By Clare Seeger Mawae
The past 12 months have been quite the ride for Molokai’s Josie and Alex Mawae, both of whom started paddling with Youth In Motion’s program.
They were, and still are, the youngest paddlers to race a 9.5 mile course from Maliko Gulch to Kahului in 2011 and 2012. Other accomplishments include being the youngest to paddle from Maui to Molokai a year ago, paddling the Kamalo run of 10 miles like it was just a normal day, racing at Waikiki for the Paddle Festivals and the Olukai race on Maui. The list of annual events keeps growing and now one more race.
They both competed in the North Shore paddle race Waimea to Haleiwa, Haleiwa Joe’s annual race on Oahu this past weekend. Josie, 12, and Alex, 10, both did incredibly well considering the offshore and side shore winds that neither one were accustomed to. The best part for both these young paddlers is that they are always laughing and smiling before and after the race. The past weekend was perhaps the most challenging despite the distance only being five miles, but in gusty offshore winds this was quite an accomplishment.
With notable races under their belts they have made it through the preliminary rounds of the SUP Grom of the Year award hosted by SUP Connect, an organization connecting paddlers from around the world. They are now in the finals and voting is on for the month of September. Alex’s highlight of the year was the Turtle Bay World Series stand-up paddle event in August. Josie’s was racing the long distance in the Waikiki Paddle Festivals from Hawaii Kai to Waikiki Beach, a distance of nine miles.
So it is just one more race for 2012 and they are both hoping to compete at the final event of the Stand-Up Paddle World Series that will return to Turtle Bay in October.
Alex, who has already proved that he is up for this event, has hopes that this will be a notable race for his résumé. However, all will depend on the conditions since the north swells start to kick in.
No matter what, the 2013 season is just around the corner, commencing in January, and both kids will be training hard for the up-and-coming races around the state.
Congratulations have to go to the two young paddlers for making it to the finals of the SUP Grom of the Year for 2012. Voting is all on Facebook and you can find Josie and Alex Mawae in the SUP Grom Finals on the supconnect FB page.