Maui’s Kai Lenny looks to defend title at Sunset Beach Pro
By Wendy Osher
All eyes are on Maui’s Kai Lenny as he looks to defend his world title in the Stand up paddlesurfing world. The first event of the 2011 season takes place this week from Feb. 6-13, on Oahu’s North Shore.
[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx_1Ni-Bxrk /]
The Sunset Beach Pro kicks off with an exhibition event at 10 a.m. tomorrow, featuring Lenny and other top contenders on the Stand Up World Tour.
The Turtle Bay Expression Session on Saturday, gives spectators a glimpse of what is to come this week.
Lenny, who is now 18, is the Current World Champion in the sport and the winner of last year’s Sunset event. He clinched the first world crown in the sport in December 2010 after winning the Hawaii Island Finals at Honoli’i on the Big Island.
Lenny joins France’s Antoine Delpero (#3 in the world), Oahu’s Robin Johnston (#4 in the world), Leco Salazar of Brazil, and local wildcard Kala Alexander in the weekend exhibition.
[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJt736s7qBY /] Maui fans who are unable to make the island hop over to Oahu for the event can still catch a glimpse of the action in a live broadcast on OC16 and at www.standupworldtour.com.
The Sunset Beach Pro continues through February 13th with a lineup of athletes from a dozen nations competing in the sport. Event organizers say it is likely that the trials will commence on Sunday, with Tuesday projected as the most favorable day for the main event, when forecasters predict a large, long-period swell.
*** Videos provided courtesy Stand Up World Tour and The Waterman League.