Alex and Josie Mawae dominate Na Kama Kai Challenge during the finals of the Stand-Up World Series 2012
By Clare Seeger Mawae
The final event of the Stand-Up Paddle World Series was held at Turtle Bay, Oahu, Oct. 13-14. This year a new event was added called the Na Kama Kai Challenge. This event was designed for those new to the sport and up-and-coming young racers under 15 years old. The kids were split into two divisions, the beginners and the advanced.
Turtle Bay was buzzing the day prior with the first north swell of the season kicking in earlier that week and another swell coming for the weekend. Josie and Alex Mawae from Molokai were excited to be part of this prestigious event.
The Na Kama Kai Challenge was all about the kids with the pros helping out, while the young kids raced their version of sprints on the east side of Turtle Bay. The racing was done with an elimination format along with repercharge rounds with a running sprint at the beginning and the end of the race.
Alex Mawae, 10, dominated all his heats along with his sister Josie, 12. The finals came and both brother and sister battled it out for first and second place. However, Seachelle Rivereira and Sasha Kauhane were also determined to take first place. The four kids in the finals have consistently astounded the adults with their ocean skills both in the waves and their long distance racing. This race was definitely an exciting heat. Alex had a flying start leaping from the beach and straight to his board in a racing position and off he went. The girls did not stand a chance. The young Naish rider Alex Mawae went onto a clear victory with Seachelle in second, Josie third and Sasha taking fourth place.
The day was far from over for the kids as they went to the other side to watch the start of the long distance race. The surf called all of them in and while the start buoys were being set, these kids took to the water and ripped in the surf. No fear was pretty much the game plan for the kids.
This was an incredible way to finish off the season for Josie and Alex Mawae who have gained credible status with the professionals while bonding with other likeminded kids who want to race. The Na Kama Kai race format will more than likely be introduced into the 2013 World Series events, which is great. After all, the kids are the future of any sport in the world.