Sweet Shot! Finn Spencer almost upsets the field on hydrofoil!

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13-year-old Finn Spencer taking the Go Foil on the Maiiko Run at the 2017 Bluesmiths Paddle Imua on Maui
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Check out young Finn Spencer, thirteen years old, as he dominates the field for this year’s Bluesmiths Paddle Imua 2017 on Maui last weekend.  Finn was the only competitor on a sup foil and was out in front of the pack, including the unlimited for much of the event!  This adds another element of technology and speed that we haven’t seen before in sup racing.  Will foils be a part of the line up in years to come?

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Finn Spencer is the only competitor on a foil for this year’s Bluesmiths Paddle Imua on Maui and actually dominates for most of the race! Will foils be on the registration form in the weeks to come?

“One of the many highlights of the Maliko downwind race was Finn Spencer (13) on his sup foil board nearly beating the entire fleet of the sup unlimited boards before getting caught on the flats inside the harbor. ”
– John Smalley, Founder Bluesmiths

Bluesmiths Paddle Imua 2017

Two hundred and ten stand-up paddlers, prone paddlers, hydro foil paddlers, OC1s, OC2s, OC6s and Surfskis took part in a ten mile Maliko Run downwind race for the benefit of children with special needs at this year’s Bluesmiths Paddle Imua.

In great downwind race conditions and riding a Go-Foil sup, 13 year old Finn Spencer cut through the entire pack of stand up paddlers, and was the first competitor to round the final turn into Kahului Harbor on Maui.

On the home stretch without the wind conditions to propel him on a tiny board, he was later chased down and overtaken by elite stand up paddle racers including Kody Kerbox (SIC) who took the win, and Jeremy Riggs (Bluesmiths/SIC) who came in second.

“This was the first time that foils have been raced against regular sup boards and judging by this result, the sport will be reconsidering some of its racing formats for the future.”
– John Smalley

On her own turf, Andrea Moller (SIC/Bluesmiths), Bluesmiths Paddle Imua Ambassador, took first place in the Women’s Stand Up Paddle Race.

“It was pretty cool to be the only person competing in hydro-foil today because I could just go out and have fun. I was the first person to the jetty, but some other guys passed me on the way. This wasn’t my first Maliko down-winder, but this was my first Paddle Imua. The conditions were perfect. It was super fun.”   –  Finn Spencer

Super fun, perfect conditions and a hydro foil.  Methinks we may be seeing a whole new generation of paddlers taking to the foil as a way to uptick the speed and performance in any event … and SOON.  Congrats, Spencer and thanks for paving the way!

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Evelyn O'Doherty, editor & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0 is a former school teacher gone rogue. She left her career as a teacher in order to spend more time near or on the water after learning to surf turned her life around (upsidedown?). She is a year-round surfer and paddler living on the eastern tip of Long Island in NY who is a certified SUP instructor, seasoned SUP racer and avid longboard surfer. Evelyn was hired as Online Editor to Standup Journal in 2016. Her passion for the project quickly led to her success and eventually taking over the mag herself in Oct. 2018. Today, as editor, publisher and chief bottle washer at Standup Journal, Evelyn keeps her toes wet writing, traveling, paddling, surfing, and learning to foil. You can find her most days paddling out on Gardiner's Bay or surfing Ditch Plains in Montauk, NY.