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Weekend Wanderer

Wandering the Weekends in California and beyond

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fun

Dads Center~ Queen Liliuokalani~ Catalina ~ Breathe!

The last month has gone by SO fast. I’m just now being able to sit down and reflect on how lucky I am to be able to travel as easily as I do (thankful for sisters that live in cool places) and race as much as I do! The last three races I just did were some of the most fun paddling I’ve ever had! I’ve finally had the time to BREATHE and recap on the past three events in my life!

 

Dads Center

I have NEVER done this race before! When my good friend Maddie asked if I had any interest in steering that race- OFCOURSE I jumped on it! Hello! A weekend in Hawaii with good friends, my sisters AND I get to paddle? I’m in.

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This race is on Oahu from Kailua Beach to Waikiki. Roughly a 26 mile change race. I had heard that there is all sorts of different water you encounter in this race. Flat water, rough water, big water and STUPID water. We had all and more. It was the biggest washing machine I had ever been in. I kept looking over at Jimi (our escort coach) and ending up telling Maddie “I just need Jimi to tell me it gets easier!”

By hour two of steering, Jimi can get close enough and say “It’s going to get easier Kel, but first it’s going to get a lot shittier.”1150505_10201889121413666_1145914327_o

I learned a lot in that race, not just about steering an and paddling. I learned that I can put myself in a tough and new situation and by staying calm and trusting the girls I have with me, we’ll come out on top!

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Thanks to Imua Outrigger for letting me come along for the wild ride!

Queen Liliuokalani 

This was my 8th appearance in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii for the Queen Liliuokalani, and my 7th time accomplishing the 18 mile long iron long course. I’m serious when I say it gets easier every time! I got to spend this race with some my best friends!

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We had an open crew and a masters crew! We had another open crew which was filled with just juniors. It was awesome to coach these girls all summer and see them work hard. They set their goals and stuck too it. I’ve never been prouder of a crew I coached. And to see them all working together and having fun to make it happen- that’s the most rewarding thing as a coach in my opinion. When a crew comes together after months of hard work, I feel like there’s nothing better then pushing them off the beach.

My crew lucked out and got another unlimited boat! All wood, very beautiful boat! The unlimited category means that the boat can be of any design and way under the 400 lb weight restriction. The unlimited division starts 5 minutes behind the 400lb boats and crews. We ended up 32nd out of 133 crews and had a blast!

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Catalina 2013

Catalina! The race that means the most to us California people! A race from Newport Beach to Avalon, Catalina! Just about 27 miles! This is TOTALLY my favorite race of the season- and not just for the after party 😉1268510_10201612021996905_1446212873_o

Us girls all come together as one and get ourselves to Catalina! It’s what we work for all season! I love this race just because we know it’s the final race and we are going to give everything we got and leave it on the water!

This year was really challenging. We had a strong headwind and the swells were coming from the side. We couldn’t catch much, but we did what we could with what we had! And we had fun! We did better than the year before, and that’s all you can hope to do! We even made a new friend- Dana! A super awesome girl from Kauai who came in a helped us fill a spot!

We made it in 5 hours and 5 minutes. 1264107_10201612022596920_2004676474_o

We got 7th and at the end all I wanted was a root beer.

The next day, after a good nights sleep of course, I was able to help run the mens crews back. Usually I’m an escort for the second mens crew- but since Sam has that “no girlfriends allowed on escorts” blah blah blah rule, I couldn’t escort the second crew. Which means Sam was stuck with me helping him with the first crew!

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Now that all the racing has slowed down, I can finally breathe! Relax! Catch up on things I never get done during the summer! But I always find myself wishing that distance season wasn’t over. We always have the most fun!

xoxo

State Sprint Shenanigans

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2008 State Sprints First PlaceKelly (stroke seat), Malia (2), Celeste (3), Pam (4), Taylor (5) and Bobbie (steering)

State Sprints in Santa Barbara is a race that I look forward to every summer! Not just because its a beautiful venue for paddling…but because of the fun that comes a long with is. There’s a tradition of dressing up your novice paddlers at state sprints and making them race in them! Well…NAC wanted to play too. And NAC doesn’t have a novice team…weird. Here are a few pictures from over the years of how Newport Aquatic Center jazzed it up for State Sprints every year!

2008 ~ Team Day Glo

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Team Day Glo 2008

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2009 ~ Billys Angels

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5935_1190505917339_1574401_n2010 ~ Village People

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2010 Village People

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2011 ~ Team Tecate

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281919_2174831524864_5223531_n2012 ~ El Mexicano

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2013? What’s it going to be? NAC may be laying low this year…OR dropping it like its hot.

Instagram: @KelThompson
Twitter: @KelThomp

S A N O ~ S U N D A Z E

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Sano Sundays

A day full of fun

Surf

Friends

Good Food

IMG_1929They are honestly my favorite type of days

It starts at 6am and you go home when you want to

We take down the surf canoe, and its out for hours

Break out the BBQ and we can take care of every meal that day!

I love a good beach day with the good friends

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xoxo

Instagram: KelThompson
Twitter: KelThomp

HanoHano Ocean Challenge

Despite the dreary and foggy morning…hell it was raining; the Hanohano Ocean Challenge last weekend had a GREAT turnout.  photoTONS of stand up paddlers from around southern California came to compete in the short course. The best was to see the junior paddlers for the SUP Jr. Team sponsored by Rivera out there. They are based out of Dana and is another great program for junior paddlers. NAC had kids competing in the short course as well, all in either oc1’s or oc2’s. Spencer Lujan got first in 19U oc1, Andres Zourelli coming in 2nd in 19U oc1. David Groke came in 2nd for 16U one man Austin Hwin who got 4th 16U who raced short course 1-man. Ryan Fogg and Miles both competed in 14U two-man. NAC also had a big turnout in the longer from NAC. Megan Savisaar and Daniella Carrese raced on a two-man finishing before a lot of women racers and getting 1st in 19U division, Liam Dixon and Lily Chavis racing together in the coed division on a two-man, getting first in their 19U mixed division. Liam had previously raced the short course in an Aukahi, a rudderless canoe by Kamanu Composites. Cade Sharnell (3rd in 19U) and Gunner Logan (4th 19U)  crossed the finish line both in one mans, followed by Kylie Bergan (1st 19U) and Jenny Jones (2nd 19U) both in one mans as well. There were a 103 racers in the long course, the juniors passed a lot of adults. It’s great seeing all the juniors from ALL CLUBS going out a competing against some people that are twice their age (some even more). Even though everyone is in their respectful age divisions, everyone races at the same time.

Well the next race is at the NAC, the Hal Rosoff Classic. Hopefully the kids use their home court advantage for this one…you can follow my instagram: @KelThompson as I am always posting paddling pictures and race pictures if you want more! 🙂

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