A nove anni a Hookipa, tempio del windsurf!!!!

Ecco la cronaca di un giorno incredibile di un rider nel suo debutto ad un contest wave, nel più famoso spot windsurf del mondo, Hooklipa, Maui, Hawaii. Piccolo particolare: ha 9 – dico nove! – anni!!! Ma la forza e il coraggio di un pro!
In inglese, tratto da www.star-board.com

The youngest boy at Hookipa. Young Connor Baxter is a real pro at 9 years of age, although he have only been sailing a little over a year. Still,- he was keen to sail Hookipa with the big boys at the PWA Severne Hawaii Pro. He was told by his father that it was probably not such a good idea is he had never sailed it before. Plus the weather had been to bad to even try prior to the competition.

Only the day the event started, he was allowed by his father to go and have a look, but Connor kept on insisting he had to compete to please his sponsors; Starboard, Gaastra and Dakine Hawaii.

Kai Lenny, another youngster and Connor best friend came to enter too. Kai has been sailing Hooikpa for about 10 times now. He is 11 years old.
Decision was made and Connors equipment set up.
The waves were small compared to what the big guys like, but it was mast high for Connor in the Sets. He sailed out for the first time in the morning with Kai Lenny and got 4 waves but immediately got pounded in the waves and went into the rocks. He had to get pulled out. The current on the Hookipa rocks is strong, as you all know. All of you should remember when you first sailed Hookipa. Just think at 9 years old. Thats a very big deal.

So Connor was asked again if he really wanted to enter and he still insisted. Youngest boy to enter an Hookipa Contest ever. Kai Lenny would probably be the second youngest. Cool man, cool. Connor was in the 3rd heat of the event and kai was in the 15th. heat.

Connor took off with the four other sailors out through the surf. Jumped all 4 waves really well with great speed. He had to go over 4 feet to 5 feet white water, and as he got all the way out side a BIG set was coming. He made it all the way up the face with some speed but the wind was light. The top of the wave was starting to break and he went through but got sucked back over the falls with his complete rig out side. You could see him getting pounded and the people on the beach all made a si. He swam all the way in and got his rig and water- started again and took off out through the surf line for a second time. We all thought that was it for him swimming and getting pounded so bad, but would you believe; The same thing happened. Out side a big wave got him again. Pounded again and swam all the way in. Now his board was next to the rock. He water started once more and got back out.

Up and running and got pounded for the third time and now his rig was going into the rocks and the rip.
The life guard every time would come up to Connor on the Jet Ski to ask him if he wanted help and every time Connor said no. But this time he was really tired and worn out at 9 years old. So the life guard picked him up with his rig and got him back to the beach. Connor was very sad and felt really bad and was starting to cry. He had a cut over his eye from the mast when he went over the falls.
Everyone on the beach started clapping for him.

What a day.
As a Dad going Nuts. Anyway it was very impressive that he tried to do this.
We watched for Kai Lennys Heat.
Kai Lenny went out and got pounded on 2 waves too but was able to make it out and he got 2 really good waves and carved really well. This made Connor even sadder for sure. He was very happy for Kai and greeted him on the beach.
At the end of the day we took off at 3:00 pm and went to Kanaha and sailed the waves until 6:30 at night.
Connor had to go to school today. He was really sore. Cut eye, cut up feet and very sore and stiff. We will be back at the contest today. They want to have Connor rig everything for a interview.

All the best
Keith Baxter

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