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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Thu, 9 August 2018

Sixteen year-old Melkbos local Nathan van Vuuren is making waves in Hawaii with several excellent foil racing results, including two podium places behind legendary waterman Kai Lenny.


BIG FEET TO FILL: At the age of 16, Nate van Vuuren, is right up there with the top guys.

In the 9.5 nautical mile Maui SUP CUP in late July, the youngster performed phenomenally to come just behind Kai and Kody Kerbox (Buzzy Kerbox's son) to win the U18 division, and take 3rd overall in the men's pro division.

Nate also raced and represented South Africa as one of invited nine foil racers to the 32 mile M2O world championship paddle event from Molokai to Oahu - @Molokai2Oahu - that saw the talented youngster coming 2nd in the inaugural SUP foil division.

Again he shared the podium with Lenny, who did the run in an amazing 2:52:58 while Nate got a 3:17:38, which was 16 minutes ahead of the next competitor. To put that in perspective, the prone paddleboard and standup paddleboard divisions do the run in times of between four and six hours.


SPEED LINE: Nate keeps the flow from swell to swell as he surges forwards across the course.

Founded in 1997, M2O has grown from a grassroots challenge for the legendary lifeguards of Oahu to the premiere event in the sport of paddleboarding. The race annually crowns world champions in the two disciplines of traditional (prone) and stand-up (SUP) paddleboarding.

In 2018, the hydrofoil division was added to welcome the evolution of technology in the SUP. Connecting the islands of Molokai and Oahu, the 32-mile race crosses the Kaiwi Channel, also known as the Molokai Channel and Channel of Bones.

Men and women from more than 20 countries face strong currents as they navigate the fastest downwind-route over one of the most beautiful and powerful channels in the world. Athletes ride mid-channel waves that crest more than 12 feet and carry paddlers hundreds of meters.

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