STAND UP For Women’s Health & Fitness at the Four Seasons Resort Maui, January 9, 2010 was
definitely the place to be! Although the pounding West swell did keep some on the beach, for those who braved the over head-high beach break, everyone went in smiling and came out smiling! No injuries to report, only two broken boards.
Congratulations to all the women who so bravely participated. These women water warriors earned their stripes today for sure!
It was quite a site! The beach covered with boards, groovy music; the buzz and adrenaline was everywhere. Besides the beautiful back drop of the waters of Maui with whale spouts appearing now and then, women of all ages from all over the globe were about to partake in a worthy cause to support women’s health and STAND UP to breast cancer. Since this was a FREE event, donations were and are encouraged through our website to support the American Breast Cancer Foundation.
Early before dawn, the army of volunteers, retail shops and sponsors appeared. Flags in the sand, tables up, tents up, and then the stage! Soon a sea of eager smiles with boards and paddles in hand began to appear, ready for a day of adventure and fun. The thought on everyone’s mind with the over head-high beach break was..” hmm this should be interesting!”
The day began with a beautiful blessing, delivered by Maui’s own Wilmont Kamaunu Kahaialii Jr. His words and heartfelt grace touched everyone and assured our day to be peaceful and safe.
Groovy tunes by DJ DEL SOL and DJ CIA brought the women to a state of bliss as I prepared them for some dynamic stretching, light core work and modiefied strength training.
We were really fortunate to have Tiare Lawrence, C4′s pro rider who happens to be due any day with a
new baby girl, come up on stage and do her paddle instruction and tell us why the ocean and stand up paddling is so important to her. She didn’t answer her cell phone today, so maybe her daughter has come!
With such a strong West swell, the beach was peeling fast with a huge over head-high beach break all the way across, and rolling swells behind it! At least 7-8 waves per set coming through with only small lulls in between and forget a safety channel. Nail biting, knee knocking for some and rightly so. Just in case we were fortunate to have on the waters as our safety patrol, North Shore Explorers that had a team of Clay Everline,MD. Mike Adrian to shoot the day and Chris and Todd as the captains.
Harry Donenfeld News correspondent of Harry Thankyou TV, geared up to get some fun water shots see below!
Loch Eggers, big wave surfer and water safety specialist, made sure that safety was in the forefront of everyone’s mind. His team of board caddies, which included Milton, who tows from a helicopter; Robby Funk, Carlos M, Chris W, Bruce and Larry from Paia, Ian H, John and Michael Leake, Gary Tuttle, Ironman Phil McGain, Joel Edwards,Mark H, Jon Graham,
Dennis O, Lenny Cappe,
Kevin Hager from Hawaiian Island Surf, Jeff from Big Kahuna, Ralf Sifford’s team from Second Wind, Nitzan and Dave from Naish and so many more heros made the day safe. Common sense, fast thinking and timing was critical. On the beach was Dr. Rick Sands and on the boat, Clay Everline, MD.
Teri, who held the front line in the registration tent writes, “It was truly an inspiring event and I am honored to have played even just a small part in this and would gladly volunteer again! The conditions were scary for beginners however the CADDIES rock as they made it all so much easier by being so on it. I sincerely congratulate the team for no injuries and for making it so safe! The DJs kept the party going and kept it happening!”
Three paddle groups went out in stages. First group was the advanced group led by Starboard team rider, Anne-Marie Reichman. Down the south coast they went towards Makena and the small island of Molokini. I’m told that whales were spotted on their tour. Second group out, was mine. Beginner and intermediate as we went up towards Kihei. The water was pretty calm for the most part, with light variable winds.
The women had nice easy paddling styles.
It was the time to push yourself a little and test your endurance. Last group out was our first timers. Wow, something they will never forget I’m sure. The pictures tell all.
The bay sweepers, which included the strong pro team rider for Starboard, Tiffany Ward
managed to calm the nerves of many and get them to their feet smiling. A big thank you to personal trainer, Anne Barnett of Haiku, water athlete Corrine, and another great instructor Jenny visiting from Big Island who works for Naish. Also on board to help, was Maui’s own Kalia Kelmenson, experienced water girl and personal trainer wrote, “My favorite moment of the day was paddling along next to a woman who was struggling a bit with her balance- I traded boards with her- she was so happy for that- come to find out she was from Rapanui, now living in Bora Bora- and I had such a great time chatting with her about one of my favorite places on the planet- French Polynesia- I got a terrific reminder about how small this world is, and the things that inspire us are consistent across cultures.”
After about an hour and a half or more of water time, refreshments provided by Recharge, Vita Coco, Sambazon, Guayaki and Luna Bar, along with fresh Maui grown fruit from Kula Fields were provided to help refuel. A big thank you to Snorkels for serving up some great turkey wraps and sandwhiches.
On stage next were three lovely inspirational guest speakers. Suki Halevi, a new resident to Maui who battles unseen neurologicial challenges, and who has conquered many physical obstacles through the sport of stand up paddling. Raw food specialist, Chef Susan Teton Campbell shared all her jewels about health and nutrition, and finally Rita Whitford not only a survivor to breast cancer, but has also survived colon and skin cancer. A delightful trio of women who opened their hearts and inspired many to stay healthy and be aware of their bodies.
By now everyone was ready to learn to hula. Wilmont brought along two lovely and beautiful Maui professional hula dancers to wow the crowd. Even the men on the beach joined in. Who said men can’t hula? Wilmont played his 12 string guiatar has he led the beach into histarics and giggles while we were moving to the tropical rythm. You should have seen Chris Wurtele from Haiku swaying his hips back and forth! Fun had by all.
Finally, to wind down the day the moment everyone had been waiting for, the amazing prize raffle.
Tommy worked very hard for many months to gather a huge amount of prizes to please everyone. After tossing a tub of Maui Jim t-shirts, towels and Recharge frisbees into the crowd,
the big prizes were now up for many lucky winners. From a cool IndoBoard training board, to Kaenon sunglasses, a new 2010 “Pipes” Kialoa carbon fiber paddle, gift certificates from Athleta, a killer basket of Love Inside Out beauty products, to a dinner for two at The Four Seasons Resort restaurant, Ferraro’s Bar E Ristorante.
The grand prize, a spicy 9’8″ Starboard stand up paddle board was won by Elle who came to the event from Los Angeles. She wrote to the president of Starboard, “I cannot thank you enough for donating an SUP board to the STAND UP FOR WOMEN’S FITNESS event this past Saturday in Maui that Suzie Cooney and Tom Callan organized. I was jumping for joy when I won the grand prize…I couldn’t believe it! The event was amazing and inspiring to all – Wailea beach was packed with women of all ages and SUP levels…every participant I spoke with had a wonderful time. I flew out from Los Angeles for the event with a friend of mine and we loved it.
Suzie and Tom ran the event seamlessly – it appeared as though the event was in it’s 10th year with how organized and smoothly everything flowed. I was extremely impressed at their professionalism and I imagine that this event will become an annual tradition on Maui and hopefully elsewhere. Suzie and Tom were so gracious and patient with all of the volunteers and participants. I believe I can speak for everyone at the event when I say that Suzie is extremely inspiring to women. Everyone left Wailea beach with a smile, a new or re-ignited love for SUP, a greater passion for fitness and health, and an awareness for breast cancer.” Thanks Elle!
Well, as the emails and photos pour in, there is much to share and do. Tommy and I would like to thank the community of Maui, the amazing team at the Four Seasons Resort Maui, our dear friends and volunteers, sponsors and those who traveled from far away places to contribute to such an inspiring, contagious day of joy and health. New friends were made, water fears conquered and we all discovered just how powerful one sport, that anyone can enjoy almost anywhere in the world; can bring such a dynamic group together for a good cause.
Keep the donations coming in! Stay tuned to this site for hundreds of more photos.
STAND UP for your health each and everyday. The ocean, our health and friendships are always free.
Tommy Callan and Suzie Cooney