_ Wow what a fun and crazy couple of weeks.  Just recovering from Expo/Orange bowl to then take a whirlwind trip to NC for the  4th Annual Cold Stroke classic sup race adventure with team MHL! 


Just getting there was a feat! We were traveling with 2 boards and connecting in Boston, then Raleigh (our only options to get our boards on flights that could handle the oversized bags) hop in a rental  car and drive 2.5 hours to Wrightsville Beach which included a hwy stop to re-secure boards in wintry temps especially for us island people, then to be greeted in Wilmington by a wet behind the ears State trooper  for speeding.  Speed limit had just gone from 65mph to 45 and I was just slowing it down, but not quickly enough and had to throw on the "officer pleasssse i've never got a ticket before" with Nicholas Leason sitting in the passenger seat rocking out with his beanie and resin stained jeans trying not to laugh at my pathetic attempt to not get a ticket.  The saving grace was the confusing Puerto Rican drivers license which made this officer look like a deer in headlights.. thankfully he waived us off with a “think you can slow it down Ma’am?”  I replied, “Oh yes Sir, thank you Sir.” 


After 12hrs of travel we checked into the Blockade Runner after midnight to wake up Saturday morning to 25-gusts to 40 mph winds. Thankfully it wasn't freezing like previous years, but it was WINDY.  They switched the 7.3 mile course around such that we had a KILLER 1mile downwinder but the rest of the 2 miles was upwind and at times we were not making any headway.  I concentrated more on not falling in or getting blown off the board in the 50-degree waters rather than “racing”.  Even with the mild temps, I could not feel my feet for the last half of the race, on top of paddling with full effort to just keep the board moving at times! The last half mile we had to cross the bay to the finish line in 30mph side wind chop which took every ounce of my strength and it felt more like I was paddling in “survival mode” rather than just finishing this extremely challenging race.   With over 90 competitors out on the water testing their skills we saw a lot of boards flying away, folks kneeling and holding on to docks or resting on a bank, it was really wild out there and everyone that finished this race should be very proud of themselves!


 After stowing the boards and just about to hit the hot tub it was announced the sprints were actually going to happen.  How can you say no to another race after traveling an entire day to get here!  We sprinted out about 100 ft  to a buoy and back with a lot of  bloopers and laughs.  Two heats for the men and 1 for the ladies, although it was not a great turnout for this series it sure was entertaining to watch and participate! 


We continued the NC adventure with fun, friends, awards, killer new North Face Jacket, sunglasses and a couple of checks!  Nick and i were crowned King and Queen of the Cold stroke classic with the sprint wins and Nick also took 2nd overall and 2nd in the elite 14’ class and myself 1st in the woman’s 12’6.  Was hoping to break the course record, but ended up just tying my time from last year which is quite impressive considering the wind and the fact that just finishing was something to be proud of!  It was a blast showing off our mhl boards and seeing and hearing all of the positive feedback on all the ones that have been sent to NC.  Following the awards and free beer we closed the weekend with some bull riding practice downtown and live music.  This spring is the Carolina Cup Classic and to go with it a bull riding competition for the aspiring post race night owls. Get your tickets early for this one!  We hit the road Sunday morning at O dark 30 back to Raleigh to catch our flights home.  Great adventure and already planning the next Team MHL get away! 


Baus recap

Check out for weekly caribbean reports!
Pre-BOP Interviews: The Catch with Heather Baus By Distressed Mullet Was there any post-partum depression after Molokai? I know you trained FOREVER for it. Not at all.  We hit the ground running upon returning to Puerto Rico straight into home schooling adventures and back to normal sup training, tennis, sailing, gardening, house, boat, animals, Rep’ing Kialoa, Hinano, Raw Elements and just recently distributor for Stand Up paddle magazine for PR/Caribbean, along with a weekly Caribbean report for Florida based  SUP Radio with Leslie Koltovich.

We have all found some “relief” from the Spring and summer training regimen and racing schedule.  Although I’m training more than last year this time, it seems easier now to manage after the family effort for m20 training.  The schedule is busy I wouldn’t change it for the world.  I still have time to gaze out the window and wait for my bananas to ripen and papayas to flower.  Chase bull frogs at night and even took up sewing.  I figure if you have a crazy busy schedule but it’s filled with things you love.. it’s all good.  For me my life is filled with my family and all of the crazy, good stuff that goes along with it!

Tell me about your new board and the company that made it… Dimensions, etc. Custom MHL 12’6 x 25.25 21lbs, Carbon/Kevlar blend.  I am so unbelievably stoked to be a part of this amazing team of guys and gals.  It’s fascinating to work so closely with board design and have your team home grown and manufacturing right here in Puerto Rico.  MHL is a state of the art facility in beautiful Isabella, PR.  Hands down this is the best board I’ve had my feet on.  She performs well in surf, chop, side swell/wind, flat water, bumps, lumps, downwind, durable, light, looks awesome and does all these things with out sacrificing speed.  I didn’t think it was possible to have such an all around SUP board, but mhl nailed it and they continue to improve on each design.  Check them out at

How did Miami go and s there anything you learned that you’ll bring to BOP? Miami was as hot as the people on the beach!  It was great to measure up to some of the top ladies and very stoked with how I did.  I’m not greedy and it’s great when a 3rd feels like a 1st.  I was closer to Candice than I’ve ever been in course style racing.  Biggest thing I took note of is that I paddled clean and need to do the same for BOP.  There were no waves in Miami, so this is what I need to work on the most.

What did you work on after Hawaii BOP to prepare you for Cali? I mostly was focusing on M2O, I didn’t decide to do BOP Cali until after the Miami race.  Based on how hard Candice and Annabel were fighting it out, that I wasn’t too far behind AND my board rocks, I gotta go for it at least one more time.  I try to be realistic with racing, training and juggling everything, but my gut told me I had to do bop Cali this year.  Not saying this is my last one, but it’s the only race I’ve never been on the podium, 7th for both Hawaii and Cali.  Maybe with a stroke of luck 2011 will prove to be different.  Best part is traveling with my family, having my health and means to travel.  I think anyone who makes the effort to get out to bop or any “away from home” race and enjoy a weekend of festivities is a winner!

Is Savannah coming with you and is she taller than you yet? Yes!  I take Savannah to all of “our” races.  I say “our” because she is now participating in usually 3 races at an event!  Open, kids and relay races.  She did this both for GCC and Miami.  It was a thrill to see her finishing the Mimia 3 mile open class in 46 min, not to mention she got to race my new mhl board before her Mom!  This was such a great weekend for the kids and I was stoked to see so many groms on the water and racing in Miami, both in open and kids races.  It’s easy to get caught up in the pros results, but the kids are our future and they are out there for the shear fun of hamming it up on the water!  Sup is such a wonderful way to foster self esteem and great memories for these sup’r groms and their friends and families.

She’s up to my collarbone!

What events at BOP have you excited? All of them!  I think watching S’s racing in the open will be a pretty fantastic moment.  I’m starting to get butterflies for the elite race.  This year with the qualifying heats adds even more excitement to an already intense and freaky, fun, racing weekend!

What parts have you freaked out? Getting to the races.  Not a big fan of air travel these days.  This began when I was flying as a professional pilot/ Captain and not being able to be at the controls while commuting on the airlines. Then compounded after 911 and final straw when my Father lost his life do to a mechanical failure in his own plane 4 years ago April.  Last year my former boss also lost his life to a tragic plane crash.  I’m thinking paddling or sailing to events sounds like a good idea?

What’s Savannah looking forward to seeing in Cali? “The beaches and all of the shark vertebras”.  ?? That’s what she said.  “Oh and all of the restaurants and shopping!”  “Excited to surf the waves, but hope the water is not freezing cold like last year” SB.

Is she racing in the elite race? She’s sort of fast. Lets let her get an open bop race, under her belt first… I’m all about “paying your dues”.

Where do you go from BOP? I have no idea.  If someone could help get my board to Chattanooga from BOP, I think it would be cool to drop in on my Mom in Missouri for a few days.  We’ve gone too long with out seeing her and I miss her and my hometown.  Then I’d love to road trip from MO to Tenn and introduce her to sup racing at the Chattanooga “River Rocks” sup race the weekend after bop.  BTW, she’s a big fan of Distressed Mullet.   For sure next stop is the PR/Caribbean, back yard races.. Halloween weekend is the Paddle Royal offering 15k in prize money, weekend after is the “Escape from Coffin Island” open ocean downwind race-wpa on Nov 6th, then first weekend of Dec is the “Monster” Get up Stand Up  in St. Thomas.

Heather’s Current Ambassador & sponsorships: MHL custom boards of Puerto Rico team
KIALOA-Caribbean/Puerto Rico rep
HINANO-Caribbean/Puerto Rico rep
Maui Jim
RawElements-physical Eco Protection Sunscreen-Caribbean/Puerto Rico Rep

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