The $25,000 Quiksilver Waterman Collection Waikiki Paddle Festival, May 5&6 at Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Fort DeRussy, Waikiki, was a major celebration of paddle sports. It attracted more than 500 ocean athletes from around the world, including stand up paddlers, prone paddleboarders, 1- 2- and 6-man outriggers, surfski racers, and more than a few recreational weekend warriors.
The signature event of the festival was the “SURVIVOR SUP” race with a course designed by world champion paddler Jamie Mitchell. It was hailed as a major success by the competitors. Survivor SUP consisted of several elimination rounds, Le Mans starts, and brutal sprints around a buoy course. It demanded endurance, skill, power and agility and was won by Australian Travis Grant and California’s Gillian Gibree.
The other major highlight of the weekend was the “QUIKSILVER WATERMAN CHALLENGE” that consisted of three disciplines: swim, paddleboard & SUP. A saltwater triathlon of sorts, Australian ironman Jackson Maynard blitzed the men’s field, while Gibree went two-for-two, winning the women’s. Other events of the weekend included a downwind race for all craft, as well as live music and entertainment each afternoon in the Waterman’s Beer Garden on the lawn of the Hale Koa.