EVENT: Hobuck Hodown

Oct. 6-7, 2012

(Extended FB Photo Gallery: HERE)

Saturday morning competitors/safety meeting.

Event overview article I wrote for C&K Mag. Online: HERE

Three years ago the Hobuck Hodown was my very first surf kayak competition, and I’ve been coming every year since. The amazing group of PNW ocean paddlers and the natural beauty of the surrounding area are what keep me coming back year after year. One of these days I’m going to go exploring on the Olympic Peninsula when it’s not a Hobuck Hodown or La Push Pummel weekend. Such an amazing place to just be!

First heat early Saturday afternoon. Waves did not cooperate and I wasn’t able to do much with the waves I did get.

This year I was trying hard to retain my IC crown and HP second from 2011. The HP open winner, Luke Spencer, was also not in attendance, so I guess I really had two crowns to defend! The very first heat Saturday was my HP heat, and the waves were small, inconsistent and with big lulls between sets. Sadly I had a 5 person heat and just couldn’t find any waves to get big scores on. I ended up in 3rd in my heat, and with too low a score to move on to semis. Managing only 10th place of the 14 HP competitors.

Deb and her team did a great job in the judges booth and kept the competition rolling all weekend. The raised platform trailer was a great idea to give the judges a better vantage point on the surf zone.

This is a shot of me screaming down the line in the Valley Nemesis IC surf kayak in Saturday’s IC prelim heat.

In IC I managed the top scoring heat score of the day in prelims Saturday, out of 6 paddlers. The Valley Nemesis IC surf kayak is just plain fast! In the small glassy wave conditions that we had at Hobuck this weekend the boat was optimal at getting down the line and making sections. On Sunday I felt good about my finals heat, but other competitors just got better waves and managed to rack up more points. I stayed on the podium, with a 3rd place, but just barely.

Surf skis are fast! This was the only ski in the sea kayak scramble and the overall winner.

Steve Fisher showed up a bit late for the comp, but went out and shredded some waves anyway. Such a strong and talented kayaker, no matter the discipline! Stoked to see him in the lineup, and to have not lost another spot to him in the rankings;)

This is the Wave Ski finals on Sunday, which I somehow won! I have paddled a ski for a total of about an hour, ever: 20 min practice on Sat, 20 min Sat heat & 20 min Sun heat. Each time on a different Ski. HUGE thanks to David Brigg, seen in the shot as well, for letting me play with his quiver of Wave Ski.

There was a last-minute opening in the Wave Ski competition and David Brigg was nice enough to loan me one of his spare ski’s for the competition. I had a blast, took a lot of swims and opened my eyes to the potential that these craft have. Sadly this just means I need another surf toy;) In Saturday’s heat I got 4th, of 4, as expected. On Sunday I got on a different ski and actually won the heat! It was a combined score from the two days to get overall rankings, which landed me in 2nd overall with my high scoring Sunday rides. Big smiles all around for sure:) A big shout out to Ken DeBondt, Chris Bensch & David Brigg for letting me join in the fun.

The surf rafting was a huge hit with spectators and paddlers. There is talk about a raft class at next year’s Hodown:)

Hamp All is someone who seems to be on all the podiums each year at the Hodown. He is also one of the most fun people to share a lineup with. Nice work winning HP and IC this year Hamp! You da man:)

I was especially honored this year to receive the Ellen DeBondt Memorial Spirit of Surfing Award. Here I am with Ken DeBondt and my sweet trophy. I so wish I could have shared the lineup with Ellen, as her friends and family are truly amazing people.

The short hike out to Cape Flattery, the North Western most point in the contiguous United States, is full of natural beauty and well worth the time and short detour.

Valley Surf Kayaks are really sweet boats! I love my Rush MKII and have enjoyed paddling the Nemesis at the past two Hodowns. Thanks to Rob Avery for helping support Surf Kayaking on the West coast.

Surfers were maybe some of the fist to adopt the van as an adventure base camp. This old Ford van was sweeeeet!

The points for the Pacific Paddle Surf Series are not looking good for me! I need to do REALLY well at Davenport and Santa Cruz in order to place well overall and make the US West Surf Kayak Team headed to worlds in Australia next July. Wish me luck, I’m going to need it!

(Huge thanks to all the Photographers that helped me get these shots: CJ, Jeffery Steehler, Rob Avery & David Brigg)

Hodown overview article I wrote for C&K Mag Online: HERE

(Extended FB Photo Gallery: HERE)

Remeber Stop #1: Pacific City Surf Off

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