Rainbow Sandal’s Gerry Lopez Battle of the Paddle turned out to be a very well attended event, with compeititors from all over the world racing and having fun. This year the conditions proved tricky with the competitors battling against the swell and wind as well as each other. There was one stand out from the crowd, 14 year old Slater Trout from Maui. Below is his press release :
Slater Trout was definitely the talk of the event at this year’s Rainbow Sandal’s Gerry Lopez Battle of the Paddle race. His name could be heard throughout the crowd both during and following his jaw dropping performance in the sport’s most respected race. Announcers and spectators (especially the teenage girls) couldn’t keep their eyes off the impressive 6’1” blonde teenager from Maui as he outperformed men of all ages.
He was the youngest athlete invited to compete in the event and 14 year old Slater Trout beat all but one of the world’s top ranked Stand Up Paddle Pros in the Elite Men’s division. For the sport's elite paddlers, this event presents the greatest championship styled race featuring an offshore course that tests both endurance and the open-ocean and surfing skills of the world's best watermen and women, not to mention a cash purse of over $25,000.
Blessed with a natural talent and unbelievable physique for the sport, it's his sheer determination, which is written all over his face that is setting him apart from his competitors. Slater’s goal was to place in the top 10 this year. Last year at the same event, he came in 32nd. “I've been training for this all year and I am so happy that all the hard work has paid off" say’s Slater. His hard work includes daily intensive physical training in addition to his school homework. Slater is an honor student at his high school in Maui, HI. He also wants to give back and will be donating a portion of his winnings to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
At 14, he competes mostly against adults, which has given him great contest experience. He is a wonderful ambassador of the sport and is focused on a future in the surfing/SUP world. Slater has already been honored with being the youngest competitor invited to the 2009 Quicksilver Kaikika Big Wave Stand Up Challenge at Makaha Point, the only racer under 18, invited to compete in the 2008 Gerry Lopez Rainbow Sandal Battle of the Paddle Elite Division, and he is a 2 time invitee to the Duke's Ocean Fest, where he's claimed 3 Championship Titles.
He's the real deal and has huge passion for one of the fastest growing sports of our time, Stand Up Paddling (SUP), so you are sure to see a lot more of him. As a matter of fact, many people claim Slater may be the next Laird Hamilton, the most legendary waterman of our time. They certainly have a lot in common; growing up in Hawaii, tall, blonde and very good looking, but most importantly, they share the same love of the water and determination to be the best at their sport.