Ekolu Kalama Starboard Team Rider
Starboard Team Rider, Ekolu Kalama wins the Naish and Jeve Beer Sponsered First Ever SUP WORLD CUP in Hamburg Germany.
This Long Distance event held in Hamburg took place on the 10-12 July 09 in Hamburgs new Harbour district.
The Riders consisted of 20 professional athletes and 200 amateurs
Sprint- Distance Women & Men over 2000 meters (prize money €5000)
Sprint- Distance Women & Men over 2000 meters (prize money €5000) Long Distance Women & Men over 10.000 meters (prize money €5000)
Further information you can find at the official event homepage at www.supworldcup.de
Brighton England SUP Distance Race - an earlier victory for Ekolu Ekolu flew in to the UK especially to compete in the event. Using Starboard's The Point 14'8" he paddled strong in blustery conditions to take the top spot. Right from the off Starboard team members Ekolu and John Hibbard were right in the thick of the action. By the half way stage Ekolu had stretched out a lead and John was in 2nd place.
The rough water conditions meant that the original Stand Up Paddle Board race distance of 10 miles had been shortened to 5 miles and the choppy seas made the paddling conditions tough. Ekolu used his experience to catch a few long glides on the super efficient 14'8" to dominate the race and take victory. John Hibbard, using the Cruiser 12'6", had been off the water for 2 weeks due to injury slipped down to 4th position by the time he crossed the finish line, which was still a good effort considering is drop in fitness and paddling power during his two week lay off. John should be back to full fitness come the next event.
The rest of the day saw bright sunshine and a packed event village. Ekolu and John spent the day passing on their experiences of SUP to visitors to the Starboard display stand as well as riding on the Brush Boarding Surfing simulator that was in attendance at the event.
The evening party saw the paddlers and public come together for some live music. Ekolu rocked the capacity crowd with his guitar, playing a mixed set of Hawaiian songs and modern classics. Playing for over an hour Ekolu showed that he is not just an awesome paddler, but he can entertain the crowds after dark too. Ekolu who has been known to organise stage shows at short notice to benifit local kids in poorer countries is a big hearted man, who carries the spirit of the ocean and his people with him. Starboard is very proud to have him as a SUP team rider.
A big thank you to all the of the event organisers and helpers including event director Dave Samuel and Oxbow for staging the race.
Ekolu and John now continue their travels along the south coast of the UK visiting some different spots and attending a meeting at the British Surfing Association HQ to discuss the UK SUP scene.