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The Road to the WPA Championships

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

Am I crazy? After taking a 4 hour cab ride to get on my first 10 hour flight, I asked myself this question, and the answer was no. After sitting in an airport in Mexico City for 6 hours waiting to get on my 2-hour flight after my second 10-hour flight that was preceded by another 8-hour layover I asked myself this question, and the answer was, “YES, I’m a freakin KOOK!”

The total travel time from my residence in Pune, India to the Club Solaris Resort for the WPA Championships in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico was over 40 hours.

Why would anyone in his or her right mind travel that far to be a part of an event?

I’ll tell you why…

Although, it has taken me a while to sit and recap this trip due to the weeks of jet lag, it is an event worth revisiting. Aside from my obvious love for paddling EVERYWHERE, I wanted to be a part of the WPA Championships, do some surfing, and, most importantly, I wanted to see friends! It was my first full year paddling, and I couldn’t wait to go see where I was with my paddling skills, and visit with many of the paddlers I’ve met at other competitions throughout the year. It couldn’t have been better! We were in beautiful San Jose del Cabo, I paddled a great stretch against some awesome competition, and I got to catch up with great friends like Lexy Malone, Ed Pierce, Betsy Risner, Kristin Thomas, Don and Jenny Alderman, Mike Evatt, Mickey and Peggy Munoz, and EJ and the YOLO team. Then, it only got better when I met new friends like Pierre, Alfredo Salifranca. Each had their own story, and I had a lot of catching up to do!

Lexy came all the way from NC to be the official Mullet Support Crew for the East Coasters (and Betsy, we won’t hold her residence in Utah against her)! With her insane driving skills, KT taping abilities, and all-around positive attitude, she got out of a few sticky situations and made sure we didn’t ache too badly after the competition.

Ed decided to come at the last second, and it was funny how he had made the decision. Very unfortunately, Ed had recently lost his wife, Barbara in a boating accident. Unable to attend any of the paddle-outs organized in Wilmington, because I was living in India, I sent Ed a custom painted elephant. However, I had Corey send it out, and it arrived with no name from an address Ed had never seen. It was driving him nuts! He found Corey’s name, but before Corey left for India, Ed had only met him once, and spent the entire Key West race ahead of him. Needless to say, Corey remembered the backside of Ed quite well, but Ed didn’t get to chase Corey for 12 miles so there was no lasting imprint. Thanks to Facebook, Ed was able to fin