This year the Maraamu Surfski Race will take place on September 14. For the fifth edition, the organizing committee has the honor to welcome among the registrants, Dean Gardiner, Clint Robinson (Molokai 2013 Champion), Jeremy Cotter and Michael Booth! We also have confirmation from some New Zealanders and several other Australians!
Race 12 of the 2012 Ocean Paddler World Series kicks off in just under 2 weeks time. Named after the southeasterly trade-wind that blows persistently over July/Aug/Sept dry season, the Mara’amu is a downwind course, designed to maximize the open ocean swell of the Pacific. This Mara’amu is promised to blast (or at any rate, blow) paddlers from the sheltered reefs of Tahaa island 38.1 km’s to the finish on Bora-Bora, easily the most famous and supposedly the most photographed island in the world.
"Te Toa Nui" means "The Great Warrior" - singularly apt in view of the fact that right now Oscar Chalupsky weighs in at 108kg!The big man has been training for two weeks, has lost 8kg in that time and is aiming to be 100kg on the dot by the time he reaches Dubai.
Editor: "Ok," I thought, "the big O can do it on one day on a shorter course.But the Tahitians are long distance specialists - especially in the flat and the heat.I just hope he doesn't take it hard when he loses tomorrow."
But if there's one thing you should NEVER do, it's write off Oscar Chalupsky.Before he signed off on Skype on Saturday evening Tahiti-time, I said to him, "Don't flog yourself to death tomorrow."The reply?"I always do!"
Here's the big man's story of Te Toa Nui, in his own words:
[Editor: South African Ian Gray is following the World Series races around the world. Sadly, due to political unrest, the Tahiti race was cancelled - but he went anyway. Here's his account of his stay in what has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.]