August 12th, 2011

 

 

I checked… it has never happened before.  When Chinese teen Sun Yang broke swimming longest standing record this year in the men’s 1500m he did it by 0.42 seconds.  Even when 16-year old Ang Chuang Yang wrestled the world texting record from Ben Cook she did it by only 0.7 seconds.  It took 90-years for men’s marathon runners to cut the world record by 30-minutes and female runners have just barely done it.  On July 31st 16-year old Connor Baxter didn’t just crush the SUP course record by 28:05, he set a new overall course record for the famed Molokai2Oahu Paddleboard World Championships by over twenty-two, coming across the finish line in 4:26:10 – four minutes ahead of his closest competition.

Standup paddling may be new, but at this point in the game it is the athletes who are getting stronger and not the equipment.  Connor’s board and paddle didn’t dramatically change from last year – only Connor did – and when you take into consideration the widely accepted theory that it takes 10,000-hours or around seven years of dedication to master something and remember the teen has only been paddling for three years it makes you wonder where the next four will take him.  One thing is for sure, I’ll be watching

 

– Pete

 

 

***

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Connor Baxter Race Recap – Molokai 2011

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Images: Karen Baxter

The Molokai-2-Oahu Race as Jamie Mitchell states, “If you love paddling, this is the race of all races – it’s our Superbowl. I love the feeling of apprehension, the nerves and waiting to see what the ocean’s going to deliver. The depth of talent in this year’s race is unsurpassed.”

Well – the event for me started on Thursday. My dad, mom and I were to take our boat from Maui to Molokai on Friday, relax on Saturday, Race on Sunday. So preparations started on Thursday getting the boat provisioned and equipped.

Around 3:00pm my dad called me and asked me to pick up a guy named “Mike” at the airport. He was going to go on our boat for support. I asked what he looked like, what his cell number was – and my dad told me I did not know him – but he knew me. His cell phone was dead – but he would be holding a paddle.

I got to the airport – and what a “SURPRISE”!!! There was no “Mike” – My sister Ashley had flown in from California – to be with us for the weekend. She walked up to the car – and I was speechless. She and my dad had planned this Surprise – and WOW – what an OUTRAGEOUS Surprise!!

So – already the Weekend started out fantastic for me – with my sister coming to watch me race.

We all left on Friday morning from Kahului Harbor and headed over to the west side of Molokai. We stopped in Kaunakakai on the south side of Molokai to grab my race board that we left with our friend Greg Jenkins after the Triple Crown Event. Finally arriving at Kaluakoi Beach around 4:00pm, we swam in and walked to our condo settling in before dinner.

Saturday was a day to take it easy, focus on the upcoming race and what I had to do to win. That night the event had organized a dinner for us, then I went and had a second dinner at the Maui Jim get together and then it was straight to bed from there.

The next day we had to wake up at 5:00 in the morning to get down to the beach and get ready. Right before the race we had a Pule (Hawaiian Prayer) and then off to the water for the start of a long day. I was really stoked with the start – cause the Solo SUP’s got to start with all the Solo prone paddlers, which was cool because I got to paddle next to Jamie Mitchell for a bit.

When the horn blew I knew what I had to do and that is all I was focusing on. There was a little wind right from the start and I was catching some little bumps, which is always nice. I knew my biggest competition would be Dave Kalama, Scott Gamble and Livio Menelau. And, sure enough – the four of us were out in front quickly.

After about an hour Scott Gamble and I had taken the lead – and we were together right until the end. Pushing each other – never letting up. As we got more and more into the channel the swells got bigger and I started to get better and better glides. I had a steady pace going that was keeping me in the front of the pack. The farther I got into the channel it got harder and harder. I was getting more tired and the current was getting stronger going against me. But, I kept it going as hard as I could until the end.

One thing that really helped was having my family on the boat cheering for me to keep me going. Hearing them cheer was like drinking some energy drink – it just gave a huge boast to paddle harder.

When I was about 10 miles off of Oahu it felt like I wasn’t moving and it didn’t look like I was getting closer to the island at all. The current in the channel is swift – and runs north hampering the downwind headway. As Dave Kalama wrote “Most of this race really is fun…, but when you get close to Oahu the fun stops and the reality of how hard it really is starts to set in. For some reason Mother Nature decided to put one of her most wicked currents in front of Oahu acting like a night club bouncer protecting the door.”

Keeping an eye on Scott – I noticed we were dead even except he was more north than I was. This positioning made a big difference. And, I was exactly where I needed and wanted to be.

When we turned down to head to Coco Head, I was closer than him because he was more upwind (North) of me. This gave me a good gap on him, which would be really hard for him to make up.

Making it to the wall and hugging it, getting out of the washing machine, getting around Portlock – I knew what was in store for me. The “Next” hardest part of the race – the end – making it to the finish line.

Once I turned the corner it was $&!#. I had to paddle upwind for about 1½ miles – and the wind was blowing – gusting to about 20mph right in my face. I was already super tired from the 31 mile Crossing – but then to top it off I had this nice treat. I choked up on my paddle, crouched down with my body, put my head down and just kept paddling to the finish. As I got closer and closer I could hear all the people, which made me paddle faster.

Being the first person to the beach Overall was pretty cool because normally Jamie is the first guy to touch the beach. When I crossed the finish I was so dead and ready for a nice cool – you got it – a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup!!

I ended up with a time of 4:26:10. This time beat last years record be almost 30 minutes and beat Jamie’s new record by about 15 minutes. I was really happy with my result and can’t wait for the next challenge.

I want to thank my sponsors for all their support – Starboard, Rainbow Sandals, Maui Jim Sunglasses, EFX Technology, Dakine, Nike 6.0, GoPro Cameras, On It Pro, Waterman’s Sunscreen, Sunrite Maui, SIC Maui and Hi-Tech Sports.

A Special Thanks to Scott Sanchez from MPG for his wisdom as a trainer.

And, to a wonderful, thoughtful, special Sister – Ashley – Thanks for this special “surprise” weekend!!!

Also a big Mahalo to all the event organizers and volunteers.

Aloha –
Connor Baxter

Race results will be found here!

2011 Naish Paddle Championships Recap from Maui

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

The 2011 Naish Paddle Championships Maui Event was held on Sunday July 24th.  The race is from Maliko Gulch to Kahului Harbor – a 9.54 mile downwinder. There were 238 competitors from Europe, Japan, Tahiti, the US Mainland, Australia, Brazil, and Hawaii participating in the 6th Annual Event.  The forecast leading up to the event was pretty grim. Winds were getting lighter and rainsqualls were expected. Watching the newscast the night before was not very encouraging! Driving to the event with Bart de Zwart, Chuck Patterson and my mom around 11:00 looked dreary – overcast and not a whitecap in site. Luckily the race didn’t start until 1:00pm.  And, that was just enough time for the trade winds to start kicking in. Watching the wind fill in, seeing some whitecaps – what a wonderful site!!!  The skippers meeting was at noon, followed by a Hawaiian Blessing – Pule – which is always a great way to start the race.

The start was inside Maliko Gulch between buoys. And there were 4 staggered starts for the different divisions. The starting sequence was Prone paddlers first, followed by the 12’6” SUP Class – which I was in, then the 14’ SUP Class, and finally the Unlimited SUP’s. There were three minutes between starts. My goal was to be the first SUP to hit the beach – and not let anyone pass me – no matter what board they were on.  So, when it was our turn to go – and that horn blew – I knew what I had to do. I sprinted hard right from the get go and I was the first to round the point outside Maliko. It was good having the prone paddlers in front of me, because it helped pushed me to stay in front. I was really stoked, because I was catching some good bumps, the wind was decent and I was staying in front of the other SUP’s. When I got closer to the finish, I started to see Jamie Mitchell in front and then I really turned it on to try to catch up to him. But I just couldn’t catch him. So I ended up being second to the beach – but I was the FIRST SUP.  And, since I did have a head start – I was fifth Overall and only 4 minutes behind the first place finisher – Dave Kalama on an Unlimited and I was on a Starboard 12’6” Surf Race.

It was a great event from the Pule to the Downwinder to the Finish where there was great food, live entertainment – lots of people; all around it was just a fun beach day with all my friends and family.

But – then there were the Awards!!!  And – You are not going to believe what I won!!!

The Waterman League gave the 14’ and 12’6 Classes extra awards for the First to finish.  And, the award for the winner of the 12’6ft Class, was a Roundtrip flight to Fiji with accommodations for the Namotu World Paddle Challenge on November 13th-18th. Thank you Tristan!!!

Fiji – is now on the Race Schedule.

I want to thank my sponsors for all their support – Starboard, Rainbow Sandals, Maui Jim Sunglasses, EFX Technology, Dakine, Nike 6.0, GoPro Cameras, On It Pro, Waterman’s Sunscreen, Sunrite Maui, SIC and Hi-Tech Sports. Also a big Mahalo to Maliko Watersports, John Gangini and Blair Thorndike and all the event organizers and volunteers.

Aloha –
Connor Baxter

WPA National Race – Recap by Connor Baxter

Friday, June 24th, 2011

WPA National Race – by Connor Baxter:

The 2011 Wet feet WPA National Race was a super fun event. I flew over to Oahu from Maui on Friday and the event was on Saturday. The WPA – World Paddle Association – has a series of qualifying events for the Hennessey’s World Event in San Diego in September. An event I definitely want to compete in.

The morning of the race there was no wind, so I was pretty bummed. But the race started at 12:00pm, so there was some time for the wind to pick up. And, sure enough around 11:45am the wind started to blow about 10-12 mph. And once we were all on the start line there was good wind.

The race was on the North Shore from Sunset Beach to Haleiwa, which is about 7miles. There were 105 competitors – 90 were Stand Up Paddlers and there were 15 Prone Paddlers. Once the race started Scott Gamble and I took off and were in the lead. There were good bumps until we got to Waimea – where the wind turned off and the little wind we had was slightly offshore.

When there was still about 5 miles left, Scott pulled a huge gap on me, because I was a little too far outside – and hence he took the lead. So all I was thinking was “anything can happen”. I waited until I saw a good opportunity and I paddled like crazy and made up some ground on him – but I didn’t catch up. Then I did the same thing again – and finally caught up to him and I started to pull away from him.

As I got closer to the finish, the third place guy, Kaeo Abbey caught up to Scott and was right behind me and was starting to catch up. As we rounded the point, Kaeo caught a wave and was right next to me so for the last little bit it was a full sprint to the beach. So I put my head down and gripped my paddle tight and ended up winning – and am now qualified for the World Event. Super stoked.

The top six places are:
1 – CONNOR BAXTER 1:03:08
2 – KAEO ABBEY 1:03:17
3 – SCOTT GAMBLE 1:04:12
4 – JOEY NAPOLEAN 1:06:40
5 – ROBERT STEHLIK 1:07:54
6 – KAINOA BEAUPRE 1:08:37

I want to thank my sponsors for all their support – Starboard, Nike 6.0, Maui Jim Sunglasses, Dakine, EFX Technology, GoPro Cameras, On It Pro, Waterman’s Sunscreen, Sunrite Maui, SIC and Hi-Tech Sports.

Also a big Mahalo to all the event organizers and volunteers. It was a good fun event!!

Watermans Connor Baxter wins Wet Feet WPA National Race

Friday, June 17th, 2011

WPA National Race – by Connor Baxter:

The 2011 Wet Feet WPA National Race was a super fun event. I flew over to Oahu from Maui on Friday and the event was on Saturday. The WPA – World Paddle Association – has a series of qualifying events for the Hennessey’s World Event in San Diego in September. An event I definitely want to compete in.

The morning of the race there was no wind, so I was pretty bummed. But the race started at 12:00pm, so there was some time for the wind to pick up. And, sure enough around 11:45am the wind started to blow about 10-12 mph. And once we were all on the start line there was good wind.

The race was on the North Shore from Sunset Beach to Haleiwa, which is about 7miles. There were 105 competitors – 90 were Stand Up Paddlers and there were 15 Prone Paddlers. Once the race started Scott Gamble and I took off and were in the lead. There were good bumps until we got to Waimea – where the wind turned off and the little wind we had was slightly offshore.

When there was still about 5 miles left, Scott pulled a huge gap on me, because I was a little too far outside – and hence he took the lead. So all I was thinking was “anything can happen”. I waited until I saw a good opportunity and I paddled like crazy and made up some ground on him – but I didn’t catch up. Then I did the same thing again – and finally caught up to him and I started to pull away from him.

As I got closer to the finish, the third place guy, Kaeo Abbey caught up to Scott and was right behind me and was starting to catch up. As we rounded the point, Kaeo caught a wave and was right next to me so for the last little bit it was a full sprint to the beach. So I put my head down and gripped my paddle tight and ended up winning – and am now qualified for the World Event. Super stoked.

The top six places are:
1 – CONNOR BAXTER 1:03:08
2 – KAEO ABBEY 1:03:17
3 – SCOTT GAMBLE 1:04:12
4 – JOEY NAPOLEAN 1:06:40
5 – ROBERT STEHLIK 1:07:54
6 – KAINOA BEAUPRE 1:08:37

I want to thank my sponsors for all their support – Starboard, Nike 6.0, Maui Jim Sunglasses, Dakine, EFX Technology, GoPro Cameras, On It Pro, Waterman’s Sunscreen, Sunrite Maui, SIC and Hi-Tech Sports.

Also a big Mahalo to all the event organizers and volunteers. It was a good fun event!!

Aloha –
Connor Baxter

Photos Courtesy of Wet Feet Hawaii:

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Battle of the Paddle Hawaii 2011 Recap with Watermans Connor Baxter

Thursday, May 19th, 2011


Words by Connor Baxter

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2011 BATTLE OF THE PADDLE once again lives up to its name. First off this was a great event with three different disciplines that I competed in – The Elite, The Long Distance and The Team Relay.

Well I want to start off with the most fun event – The Team Relay. This was by far the best event to end the day and the competition with. With the relay not only does one person have to be fast, but the whole team has to be fast. And I couldn’t have picked a better team. Zane Schweitzer, Bart de Zwart, Gillian Gibree and me made up the Starboard team. We had Zane start because I don’t think there is a better starter then him, then Bart went second and he is super duper fast in these grueling upwind, side wind conditions, then came the most important part of the team, Gillian, the girl on our team – she is a sprinter and excelled in this race – paddling hard and keeping our team up front. Then I was the anchorman. Each team member had to go twice. So when it came down to me, the last guy to go, we were in second and the C4 team was out in front. Their last person was leaving the beach when our third person was just getting in. So when Gillian tagged me I knew what I had to do and I caught up and passed the C4 team and came into the beach in 1st place. We were super stoked and were really happy to be on the brand new 2011 production 12’6” surf race.

The next event I am going to talk about makes my body hurt just thinking about it, The Elite Race on Saturday. This is why everyone came to Oahu. This race was held at 3:00pm, which was nice because I got to sleep in. Going into the race all I was thinking of was top three, top three, I am going to be in the top three. The race was a beach start with four laps weaving around buoys, through surf & flat water, which turned out to be about 7+ miles. When I heard the horn blow at the start, well actually I didn’t hear it only the people down by the horn heard, I ran once I saw everyone going. When I got to the first buoy I was in the top five. And then moved up into the top three by the next buoy. I pretty much stayed in the top three for the whole race except when I caught up to Danny Ching and Travis Grant and I was by them for a little bit going around the buoys together. But the best and worst part of this race was Slater Trout and me had a battle for the entire race. We were within feet of each other, pushing as hard as we could, never letting off. On the third lap I knew I had to get a little gap on him before the run. So when we rounded the last outside buoy I sprinted as hard as I could and got onto a little wave, which Slater didn’t. And by the last lap I turned around and saw Slater’s head down and paddling a little slower. When I crossed the line I was in 3rd Place just a few seconds behind Danny and Travis. I was really pleased on my performance and I got $2500, which is always a nice bonus.

Then we got the grueling Long Distance race. For this race I was feeling well prepared, but the only thing that was missing was the WIND. When I got up to Hawaii Kai there was absolutely no wind. I started off good and was in front of Danny for a little bit but then he pulled away for me and then it was a battle with Scott Gamble, until we got to Diamond Head and a wave took him out – which I barely made it over. But then Georges Cronsteadt , who was behind me, caught up. I was on the inside of him and he kept pushing me into the beach, so when we had to go out to round the buoy, I had to stop paddling and go out to round it. But I came in 3rd Place, which put me on the podium.

So it was a super good weekend with great results and good memories.

I want to thank my sponsors for all their support – Starboard, Nike 6.0, Maui Jim Sunglasses, Dakine, EFX Technology, GoPro Cameras, On It Pro, Waterman’s Sunscreen, Sunrite Maui, SIC and Hi-Tech Sports.

Also a big Mahalo to all the event organizers and volunteers!!!

Aloha –
Connor Baxter

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Connor Baxter in Africa – Paddling the Zambezi River

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

SUP paddling in the ZAMBEZI river 2010Some fun footage of Starboard sponsored paddler Connors recent trip to Africa. This is an area of Africa called the Caprivi Strip which is a narrow protrusion of Namibia eastwards about 450 km (280 miles), between Botswana on the south, Angola and Zambia to the north, and Okavango Region to the west.  From personal experience I can say that this area of Africa is raw and breathtaking !

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pzd2KPWBdY[/youtube]
If you’d like to shoot videos like this check out the latest GoPro HERO video cameras from the Official GoPro Online Store.

Connor Baxter SUP Downwind Run on Maui on the GoPro

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Connor Baxter Downwind run on MauiBart & Connor ride the Starboard 12’6 &14 on a downwind run off Maui.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNnFl39u9zc&[/youtube]
GoPro® Helmet HERO™ Wide Camera


Buy GoPro HERO Camera at GoPro.com

Bart & Conner ride the Starboard 12’6 &14 on a downwind run off Maui.

Connor Baxter’s Story of Paddling the Molokai to Oahu Stand Up Paddleboard Race

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Connor Baxter claims 1st place in SOLO Stand Up Paddleboard Marathon Men’s 29 and under. Zane Schweitzer finished 3rd. This win took place only weeks after his 1st place win at the Mormaii 27 Mile Express. We gave you the lowdown on Connor’s winning paddleboard marathon strategy last week.

Here is the 15 year old pro rider Connor Baxter’s story;

Molokai to Oahu – 32 mile Crossing across the Ka’iwi Channel. Before this race I felt so prepared because that week I ate super good, drank lots of water and rested. My mom and I went over to Molokai Friday night on the Ferry to Kaunakakai.

Then headed over to the west side and stayed at the condos right where the event was. I slept in on Saturday and then went for a swim – I basically had a super relaxing day. Around 5:00 the stand up paddle board race meeting started and then I had a huge dinner and went back to the room – and went right to bed to get a good night sleep.

When I woke up I had oatmeal and put on my headphones and blasted some music to get pumped up. We had the blessing at 6:30am and then it was hurry up and get all the gear to the boat and get out to the start line. The lay down paddlers went first at 7:30am and now my heart is racing. I paddled over to the start line and I knew what I had to do. We started at 8:00am and we were off to a fast pace.

The conditions were super good – the winds were up and there were good swells. In the beginning, it was more flat water so the stronger guys with muscles took off.

But once we got into the swells I started to catch up to Livio Menelau and Ekolu Kalama. Dave Kalama and Scott Gamble went south so I did not see much of them. I finally caught and passed Livio, but I just could not catch up to Ekolu. So I put my head down and paddled my hardest. When I looked up about 45 min later I had closed the gap and was right behide Ekolu but once he noticed I was right by him he turned on his after burners and just took off on his paddleboard.

So now I was in 2nd place so I just kept paddling. When I looked over to my left (south), I noticed another stand up paddler and it was Scott Gamble. He was coming from the south and I was now trying to pick up my pace to stay up with him. He was super far to the south so I thought I still had a chance, but his course was a lot better and he pulled into 2nd and put me in third.

When I finally rounded the outside point to come into the harbor, my jaw drop to the paddleboard because the wind was blowing about 10 knots offshore and I had to paddle 2 more miles into it.

It’s like running a 32 mile marathon and putting the last 2 miles up a steep hill.

When the tip of my paddleboard finally crossed the finish line and got into shore, I was so happy because I made it and got third place. BUT, then someone told me that Dave Kalama was already in and he got 1st place, not Ekolu. Dave was so far in front that I did not even see him (I don’t think anyone did!!). So at the end I got 4th overall for Solo Stand Up Paddling and I got 7th overall out of all the lay down paddlers and SUP paddlers, both team and solo. So I am super stoked on my results and hope to do better next time.

Connor Baxter’s Finish Time 5:12:43

1st Place SOLO SUP Men’s 29 and under
4th Place Overall SOLO SUP
7th Place Overall SUP, Paddleboards, Solo and Team – out of 139 Entries
SUP Results:
1st = Dave Kalama  4:54:15
2nd = Ekolu Kalama  5:03:13
3rd = Scott Gamble   5:06:15
4th = Connor Baxter  5:12:43

I want to thank all my sponsors for their help and support – Starboard Paddleboards, Nike 6.0, SIC, Dakine, Sunrite Maui, Waterman’s Sunscreen, and Ion Wetsuits. Also, my newest sponsors Kaenon Sunglasses and EFX Performance USA!!!

Also, a BIG Mahalo to Mark Raaphorst, Livio Menelau, Scott Trudon, Bart de Schwart for all the time and support they have devoted to training with me!!!!!!!!!  Also, Scott Sanchez (MPG) for his wisdom on fitness and training!!


Aloha –

Connor Baxter

http://connorbaxter.com

Photos:  Karen Baxter

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Huge Accomplishment for Connor Baxter at 15 – 4th place finish at Molokai!

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Connor Baxter Molokai 2 Oahu

Karen Baxter is a very proud Mom! Way to go Connor Baxter!

Molokai to Oahu  27 July, 2010 32 mile Crossing across the Ka’iwi Channel. Before this race I felt so prepared because that week I ate super good, drank lots of water and rested. My mom and I went over to Molokai Friday night on the Ferry to Kaunakakai. Then headed over to the west side and stayed at the condos right where the event was. I slept in on Saturday and then went for a swim – I basically had a super relaxing day. Around 5:00 the race meeting started and then I had a huge dinner and went back to the room – and went right to bed to get a good night sleep. When I woke up I had oatmeal and put on my headphones and blasted some music to get pumped up. We had the blessing at 6:30am and then it was hurry up and get all the gear to the boat and get out to the start line. The lay down paddlers went first at 7:30am and now my heart is racing. I paddled over to the start line and I knew what I had to do. We started at 8:00am and we were off to a fast pace. The conditions were super good – the winds were up and there were good swells. In the beginning, it was more flat water so the stronger guys with muscles took off. But once we got into the swells I started to catch up to Livio Menelau and Ekolu Kalama. Dave Kalama and Scott Gamble went south so I did not see much of them. I finally caught and passed Livio, but I just could not catch up to Ekolu. So I put my head down and paddled my hardest. When I looked up about 45 min later I had closed the gap and was right behide Ekolu but once he notice I was right by him he turned on his after burners and just took off. So now I was in 2nd place so I just kept paddling. When I looked over to my left (south), I noticed another SUP paddler and it was Scott Gamble. He was coming from the south and I was now trying to pick up my pace to stay up with him. He was super far to the south so I thought I still had a chance, but his course was a lot better and he pulled into 2nd and put me in third. When I finally rounded the outside point to come into the harbor, my jaw drop to the board because the wind was blowing about 10 knots offshore and I had to paddle 2 more miles into it. It’s like running a 32 mile marathon and putting the last 2 miles up a steep hill. When I finally crossed the finish line and got into shore, I was so happy because I made it and got third place. BUT, then someone told me that Dave Kalama was already in and he got 1st place, not Ekolu. Dave was so far in front that I did not even see him (I don’t think anyone did!!). So at the end I got 4th overall for Solo Stand Up paddling and I got 7th overall out of all the lay down paddlers and SUP paddlers, both team and solo. So I am super stoked on my results and hope to do better next time.

My Finish Time 5:12:43.
1st Place SOLO SUP Men’s 29 and under
4th Place Overall SOLO SUP
7th Place Overall SUP, Paddleboards, Solo and Team – out of 139 Entries

SUP Results:
1st = Dave Kalama 4:54:15
2nd = Ekolu Kalama 5:03:13
3rd = Scott Gamble 5:06:15
4th = Connor Baxter 5:12:43

I want to thank all my sponsors for their help and support – Starboard, Nike 6.0, SIC, Dakine, Sunrite Maui, Waterman’s Sunscreen, and Ion Wetsuits. Also, my newest sponsors Kaenon Sunglasses and EFX Performance USA!!!

Also, a BIG Mahalo to Mark Raaphorst, Livio Menelau, Scott Trudon, Bart de Schwart for all the time and support they have devoted to training with me!!!!!!!!! Also, Scott Sanchez (MPG) for his wisdom on fitness and training!!

Aloha –
Connor Baxter

Photos: Karen Baxter