DANA POINT, California - It was an awesome outing for the SIC Maui team at the 2017 Pacific Paddle Games in Dana Point, California. SIC team members from around the globe all united in Doheny State Beach, ready to take on the SUP world’s top talents. To Kody Kerbox, the competition has never been tougher.
“Every year we have seen the level of performances rise and the competitive field grow. This year was no exception, it was one of the most competitive field of paddlers I have ever seen assembled anywhere in the world.”
The SIC athletes flew in from all over the world to stay at the beautiful team beach house on the coast, just south of the event’s location. As everyone began arriving days before the event, they prepared with some final training and a performance nutrition clinic from Vitargo founder, Anthony Almada. The group environment gave many of the SIC teammates, including Seychelle Hatingh, a comfortable place to relax and ease their nerves.
“We had an amazing house on the water. Everyone gets along super well. We all make our meals together and laugh and joke which helped alleviate my nerves and stress about the race a lot.”
When Saturday rolled around, the SIC team was eager to compete. The day kicked off with the initial Men’s Technical heats, followed by the Youth races. Jaidynn Watson took third place in the Girl’s Youth Technical 11&U race. Brazilian Junior Athlete Guilherme Cunha took first in the Boy’s 12-14 Distance race, followed by teammate Zeke Rose in third. In the Boy’s 12-14 Technical race, Cunha took second while Zeke Rose took fourth. Cunha also landed fifth place in the Men’s Junior Pro Technical.
Fellow Brazilian SIC Athlete Yann Lauletta took first place in the Men’s 12’6” Open Technical.
California native Jade Howson dominated in the Women’s Junior Pro division, taking first in the Technical and Overall categories and picking up a silver medal in Distance. She continued on to compete in the Women’s Pro Technical final to finish off her PPG outing. Howson says that her favorite part of the PPGs was her finish in the Junior Pro Technical race.
“You learn a lot when you lose, but winning feels great too. I was so hyped to get the lead and come in first!”
In an epic photo finish with Australian pro paddler Terrene Black, Seychelle Hattingh beat her opponent in the final sprint to the finish line to take fourth place in the Women’s Pro Technical final. Hattingh also finished in ninth place in the Women’s Pro Distance, landing her sixth place overall.
Canadian SIC team athlete Tommy Buday took home silver in the Men’s 40+ Pro Distance and bronze in the Men’s 40+ Pro Technical. Frenchman Greg Closier trailed right behind Buday in both races, taking third place in the Men’s 40+ Pro Distance and fourth in the Men’s 40+ Pro Technical. Portuguese teammate Jose Cirilo finished in 8th in the Men’s 40+ Pro Distance.
SIC athletes Seychelle Hatingh, Niuhiti Buillard, Guilherme Cunha, and Yann Lauletta took to the water for the final event of the PPGs, the Relay Race, and wrapped up the weekend with a second place finish.
From competing at the highest levels, to bonding with their fellow teammates, the SIC team had a blast at this year’s PPGs. One of the best parts of the weekend for Jade Howson was just hanging out with the SIC team.
“I am so happy to be surrounded by such great people and paddlers. Had a blast laughing, paddling, and cheering on the rest of the SIC squad with them!”
The unique SIC team bond resonated with Kerbox as well.
“It was one of the most fun races because I was having such a great time hanging out with the SIC team and really got to enjoy the whole experience. Although I have only been on the team for a short time, I already see them as some of my closest friends. It really is a family vibe and I am so happy to be a part of it.”
Congratulations to the SIC team on their impressive PPG performances! Check out photos from the event below.
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