The 2019 Lighthouse to Lighthouse Race (L2L) was a fun weekend celebration for watersport athletes and those who love the ocean. This is my 3rd year competing in the L2L and each year it gets more exciting. 2019 saw over 150 athletes competing in everything from rowing shells to outriggers, SUPs to surfskis all determined to test their skills against athletes from all over the East Coast.
Summer racing is over and my heavy volume training is back in full swing. I started gearing things back up in early August to get ready for the Fall races (Lighthouse to Lighthouse and Irish Coast Paddling Championships). With Lighthouse to Lighthouse coming up this weekend, I thought it would be interesting to write about how I fuel my body during these weeks of high volume and high intensity training.
The Gorge Downwind Champs (GDC) is a festival and celebration of downwind paddling and racing. Thanks to the visionary efforts of Carter Johnson (the event creator and organizer), the GDC has become a colossal event in our sport with over 750 spots selling out within 48 hours. Athletes travel from all over the country and the globe to compete in what has become the largest downwind event on the planet.
Surfski races are usually far and wide apart, occurring on different continents around the globe. So it is a treat to be able to compete this summer in two back-to-back international races in North America: the Canadian Downwind Champs in British Columbia and the Gorge Downwind Champs in Oregon.
Surfski, like any sport, requires hard work and discipline. But just as importantly, an athlete has to learn how to lose. Success doesn’t come without setbacks, as any champion will tell you. You have to keep looking forward and not let those moments define you. Once you have the physical skills to win, you need the mental fortitude to keep fighting.
One of the things that makes Molokai so challenging is that the conditions can vary so dramatically. It can be punishingly hot and flat where athletes must grinding across a mirror like ocean or the wind can blow like a tropical storm and churn the channel into a frothing mess. This year conditions were nearly perfect.