ISA World Games Fiji Pro World Championships 2016

Coming to Cloud Break for a competition, let alone a world championship is a dream come true!! Something so rad about this event in particular with the ISA is that we get to learn and grow with each other as a team of United Nations; it's the one time that we get to call our sport a, "Team Sport." I've been looking forward to this event all year and training primarily for the SUP Surfing division  with hopes of becoming world champion and being home a gold medal back to Hawai'i and to my ohana and community on Maui! 

We had a little bit of a crazy change of plans before leaving, as 2 of our top riders pulled a last minute drop out; Connor Baxter and Kai Hall. This was a huge bummer for us, especially with such short notice to try and replace them, just 3 weeks before the day we were supposed to leave! In Kai Lenny's case, we were proud of him, because we had an awesome opportunity with his job as a Hawaiian Lifeguard, but in Connor's case, he was simply tired and worn out and made the last minute decision to not follow through with his commitment to our team.. It's understandable as he has worked so hard for the World Championship title he earned this year in the Waterman League for SUP Racing, but was a bummer because of the late notice.. Luckily, we found Kurt Lager to replace Kai Hall's spot, but unfortunately for me, I had to take the weight that was ok Connor's shoulders and handle the racing for Distance, Technical and the Sprint! I didn't realize I'd be taking this responsibility for the team so I didn't nearly have the training I would have liked to have coming into one of the most highly competitive racing competitions of the year! I've been spilt focusing on SUP Surfing and striving for excellence in the surf.

We got to fly together, stay together, prepare meals together, compete together and more importantly learn from one another all as a team. It was so refreshing to truly get to know our team more and connect with everyone so much.. Trips like this where groups are in tight quarters and doing everything together it's easy to get bothered or annoyed, but there wasn't a moment where any of us felt uncomfortable around each other, and that was a blessing!

Photo by Mat50 Media

Photo by Mat50 Media

The opening ceremony of the ISA is always a great moment of pride for the teams in the nations' apparel and to introduce themselves to everyone else. Seeing all the nations and countries flying their flag proud and hearing all the cheers of the various teams in many languages is something special.. The community and team Conradery that is present at this event is insane, and it makes me feel so grateful to be apart of this and represent Hawai'i as a nation with our team!! On our team for the women we have Talia Decoit paddling the 17Km Distance SUP Race, Annie Reickert  paddling the Technical SUP, Team Relay SUP and 200 meter Sprint, Lara Claydon for SUP Surf, Leane Darling for Prone Distance race, Prone Technical and Team Relay. For the Men we have Kurt Lager paddling the Prone Technical race and Prone Distance race, Hunter Pflueger paddling the Prone Distance, Technical and team relay race, Mo Freitas for SUP Surf, Kai Lenny for Technical SUP race, Distance SUP, and Team relay SUP, and I myself competing in the SUP Surf, Distance SUP, Technical SUP and 200 meter Sprint! We have a solid team and we are hoping to bring another medal home overall as a team!

PC @Mat50 Matty Schweitzer

First competition to take place was the SUP Surf, and the condition were tiny, unlike the characteristics of what we were all imagining for the event at Cloud Break; one of the worlds most perfect, Mechanical, Hollow and long lefts! We were able to get through round one and some of two in both the men and women in the small surf and team Hawaii was looking strong. Lara Claydon was putting on a great performance and display of her skills and was impressing all of us including the judges! With the conditions being so minimal and they're being a swell in the forecast before the end of the holding period, teammate and friend, Mo Freitas, and I came up with the idea to rally together athletes and the team managers from all the nations to file a protest against running the event with hopes that they would hold the rest of competition on the new swell at the end of the week after all the races. Fortunately, they took it into consideration and after two hours where they finished off some of the women heats, they decided to run the rest of the Sup surfing events on the new swell on the last day of the holding period! It was an awesome decision for Mo and I to rally the athletes together all on the same page and present this idea. In the end, we all signed up for a competition at Cloudbreak, and we were all eager to be in more solid conditions!!

Photo by MAT5O MEDIA

Photo by MAT5O MEDIA

Next up was the Technical Course racing for men and women taking place at Cloudbreak. The conditions were beautiful but choppy-flat, our team knew we would have to work a bit harder in conditions like this as opposed to surf race style or bump-and-glide conditions. The race was coordinated by Barrett Tessler and had a qualification format, meaning there were 1 or more rounds of heats that you had to finish top 4 in out of 8 to advance on to the final.. Annie finished in 12th place and we were all impressed with her abilities keeping up with some of the top women in the world and making it all the way into the final, at just 15 years old! Hunter, Kurt, Leane, Kai and I also made the finals of our divisions so we were able to rack some points off to a good start, although Kai's performance of a silver medal finish was most definitely where we earned our point most!

In the Distance race we started from Cloudbreak and paddle 17 kilometers down to a nearby island named Malolo finishing at Musket Cove Island Resort! Unfortunately for the racers on our team, including myself, we had unfavorable conditions for us to excel more than others; it was flat, glassy, without a breath of wind and just to make it even tougher, it was up current and baking hot!! Kai ended up finishing in 6th, Talia in 12th, Hunter and Kurt somewhere in the top 10 and as well Leane with a great fight finishing in 8th I believe. It was a brutal race for all of us, especially in the flat water, but I personally was stoked because I beat the two guys I knew I needed to b a so I was proud! 

PC @Mat5o Matty Schweitzer

By this time after the distance races and the night before the sup surfing events, Matty, my brother and our team captain, got a call from Barrett Tessler with some bad news.. Apparently I was disqualified for missing a buoy turn outside of Namotu Island! I took a right turn around the buoy when I was supposed to pass it on the left, this only gave me a disadvantage as it was more distance traveled then the other competitors, although in the rule book athletes are responsible for following the course and if not they are disqualified.. It didn't state with or without an advantage to the other competitors, so we thought it might be over for me in that race.. Until Leane Darling motivated us to fight for this and protest as it was no advantage gained by me taking this turn by mistake, and if anything a disadvantage. We heard no news from the race committee that night so we thought there were low chances for this to be changed.. I was so disappointed, not just for my own mistake and result, but more so for feeling like I let down the team.. One of our team captains, Allen Pflueger, helped to lift my spirits and cheer me up though, and make sure to keep looking forward with my head in the game for the following day, the SUP Surfing event! After all, this is what I really came here for and what I've been working and training so hard for most the year!

We woke up early at 4:30am to howling winds rolling through our beach villa at Musket Cove Island Resort and with an expected solid swell to be present. The wind to me was only comfortable and a sign of a good omen as we get plenty of practice in the wind on Maui and with my wind knowledge from Windsurfing. On our way out on the boat to the outer island reefs of Tavaru, Mo spotted yet another good omen, two dolphins drafting our wake off the bow of our trimaran sailboat, we watched together in amazement and once again said confirmed to each other that today is our day to bring home a gold and a silver. I stretched and meditated with some mindful tapping the remainder of the boat ride and felt prepared, excited and grateful to meet this opportunity to potentially have yet another dream come true by the end of the day.. 

When checking in at the beginning of the day, another good omen came about; news from Barrett Tesler that after careful review from the race committee, my disqualification was taken away and I got to keep my finishing position of the distance race!! Fernando, the founder was influential in this decision apparently, saying that the rules are there to allow maximum fairness, and that fairness is above all, and with my situation a disqualification is unfair.. YES!! I was so grateful… My first heat of the day set off the rhythm right, it was probably the most fun I've ever had in a single heat! Barrel after barrel I couldn't help but find myself screaming out of the top of my lungs coming out the exit of a few and feeling blessed for a great start of the day; to me it was yet another good omen, he ho'ailona paha!.. I won that heat and advanced on through but leaned quite a bit from the scores I received and from

studying how the judges were scoring the other competitors; they were rewarding variety and turns more than deep, clean barrel rides..

My next two heats I actually tried to change my approach a bit and even my equipment in the semifinal as the waves were on the rise.. I barely squeaked by in these following two heats and decided I need to go back to my original choice of equipment and game plan; having fun and feeling the rhythm, and going back to riding my Starboard 2017 7'2" Pro model which is what I am most used to, and as well which was allowing me to get more critical with my turns and have more explosive maneuvers, regardless of the increasing swell! 

In the Final I had some fun waves to start with but it wasn't the scores I needed.. Throughout the majority of my final I was sitting in 3rd place and even in a combination situation by my teammate and competitor in the final, Mo Freitas.. A combo situation for yourself to take the lead is not what you want to hear with less than 8 minutes remaining in your heat, this means that you need not only one near excellent score but 2 near excellent scores to take the lead.. In the dying minutes of the heat I remember kicking out of a good wave and looking at my brother and team Manager, Matty and Kai Lenny in the channel, they were worried it was over for me, I looked back at them and shouted, "I can still do this!".. 

That Wave took me out of a combo position, but I still needed a close to excellent scoring wave of 8.7 or greater to take the lead.... In a fierce paddle battle with my teammate and heat leader, Mo Freitas, as he was trying to defend his position, I was able to get straight back out to the line up and was determined and confident to get a perfect scoring wave... In the final seconds of the heat I fought for a wave that looked like it had the potential for a perfect score and was rewarded with a high 9 point ride!!! I remember riding my board onto the dry reef after ripping as many turns as I could after nice barrel off the takeoff, and sitting on the dry reef praying to god that this wave was enough!!!! If I would have had a second of doubt in myself, even with a combo situation in the last minutes, this wave which made the win happen would not have been possible!! - Be relentless in what you believe in!!! 

As a team the competition was not over yet! We still had the team relay races and the 200 meter Sprint. These were the last two divisions before the closing ceremony of the ISA World Games and before the team overall scores were added up! 

The team relay and Sprints took place at Denerau harbor and yacht club and we were all mentally and physically drained, not to mention completely fried from so many full days in the sun and off course the other competitions!! Although, I think we all knew we were actually less drained than all the other competitors; being in the sun and ocean all day everyday is our lifestyle and we were prepared for another day of action back to back!

Photo by Mat5o Media

Photo by Mat5o Media

 Our relay consisted of Hawaiian hammers Hunter Pflueger for men Prone, Annie Reickert for women SUP, Leane Darling for women Prone and Kai Lenny anchoring for men SUP! Our team was solid and everyone gave it their hearts and every last ounce of energy hey had. Little Annie really impressed us all with her speed and endurance staying in the top 5 just behind Candice Appleby. Although history was broken with by far the most exciting flat water SUP race all of us have ever witnessed during the last leg of the relay races when Kai Lenny went from 4th way back in the pack far behind top 3 to 1st, gaining an incredible amount of ground in such a short distance and time, smoking past the top three paddlers just 50 meters from the finish!! It was outstanding and gave us a all a huge confidence boost for our overall position and a chance to bring home a medal for the whole teams' result!!

At the closing ceremony Mo Freitas and I stood proudly on the podium for results of one of the most exciting SUP Surf events in history; Mo receiving a Silver medal and myself receiving my first ISA World Games Gold Medal and World Championship Title! We flew the flag and sang "Hawai'i pono i" proudly and had so much love and support from all athletes and crowd there for putting on an exciting show! 

The overall team results were clear for 1st with the Australians getting a well deserved win with many medals earned between their team, with France behind them in 2nd, New Zealand in 3rd and us, Team Hawai'i, in 4th taking home a copper medal!! 

Mahalo nui loa to all of our supporters and sponsors who made it possibly for us as a team to be here!! 

#TeamHawaiiISA #PalladiumHotelAndResorts #SweetWaterwear#MauiJimSunglasses#Pakalohabikinis #MauiSportsAdventures#pacifichondahawaii #lightspeedoutdoors#truthexcavation @palladiumhotelgroup @officialmauijim@pacifichonda @mauisportsadventures @pakalohabikinis@sweetwaterwear@lightspeed_outdoors          #OurPlanetDaily #ExploreToCreate #TheGlobeWanderer@teamhawaii.isa

 Aloha and Mahalo,

See you on the water!!
Zane Kekoa Schweitzer
Innovate And Inspire

Battle For The Bay Ireland

The Battle For The Bay is a Kitesurf and Stand Up Paddle competition which takes place just outside of Dublin on the beautiful Irish style beach of Clontarf, although theres much more to offer for the world class athletes attending this event and as well all the families and spectators that come to join the action. With a huge venue of live music, arts and crafts, Food and brand/company Vendors, cultural workshops and carnival style rides and activities, it felt more like a music and art festival like Coachella rather than a Sports competition!! With all this said, this was probably the biggest event of a competition for SUP Ive ever been apart of and the competition itself was very well organized with all the athletes well looked after!! Its always great to feel appreciated as a professional athlete and personality and thanks to the Life Is Pure Magic and Irish SUP Dublin team who organized and founded this event we got to do our thing with no complaints!

This trip starts all too familiar, with me leaving home after only a few days back from the previous trip and unfortunately having to deal with my stomach issues.. With a solid 20+ hours of flying and as well about 7 hours of layovers I endured the worst flying/travel experience of my life, not to mention probably making passengers around me endure a not so pleasant flight as well because of my condition. After my first two legs of flights I found myself feeling miserable and dangerously dehydrated with overwhelming nausea. What made the situation complicated was being greeted by 4 paramedics and a ambulance awaiting my arrival in Newark with the captains word that I was dangerously ill and not suitable to continue my journey… This was a nightmare as I have no health insurance at the moment and there was no time for me to lose since the competition was starting the next day and still another long 7+ hour flight ahead of me.. I denied the help from paramedics and was denied by the captain of my original flight the ability to fly, so I made sure to get on the next soonest flight out which was 5 hours later. Best part about the situation was I actually made it to Dublin, Ireland, sooner than I would have if I were to have made my original flight, due to that flight having problems causing a 6 hour delay! Everything happens for a reason and this good omen made me feel confident coming into this trip, as we say in Hawai’i, “he ho’ailona paha”, maybe its meant to be!!

I was greeted by Peter at the airport and we got right into the action heading straight into the heart of Dublin where Peter and his brother gave me a introductory tour of the city before heading to his family home for some rest after the long travels. Peter Kosinski is a leading Irish local and a top representative of his country on the world tour the last few years, he is most definitely one to keep and ear and eye out for!! His home was a classic european style home and his parents were full of aloha and hospitality! The next day was pre-race day with a lot of things planned including my InZane SUP Clinic, the opening ceremony of the Battle For The Bay along with the final event of the 6 week local Stand Up Paddle racing series put on by Irish SUP Dublin where I was honored to be invited to present the awards to all the finishers and champions of the local series! Later that night at the opening ceremony I was awaiting a surprise visit from what the Pure Magic team (Christoph and Francoise) had been leading up to and I was stoked to find out that Maui Boy and good friend, Jesse Richman was also here attending the event, now its a party!! Everyone was buzzing off good vibes, or good “craic” as they call it here in Ireland after connecting with everyone and hearing what was in store for us over the weekend! 

Rolling up to the beach was baffling, I felt like we were at a carnival on the beach, or a music festival crossed with sporting expo and the county fair.. It was a beautiful sunny and warm day with blue skies and weather that everyone was saying could have only been brought by us Maui Boyz, along with a very family style feel with over a thousand people all buzzing of good Craic (~Good Energy). You could tell that this was much more than just a competition for athletes, it is truly a event which is part of the people and community and brings together so many different groups of people from so many different lives such as Music, arts and crafts, cultural and educational, and off course the sporting communities from Kitesurfing, Standup paddling, Land Yachting, surfing and more. Unfortunately the only thing that wasn’t there was the wind, so the kitesurfing divisions of the event were postponed in hopes that the wind would pick up later in the day or weekend. We went onto the SUP race which was a massive spectator event, with over 500 people at the start line to watch the action of the first sporting event taking place, the 6km course race! Peter Kosinski and I lead the pack the entire race and we were able to push each other which is always rewarding. Peter had me on the up wind sections and I would make a gap on the downwind/down swell sections, but fortantlly for me the race finished on the down wind leg and I was able to finish in the lead in Race 1 out of 3 for the weekend! The overall title is the honor to be crowned “Lord Of The Bay” from the overall combined results of the 3 SUP races; day 1 consisted of the 6km course race, and the 11km Distance race through the heart of Dublin and then straight into the Jamie Mitchel Survivor race took place Sunday!

What was going on in-between the races are the things that I am going to remember, messing around with all the special guests and invited athletes getting video and photo of us all taking part in all the childish and fun workshops, games and rides that were on the beach including, Land Yacht racing, Magic Carpet Slide rides, the amusement park rides, massive group Yoga and even Zumba which turned out to be a crack up! I was invited out to this event to not only compete as a athlete but also to teach SUP clinics and help to entertain and host the event on stage and around the event. Probably the most hilarious part of the weekend for me was when Christoph and Francoise, our hosts of the event, called me up on stage with the spontaneous request to teach a Zumba fitness class in front of 50+ kids and ton of adults, there was no chance I could back out with pressure on the spot, but I didn’t even know what Zumba was!! haha.. “Just dance and they will follow”, they said, it will be fun they said… It was a blast and apparently I have a future career as a Zumba Fitness instructor bbaaaahaha!!

One of the most exciting parts of the weekend though was watching Jesse Richman, Kevin Langeree and Nick do crazy stunts with their kites called, “pull ups”, where a jetski would pull them with a tow rope in one hand and their kites in the other hand creating a parasail like effect, sending the boyz 60+ feet into the air where they would then let go of the rope and then impressively kite-loop and float down to a smooth landing on the water! Jesse is the holder of the Guinness Book of world record for longest hang time jump ever recorded with a kite surf rig, flying 300 feet in the air and not touching down until 22 seconds after takeoff from the “pull up”!! He is pretty much a mad man like most Maui Boyz but more respectively an epic friend and energy to be around! It was rad to be out here representing our sports we are most accomplished in and have the opportunity to share aloha and some good times with the community here in Ireland and I think we all enjoyed the experience!!

As the day dwindled down, the music started to pick up a notch and the Guinness seemed to flow like waterfalls into everyones pints, I know understand what everyone says about Irish enjoying some drinks to health! This night pretty much went straight into the next day, it seemed unsportsmanlike conduct to not take part in this part of the event, because every single athlete and committee from the event were there, sharing laughs getting on the same page of the good “craic”! The 11km distance race at 9:30am was the next activity in the schedule and we went straight into it with mental power taking over to grind out this race on inflatables! Once again Peter and I lead the pack and we paddled 11km through the heart of Dublin, I truly feel like I got to experience the city and the culture behind it right from the water, with Peter hinting to me all the historical monuments and stories behind the city and country scattered throughout the city of Dublin. Like most Distance races around this length, (as long as your keeping up in the front of the draft train) it all came down to a sprint to the finish and Peter and I pushed that sprint and each other for the last km and it was tight, especially with the leveled out playing field on the inflatables! In the end I barely got through the finish in 1st with just about a half board length in the lead! We were greeted by the local fire department where they gave us an epic fire hose spray down, those things got some pressure!!!!

We had a small break before the next event, the Jamie Mitchel Survivor race, so we caught up with one of Peter’s friends who works for google, and he took us to his google pent house sweet on a rooftop over looking the city! It was a rad way to debrief from the long night and race, especially over an epic breakfast and a smoothie! When we got back to the main event site at Clontarf beach we were surprised to see more than twice the amount of people around, probably due to the spectacular weather we were blessed with over the weekend! The Kite surf crew had enough wind to run some fun races and some more “pull ups” but still unfortunately not enough wind to compete in the main “Kite-Cross” event which I was looking forward to take part in as well! None the less the show went on and the boyz amazed the beach with some more huge pull up jumps before we got into the last race for SUP, the Survivor Race! 

The Survivor Race format is a high intensity sprint race mixing beach running with heat after heat only separated by 2 minutes picking out the 3 last finishers until we have a 4-man final showdown! We did probably about 8 of these survivor heats and it was a blast, I love this format because it really challenges us athletes to not only sprint running and paddling but also challenges us with major cardio and heart rate control with very little time between each heat! I was feeling confident in the final race with a great start and nice 2 board length lead which is plenty enough for this short 100 meter sprint course. Although after paddling 25 meters into the course after the beach run I realized my leash came off and I could feel the drag.. I jumped off my board into the waist deep water and re-applied my leash with Peter Kosinski overtaking me all at the same time! I sprinted to catch back up with him but it wasn’t a long enough course for me to make up ground after this hick-up and small mistake.. Thats how these races are, there is always a lesson learned and thats what failure is all about, learning how to do it better for the next time. Either way I was stoked for Peter to take the title from me for the Survivor Race and even more stoked to do the math in my head that with two 1st place finishes and my 2nd place finish in the Survivor I would still have big chance at becoming the Lord Of The Bay. 

After a fun kids SUP clinic and another Zumba session for the kids we got in the prize giving where a lot of awesome prizes and awards were given out to all the individuals and as well overall results where they crowed the “Lady Of The Bay” and the “Lord Of The Bay”! The grand prize for the overall results were a beautiful hand crafted Paddle, a true example of art with purpose, shaped and made by Dave Owens, and as well a rad Barbecue!! Now I just have to figure out how I’m going to get this stuff back home to Maui!!  

Concluding the competition and after event breakdown we made it to a local pub where we had the closing ceremony and a proper Irish style “Lock-in”, where the bar owner and bar tender locks everyone in and the rest of the world out and we pretty much have the place to ourselves! This was probably one of the most special parts about the trip, we got to experience a lot of Irish culture at this lock-in, singing and dancing to traditional Irish music and talking story through the morning! Off course we spread the aloha spirit as well and shared some Hawaiian classics and hula with everyone as well, it was a crack up and epic collaboration of cultures, by the end of the night the theme was Hawai’Irish! 

…After a brief nap and a rough wake-up, we made our way to the Island of Halt just outside of Dublin for an epic and unexpected adventure for our last day in Ireland, stand up paddling from the coast out to the National Reserve island, scattered with castles, white sand beaches, grass patches softer than clouds and the only inhabitance were thousands of birds from wide diversity including Puffins and as well lion seals and bunny rabbits! It was a truly cosmic experience, paddling around this tropical feeling island in nothing but board shorts, through huge cliff caves and exploring this mystical little island! 

We finished off the trip and day the best way possible, debriefing with the whole crew of new and old friends over a spectacular seafood dinner from just outside the coast and as well a few more Guinness pints! A cherry on top of the pie for me to finish of this cosmic and fun adventure! 

Huge mahalo to Pure Magic Watersports, Irish SUP Dublin and the Kosinski Ohana for all the hospitality and aloha during my trip here in Ireland. I am grateful to have been looked after by you guys and the Irish community and am honored to have had the opportunity to share some aloha with the keiki (kids), ocean sports groups and event here! Best way to experience Ireland for my first time and already planning the next trip out!!

See you on the water!!

Aloha and Mahalo,

Zane Kekoa Schweitzer

- Innovate And Inspire

 

Japan Victoria CUP Stand Up World Series 5/14/16

    Japan has always been one of my favorite places to travel to, and with all the fire and passion for the sport of SUP in the enthusiast Japanese community, this makes the stop on the SUWS one of the most high quality and busy events on the tour not to mention the athletes favorite! The food is great, the people are awesome, and the country along with culture is beautiful, which is why I wasn't going to miss this one. Coming straight from my family's fundraising event, Standup For The Cure, which has raised over $800,000 towards uninsured breast cancer patients, I flew home to Maui where I had 4 hours to unpack from that trip in California and pack for Japan with just enough time to make it back to the airport before missing my flight out to Tokyo. I traveled with my best friend and lifelong team mate, Connor Baxter and we arrived to the event site the night before race day at midnight, a little tight for comfort but we made it!!!

    It amazes me every event I go to, especially in the racing side of the sport, seeing so much new talent coming into the game and the level of technical and speed racing increasing. In this game you can't miss a week of training if you want to be on top of that podium, which is why there is so much dedication into the training and traveling following the many events each season.  Unfortunately for myself, I missed about 3 weeks of SUP training after a knee injury which then got inflamed with a bad staph then MRSA infection putting me to bed immobile and with fever and an upside down stomach from antibiotics for over 2 weeks. I was nowhere close to having the ability to train the way I would have liked to coming into the beginning of this season and my favorite stop on the Stand UP World Series.

Luckily I have a awesome connection in the medical industry; Dr Sandra Goines and Dr Shawn Tierney of Pacific Healing and Wellness! They helped me team up with "A2Mcyte Corp", who sponsors me the time from Shawn and Sandra and as well the cost of operation which consists of a precise injection of Playlets and Cytokines (A2M and PRP) concentrated from blood which helps me get back to 110% after injuries with this procedure that's something similar to a stem cell operation. Although to get back to 110% in my world, I need 2-4 weeks of hard training prior to my goal event, not to mention the 1-2 weeks rest that's required after this type of operation. I received my operation only 4 days before the start of the Victoria CUP which left me questioning to even travel to Japan let alone compete; knowing that I'd definitely not get the result I would normally be familiar with and way under my goal result placing of top 5 for the Stand Up World Series for SUP Racing!......Although what was telling me to still attend the event was my passion for spreading the aloha with the next generation of keiki (Children) at the 3rd annual "Nā Kama Kai" Japan non-profit kids clinic, and as well my commitment to my supporters and peers that were booked in my SUP Surf and SUP Race Clinics! 

    Off course I charged it and made it to Japan but what I wasn't expecting was to push myself as hard as I did so soon into my recovery process, but as a competitor its hard not to push it and fight when that horn blows off. I definitely am feeling it from Saturday's Sprint races where to my surprise I was holding up qualifying position without too much effort or stress where I'm injured up until the semi finals, where it then kicked up in pace. Being only 1 heat from the final, I pushed it and made it into the final round but hitting that finish line hurting and puking my guts out.. As you should be after giving it your all in a paddle race, without the sharp pain from injury off course though.. Coming into that final I was feeling like I may have pushed myself a bit too hard physically, really feeling my incision points from the operation. I still was going to give it and fight for the last event of the competition in this sprint final though! I was proud to make it to the final of the technical sprints alongside the worlds best, especially despite everything. When the horn sounded for the start of the final I ran into the water and took one step too far off the beach collapsing onto my board and not getting that glide off the explosion from the superman start into the water. From the get go of the race it put me in the back of the pack and in this type of short sprint racing there's no room for 1 mistake.. In the end my good friend Casper Steinfath won the overall event with a great and well deserved performance, with Connor Baxter just behind in 2nd!  

    The next day it was time for some fun with the kids at the Nā Kama Kai Ocean clinic, sharing our time and knowledge educating them on how to safely practice ocean sports, while as well passing on the values of respecting our ocean, beaches and each other! We had over 50 Japanese kids from the community join and all kind of fun workshops planned for them from Canoe paddle, surfing, Stand up paddle, swimming and basic ocean safety/awareness workshops! The kids all were loving the action and there was nothing but ear to ear smiles and laughs in the air between the kids and all the volunteers on the beach and in the water! Mahalo nui loa Nā Kama Kai, Duane Desoto, Yu San and The Waterman League for giving us the opportunity to share some aloha and good times with the kids here for the 3rd annual Nā Kama Kai Japan event! It was great to see some familiar faces and a handful of kids from the previous years, there's no doubt some great watermen and paddlers will come out of Zushi from these groups! 

    After the Nā Kama Kai ocean clinic I hosted 2 SUPSurf and SUPRace clinics with the help of Team mate and friend Tomoyasu "SUP Tomo" for translation! We had nice small groups to keep everything private and quality, focusing mostly on paddle utilization, board control, special stroke and paddle techniques and as well ocean awareness/safety and equipment diversity. Everyone learned a lot and I was honored to be able to share my "mana'o" or knowledge with the local paddle community here in Zushi. I believe that we all are ambassadors of the sport of SUP, since it is so new and fresh, and that's why I find it important and am passionate about teaching; the safer and more efficient we practice on the water, the more fun we can have and the better we can represent our sport and community!

    As quick as Connor and I arrive we left, just hours after finishing my clinics we had one last team gathering and an epic traditional style Japanese dinner before heading to the airport. Next stop home on Maui to get back into shape and prepare for the rest of the season coming up real quick!!

Aloha and Mahalo, See you on the water!
Zane Kekoa Schweitzer
- Innovate And Inspire
 

5th Annual Standup For The Cure 2016

PHOTO'S BY HARRY WIEWEL

    This year we were blessed with a huge bright "Maui style" Rainbow in California the morning of the SUFTC with over 700 pre registered people and beautiful blue skies above Newport Dunes with rain clouds all around the area! The action started up quick with over 100 vendors on the beach and people flowing in from all over the states and even a handful of people visiting from over seas. The conditions were great for the first event of our schedule of the event, "The Zane Schweitzer SUP Clinic and lesson" and we had a handful of Pro StandUp paddle athletes there supporting the cause, helping with lessons / water safety and having while saving lives!! Pros such as Brennan Rose, Izzi Gomez, Shae Foudy, Sean Poynter and more! 

    We had epic live music and great food by Newport Rib Company that fed over 800 people, huge mahalo to all the supporter and volunteers for making this event as amazing as it was this year! With all the support and aloha from all the sponsors/supporters and donations from all the attendees we managed to raise around $100,000 and as well did many on-site screenings and Checkups for Melanoma and breast cancer. I think we had one of our best and most organized sea of pink paddles this year connecting a beautiful circle of pink jersey paddlers all paddling to raise awareness and support the fight against breast cancer. 

    After 5 years of this wonderful philanthropic event we have created such a special community and family. So many families and peoples from all over look forward to this event every year, and this is because of the awesome energy and aloha around the event site! With SUP being our roots sport, the community is already so tight and full of aloha and passion, it's awesome to have made so many connections and mend such a giving attitude with the people over the years through this amazing event! 

    Mahalo everyone for all the good times and support in the Standup For The Cure this year!! We have now raised over $800,000 for uninsured cancer patients and cancer detection since we started this event back in 2012, and have helped detect cancer and potentially save the lives of over 18 people!

    We are proud to have expanded globally with 5 events in Newport Beach, 2 in Miami, 1 in London England and also expanding our reach to New York and Chicago!! And still yet, we are the proud holders of the Guinness Book Of Word Records largest Stand Up Paddle Lesson during the "Zane Schweitzer and Pro's SUP lesson" segment of the event! Mahalo nui loa to all our pro athlete instructor/watersafety team and celebrity supporters over the years such as Brennan Rose, Izzi Gomez, Mo Frietas, Slater Trout, Candice Appleby, Danny Ching, Giorgio Gomez, Matt Becker and more! 

    I'm so honored to be a global ambassador and a founding member of the Standup For The Cure and it's so rad to be able to reach out to so many and share the aloha and joy the sport of stand up paddling can bring to your life with this event!

    It's amazing to think that this event was started solely by my mother, Shawneen Schweitzer, Judie Vivian and I over a dinner conversation back in 2011. With only 6 months to plan the 1st annual event after sparking that fire during our conversation in 2011, Rob and Judie Vivian pulled the unthinkable and driven by passion, hard work and the motivation to help others and saves lives through SUP, they brought the event to life!! Mahalo nui loa Rob and Judie Vivian, Shawneen Schweitzer, Dan Van Dyck, and all the supporters and sponsors for all your hard work, passion, aloha and belief to make this event and the energy around it so special! 

#HaveFunAndSaveLives #InnovateAndInspire #EveryStepMatters #SUFTC16                                                                            
Aloha a hui hou! See you on the water!                                                                                                                                                                             - Zane Kekoa Schweitzer 

 

2016 Carolina Cup and Tikitour recap

    Coming into this event I was recovering from a bad staph/MRSA infection I received from a reef cut that was closed up with stitches. Already out of the water for a week from the stitches; I was missing well needed training for this event.. Then one morning I woke up and my knee was huge, inflated and super painful!! I got on antibiotics and was recovering for another week in hopes the MRSA infection would move away from my joint as I know how serious this is can be from going through it a few times already in my life.. I was considering not going to Carolina Cup because I missed so much training and was feeling so crappy, I just was thinking about getting healthy before I start catching up with training for this heavy race season coming up.. 

    I got a call form Melia, the competition organizer and shared with me news and excitement for my SUP Surf clinic I am hosting at Wrightsville Beach, she said that it filled up the first day and she could have filled it up 4 times over with the demand and interest. This was awesome news for me and because of this I wanted to still make it out; I didn’t want to let down the crew of people I had signed up for my clinic! So I bought my ticket that day (3 days before the competition) and I had to fly to NC for the Carolina Cup and endured some of the worst, most painful flights I have ever had!! The antibiotics were definitely helping the MRSA decolanate but it was running down my stomach and body, I was puking pretty much the entire flight and duration I started the antibiotics.. 
I arrived the night before the race and woke up that morning not feeling any better off course so decided to make the smart personal and professional decision and sit out the race, but still be involved majorly by MCing with Dan Gavere over the whole event, and off course as well the SUP Surf seminar the day after! It turned out to be really fun and we got a lot of support and great feedback with the commentating since we know all the athletes and can share a lot of inside scoops on racing and the competitors! Its always fun working with Dan, and it wasn’t my first time commentating with him, so I knew it was going to be amusing and fun to say the least! 

    We supported and cheered on 1st through last and got to see all the carnage and action go down for this years 6th annual West Marine Carolina Cup. It was awesome to see all of the worlds best paddlers here battling it out through the shore break and draft trains, although I was defiantly gutted to not be out there with them all.. I feel it was a good decision for me to allow time for my body to heal and get back to 100-110% while still being able to be a presence and represent our sport and my family and supporters! 

    The Graveyard race concluded as follows with Titou Peyu in 1st, Travis Grant in 2nd, Danny Ching in 3rd and “The Fastest Paddler in The World” Trevor Tunnington in 4th! The race was a hard paddle from start to finish as expected with this heavy hitter crowd of racers although there were a lot of new faces in the top 15 which was awesome to see, such as Matt Notthee, the Hasulyo brothers and Trevor Tunnington. Every year the level of racing is picking up and it is rad to see the dedication of training and lifestyle in this sport. There was one thing for sure at this event, which happens to be one of the largest and most competitive field of competition in the world, and that was that Starboard was most prevalent in the top 15 and as well the entirety of the event! It is an honor to be on the dream team and traveling around with the worlds best on the Starboard team and there is something really special about having support no matter where you are in the world as Starboard is known for innovation quality world wide! Mahalo nui loa to Tony Weaver and Andrew Cranes for taking good care of the team and I while out here on the East Coast!! …TikiTour here we come!!! 

    After the race concluded I joined Andrew Cranes for a east coast Tiki Tour visiting Starboard reps and shops such as Black Creek Outfitter (Jacksonville), Epic Boardsports (Cocoa Beach) and The Kite Shop (TKS Miami). It was such a blast to meet the east coast paddle community and share some aloha with them all in hopes to pick up their abilities on the water and get them paddling and SUP Surfing more efficiently to make the most out of their time on the water! We had every clinic that we taught filled up and had a lot of fun promoting the sport of SUP and water safety practices. Mahalo nui loa to everyone that drove and flew from all around the country to partake and interest to become a more efficient and progressive Stand Up Paddle Surfer. Some people traveling up to 8 hours just to come and share a session with us and pick up their level and abilities on the water! Mahalo!! 

See you on the Water, aloha a hui hou!!!
Zane Kekoa Schweitzer
- Innovate And Inspire

THE 2016 ULTIMATE WATERMAN

PHOTO'S BY THE ULTIMATE WATERMAN, SCOTTY STINSON, & CORY SCOTT IMAGERY

    I was beyond grateful to be apart of The Ultimate Waterman event this year that was held in the beautiful country of New Zealand. I have had the most amazing experience here, sharing unforgettable moments with friends new and old. That's what really made this trip so rad; being able to laugh and explore all together, and do what we do best on the water while learning from each other in the areas we may not be the best in. We started off the competition with the OC1 division and although it was not my strongest skill, I was stoked to have placed 4th among some of the top waterman in the world. 
    

     It was yet another battle, this time in more serious conditions of Piha for the prone paddle division. I was stoked to be back in Piha surrounded by so much mana!! For this discipline I was very proud and happy with my 1st place result and was looking to carry on my momentum into the next 6 watersport disciplines! Next, we competed at a epic Left Pointbreak on the South Island of NZ and we were all so stoked to catch some waves, especially after a magical Helicopter ride through the fjords and mountains from Queenstown to the most Southern end of the country! New Zealand is such a beautiful country and I'm grateful to be able to truly experience the Maori culture and aotearoa ways.. I love the Polynesian culture and feel very grounded connecting the cultures in the Polynesian Triangle, they are all so similar and beautiful. I kept my mind in the right place and pulled through with the win in the Standuppaddle surfing event, but not easily against 2015 world champion! I was super proud to make the final of the short board surfing competition here as well, placing 3rd against some crazy talented surfers, some of which I've looked up to for years!! 
    

     Next up was the longboard, the division I had chosen to be my double points in the competition. I gave it my all and came out on top, placing first in this discipline and also jumping up to first in the overall points board. I was overflowing with stoked emotions and was so proud to bring another win home for da mauinoseriders and ohana!! With 2 more events to go, the Underwater Challenge and SUPRace, I had to keep my head in the game and keep pushing forward. I didn't finish nearly as good as I was hoping for in the Under Water Strength and Swim Challenge division, but I got to watch the action with my new friend Jaden Movold and whiteness Danny Ching completely smash the event like aquaman! Danny has always been someone who I have looked up to, he is inspiring with the amount of dedication and passion he has with his strength and endurance training in the ocean.
    

    Last but certainly not least was the SUP Race. Going into this I was ahead of the competition but my good friend Danny was not far behind, so I had to place well in this division. I kept my cool, said a prayer, and gathered all the mana and strength that was given to me by my family and friends watching all over the world and sure enough, placed 3rd which secured my overall win. 
    

    Ke aloha nui iā 'oukau pākahi a pau!!! These are the moments that last... I am feeling so blessed and grateful for all the aloha and mana we have all shared and experienced here with each other. To everyone that I competed with, you all are inspirational and it's been an honor to learn from you all and share each other's mana'o (knowledge and beliefs)! You're all ultimate watermen and more importantly Ultimate Human Beings! I'm so grateful to share such a connection with The Ultimate Waterman Ohana and share this trip of a lifetime in the beautiful country of Aotearoa! Mahalo nui loa to the Hawaiian Wate rPatrol and Kiwi Water Patrol, mahalo GT and uncle Titus Kinimaka for bringing this event about, mahalo to RedBull TV for taking such great care of us athletes, mahalo Starboard SupNZ, Dolphin SurCraftNZ, Kaiwaa Canoes for the water crafts. Mahalo to my Ohana and friends back home for the support and good mana, mahalo to my brother Matty and his friends for all they have done for me as a keiki. Mahalo to my father, uncle Titus, uncle Laird Hamilton, uncle Kala and DK for keeping me inspired and being mentors and role models for me. Mahalo to my spiritual advisors; my grandparents, Es Ma (Mindful Tapping), Island Spice hawaii and Aunty Pulama Collier from Hana, Maui for your blessing and pule. Mahalo kākou for all the support, aloha, mental strength and confidence!! I owe this all to you guys for all you have all shared with me!!!

Imua a e lei i ka lei o ka lana kila!! IMUA!!! So proud to bring this home to Hawai'i, and to my Ohana!! Cheeehuuuuu!!!

Aloha and Mahalo,

Zane Kekoa Schweitzer
- Innovate and Inspire

 

2016 MASTER OF THE OCEAN 

PHOTO'S BY TONY ROBERTS

 

   Coming back to the DR is such a treat for me, its always nice to see familiar faces and reconnect with friends on my travels, the people along with experiences are truly what makes trips like this special. Cabarete calls for the gathering of an epic group of passionate and talented Watermen, especially when the Master Of The Ocean is on in Town! Everyday with the #MasterOfTheOcean is the best day ever for me; hanging out at the beach all day surfing all the wave riding vehicles that the conditions will allow us to and being pushed by our friends. Being held in beautiful Cabarete in Dominican Republic we are lucky enough to be in the heart of watersport heaven for everything east of the west coast with warm water and weather, strong winds on any average day and playful Caribbean style waves that you can always find a ride on no matter how small the swell is! Whether you are coming to just vacation or get extreme with water sports, everyone can have a good time here.

   When training for this event since last years’ competition my sister, Shelby Schweitzer, was inspired to also start picking up her experience and skills in her windsports, since she already is a ripper in surf and SUP Surf she was confident for a good result! Whats so special about this competition is that it pushes us athletes to not only excel in our strong suits, but more importantly motivates us to be experienced all around, even if that means we get to become a kook again and learn from a lower level of experience than we are used to in our area of expertise. There are not many people in the world that have become an expert in the 4 major surf sports of the world; Surf, SUP Surf, Windsurf and Kitesurf, but if there is anyone close to it, they most likely are competing here at the Master of the Ocean! Since my first event competing in the #MOTO in 2014 I have been so inspired to pick up my skills in Kitesurf, since this is by far my lowest skill set out of my ocean sports. In 2014 I threw myself out into my first kitesurfing event, let alone it was only my 4th time ever kitesurfing! I didn’t make it far, well at least in the kiting leg of the competition, but I definitely made it far down the coast being controlled by the kite knowing I had to leave the beach to achieve an overall result! Since then, it has inspired me and motivated me to practice my kitesurfing along with make a few heats, especially since I am here again in DR defending my title!!

   The weather wasn’t totally cooperating with us the first few days that we arrived; our days set aside where we planned to practice Kiting and windsurfing.. It was raining and overcast coming into the start of the event, but with a major blessing from the gods, we scored some of the best waves I’ve seen and surfed in the DR during our first 2 days of competition, along with beautiful sunny skies that cleared up for us just in time for the opening day of competition. Although the wind was still super light and we didn’t start the wind sport events until our 3rd day of competition, which worked out because we were able to get great conditions for the early rounds of Surf and SUP surf divisions. I was super excited to get out and compete in my first heat of KiteSurfing because I knew I would do better than my results the past 2 years. I still have not yet reached the point of confidence as where I would have liked to be since I have not had much time to practice kitesurfing with my crazy hectic schedule training and competing on the SUWT/SUWS. I had a great start and rhythm coming from my first ever advancement in a kitesurf heat and even won my heat of the first round putting me straight to round 3 and earning my best result yet in Kiting. I wasn’t expecting to make to the finals of kiting because I still consider myself a bit of a kook in the sport, but thats why its so exciting; after every session I feel major improvement! Especially with the contingency of talented kiters here in Cabarete and as well coming from around the world to compete in this years event, I couldn’t get my hopes up too high! The windsurfing on the other hand was a blast!! We scored some epic wave riding and some exciting action to kick off the start of Windsurfing, especially with guys like Diony from Venezuela and the local rippers, Tiki and Franzi, here to conquer the Windsurf division for their hometown. 

   We had 3 solid days of competition banging out more than half of our event in some really fun conditions for all our sports, I was grateful to have came here well prepared with a diverse quiver for most conditions, including big sails by NorthSails for light wind and some big boards by Starboard courtesy of Vella Windsurf school who were nice enough to lend Shelby and I a bigger board than we brought. For most of the competition in windsurf I rode my North Sails 4.7 and 5.6, in Kitesurf my AirRush 10 meter wave kite, for SUP my promodel Starboard 7’1” x 24” and for Surf my Starboard AMP 5’7”. 

   We were fortunate enough to finish off the Windsurfing event with great conditions and I was awarded the champion of the windsurf leg of the event with 3 good wave rides and a big back loop that truly secured my 1st place finish! As quick as the waves and wind came, they were gone, or at least for what we were hoping for at our primary event site of Encuentro Beach. With more than enough time in our holding period to finish the event we waited 2 days for conditions to get better than had to make due with a change in plans.. Fortunately enough the Master of The Ocean knows the importance of adapting with the ever changing conditions and we had the opportunity to go mobile with the event! 

   During the 2 lay days while the organizers and staff of the MOTO transferred the event, the athletes were not stopping the fun and lay day activities were on! Cabarete and the DR has so much to offer, and we are stoked to be in the center of the action being hosted at the 5 Star Millennium resort, just walking distance to where we can enjoy the beautiful beaches, night life and restaurants. Brandon Sanford and his girlfriend Sativa have treated us as family every time we arrive to DR, its always that much more of a cultural experience submersing yourself with the locals and their lifestyle and thats how I love to experience places, local style. Eating out and drinking is somewhat affordable in Cabarete and there are a lot of people from all over the world that come to vacation and experience this tropical escape so close to the east coast, and Europe.

   We moved the competition site to a location that was able to pick up a bit more of the current minimal swell, but like I mentioned before, even on the worst day in Dominican Republic you can always find something to surf #SomwhereInDR. We finished off the event in conditions that were not ideal but none the less we got it done with style and with the modo of the MOTO in mind, fly high and surf! I ended up finishing 2nd in the SUP Surf event after a great performance from Francisco from Venezuela in conditions that were hard for me to find a wave! Thats how it goes sometimes with surf events in minimal conditions! For the Surf I ended up finishing 3rd and in the Kitesurf I finished 4th. With the overall tally of scores at the closing ceremony which took place at Millennium hotel during a huge concert on the beach with hundreds of people. I was also very proud of my little sister, Shelby, for doing so awesome, competing in every discipline and achieving 2nd place for the women division of the Overall event!!! We had an epic night of celebrations then a hectic early morning packing everything up and heading back home to Maui!! A hui hou Cabarete!!! 

Aloha and Mahalo,

Zane Kekoa Schweitzer
- Innovate and Inspire

WILD WINTER WAVES

Photo's by guy MAC 

El Nino has been providing us with a banging start to 2016!  We have been blessed with amazing light wind conditions lining up with some of the biggest swells we have had hit our coastlines in years and these conditions have re-defined “Maui Glass”, as it has been truly “glassy” here for the past few weeks! Its been really amazing to be home, especially with all these swells! Im always so grateful and take full advantage of my time spent home on Maui with my family and friends in the water. For the past few weeks we have had one thing on our mind, Peahi (JAWS). With 3 of the biggest paddle in swells all hitting back to back within the past month, it has been a historic season not only for myself but for the entire Big Wave Community. From catching the biggest waves of my life to the heaviest beatings of my life, this winter has raised the bar for everyone in the world and I am really excited to see what the rest of this season has to offer and and how the big wave surfing community will begin to accept SUP surfing after watching Kai, Keali’i & Myself during the past few large swells. With all the traveling (6-10 months out of the year) Ive been doing for the past few years following the Stand Up World Tour, Stand Up World Series, American Windsurfing Tour and many other events on my schedule, Ive learned to appreciate every minute spent, good or bad. Im so grateful to have experienced 30+ countries/cultures and have made friends around the world. I feel Ive lived 100 lives and am so grateful for all the lessons Ive learned, all the people Ive met, all the places Ive experienced and the support and mentors Ive had that has lead to my achievements and success! Life is great, Im so excited to take on 2016 with more world travels chasing the World Championship Title with the #‎SUWT and continue to #‎InnovateAndInspire the sports Im passionate about and the next generation and future of these sports! 

Aloha and Mahalo,

Zane Kekoa Schweitzer
- Innovate and Inspire

SAPINUS PRO 2015

PHOTO'S BY Mat5o media

   Every trip to Tahiti is a trip of a lifetime! Every year I look forward to meeting with the Starboard team for the annual Pro Board photo shoot in Tahiti surfing all day every day and getting killer photos with Ben Thouard and the team. My brother Matty got to come with me on this trip and it was his first time, so we were having a blast living the Tahitian lifestyle and Surfing all the best waves around here. We had 3 days of shooting and free surfing before the competition started and it was the best way to warm up for the event! This event is definitely the event on tour that I was looking forward to most this year and have been training hard and am feeling super well coming into the start of this years Stand Up World Tour.

   We got lucky and scored killer swell during the entire event from start to finish. I felt really good in the lineup and was comfortable in the conditions at Sapinus and had so much fun surfing through each heat. It was rad to see all the talent at this event with the world’s best all pushing the limits of the sport in some killer waves!! My 7’1” x 24” Starboard Pro Model worked flawlessly well in the sizable meaty waves and I was Very impressed with how everything was working in such large surf.

   The days days leading into the event were HUGE! Right off the plane from St. Croix’s Coconut Cup and we were already sitting in the line up at Teahuopoo getting dry barrels before 9am. This is exactly the conditions I was hoping for as the bigger it gets the more confident I feel. After scoring for a few days we went for one last session at Sapinus to prepare for the event that started the very next morning. After a great evening session, we were just about to get ready to catch our last few waves, when my brother Matty takes off on the first wave of a set and I catch the next. After I get a dry barrel and spit out I hear the entire channel screaming at me which I assumed was because of my wave. When I looked in I realized my brother was face down on his board looking like he was in Pain.

   After that moment my entire reality went from competition mode, to Life saving mode. His left side of his body was unresponsive and he was obviously in pain. We quickly supported my brothers neck, got him on the boat and headed straight to the shore where we had an ambulance waiting. By the time we got in my brother had full feeling and movement in his whole body but we still decided to get it checked out at the hospital. After a long, scary night in the E.R. we were relieved to hear that there were not broken bones in his neck and that it was a torn muscle or ligament in his neck & Shoulder. Once we got my brother well rested and home, it was back to Game mode! 

   I won every heat I was in from start to finish of the event and was beyond stoked and blessed to win The Sapinus Pro 2015. I was in the final with Caio Vaz from Brazil and it was an exciting heat! In the beginning of the final heat Caio had great scores up on the board and I had a slow start, but after about 10 mins of patiently waiting I ended up scoring the waves I was looking for. First a 5.5 then a 5.8. With 4 minutes left I needed a 6.6 or something, but knew that there was going to be another wave before the end of the heat. While waiting outside and deep in priority a pod of Dolphins swam through the lineup and sure enough a beautiful set started to show on the horizon. Once I got on it I went straight into a bottom turn and crack off the top coming out of it speeding down the line. There was a lot waves that weren’t perfect but for sure a few unreal ones and this wave was the gem I needed. After my turn off the top I saw the west bowl lining up and I set up for a barrel that turned out to be a beautiful traveler and I came out of it clean with one more nice carve before the wave faded into the channel. 

   As I kicked out I already knew that score would be more than what I needed to take the lead but there was still 3 and half minutes remaining so I got straight back out into the lineup paddling out quick as the clock was ticking and I heard my last wave get scored a 9.3!! I was pumped to get an excellent score like that and now just needed to be on defense mode for the remaining minutes as Caio now had priority. The lord was on my side and the ocean was calm until the last 30 seconds when we saw sets coming in! Since Caio had the priority he is setting up for the first set and just a few seconds before swinging into it, the buzzer blew! Throughout the entire event I was visualizing finishing off the contest with a good barrel and got it!! I was so stoked!! It felt so good to have won this final and to have my friends and all the athletes on the boat and in the water to congratulate me! Right after that buzzer blew, I ended up catching that set that was on the horizon and got one more BIG barrel just to top it all off! the Ocean was really on my side…. Big Mahalo to uncle Guillaume and aunty Jenny for hosting us with the family here in Sapinus and sharing so much Aloha and good energy with us! Mahalo everyone for all the Aloha and good mana, Thanks for supporting me!

Aloha and Mahalo,

Zane Kekoa Schweitzer
- Innovate and Inspire