Noa who? This was the most overheard question in Vail this weekend at the Teva Mountain Games. Spectators and press all assumed the friendly rivalry between Dan Gavere and Charlie MacArthur would result in a one-two finish in the First Ascent SUP Surf Sprint Presented by C4 Waterman. That was certainly the result earlier in the week at the Whitewater Stand-up Championships in Glenwood Springs, CO. As Chris Berman might say, “That’s why they play the game.”
Ginella. That’s the answer to the question. Noa Ginella, a 16 yr old from the North Shore of Oahu, HI surpassed all other stand-up paddlers including the two favorites to win the Surf Sprint event over Gavere by more than 16 seconds. Even more astounding, Ginella had never paddled in whitewater before, or even visited Colorado. Just when the legend of Noa couldn’t get any more absurd, it should be noted that authorities had issued a high flow warning.
By day’s end the levels were so high all of Sunday’s whitewater events were cancelled, including the much anticipated SUP cross event. Ginella, the rising SUP star is a member of the C4 Waterman team which is composed primarily of Hawaiian big wave surfers. The only person who didn’t seem surprised was Todd Bradley, co-founder of C4 Waterman, the presenting sponsor of he SUP events at Teva Mountain Games. “Noa’s an amazing athlete. Anytime we’ve put him in a competitive situation, he excels,” Bradley says.
In the women’s Surf Spring event Jenny MacArthur beat out teammate Nicole Duke by nearly 37 seconds. MacArthur says: “It was a pretty exciting field in the women’s division and felt honored to earn first place. There’s a great, young field of women coming up, the sport’s growing and it’s definitely here to stay.” “I’m especially proud of the women,” C4 co-founder Tom Bradley adds. “They really helped prove this sport is truly for both men and women.”
And for the record, PL’s own Eugene Buchanan sewed up the “North of I-70 Media Division” title by finishing 21st.
In other paddling news from the Games, Emily Jackson of pulled off an impressive final run to win the women’s Bud Light Lime Kayak Freestyle competition presented by First Ascent. Jackson’s victory came at the expense of Tanya Faux, who appeared to be on her way to sweeping the women’s kayaking comps with victories in this year’s Steep Creek Championship and Down River Sprint. Dustin Urban, a paddler who’s no stranger to the winner’s circle in this event at the Games, captured the men’s division with a dazzling run.
Note: Sunday’s whitewater events were cancelled due to high-water levels.
FIRST ASCENT SUP SURF SPRINT PRESENTED BY C4 WATERMAN
1. Noa Ginella – 18:15.53 (Kahuku, HI)
2. Dan Gavere – 18:32:23 (Hood River, OR)
3. Dave Collins – 18:38.95 (Lamanzilla, MX)
1. Jenny Macarthur – 21:00.49 (Aspen, CO)
2. Nicole Duke – 21:37.29 (Boulder, CO)
3. Jennifer Koki – 21:39.57 (Honolulu, HI)
BUD LIGHT LIME KAYAK FREESTYLE PRESENTED BY FIRST ASCENT
1. Dustin Urban – 590 (Buena Vista, CO)
2. Jason Craig – 500 (Reno, NV)
3. Casper Van Kalmthout – 355 (Den Haag, NTL)
1. Emily Jackson – 260 (Rock Island, TN)
2. Tanya Faux – 180 (Alexandra, NZ)
3. Haley Mills – 140 (Salida, CO)
BUD LIGHT LIME DOWN RIVER SPRINT PRESENTED BY JACKSON KAYAK
1. Mike Dawson – 15:38.34 (Tauranga, BOP)
2. Sam Sutton – 15:46.70 (Rotorua, NZ)
3. Tao Berman – 15:53.26 (White Salmon, WA)
1. Tanya Faux – 16:23.21 (Alexandra, VIC)
2. Adriene Levknecht – 16:29.87 (Flat Rock, NC)
3. Nikki Kelly – 16:34.07 (Rotorua, NZ)