Heather’s a 105lb paddle-swinging hummingbird who drank way too much coffee. Last year she ripped up Puerto Rico and the east coast and soon, she’s headed to the Molokai Channel Race, BOP HI, the Carolina Cup, the Gulf Coast Championships…and many, many more stops—so look out).

Her wins include the Rincon Beach Boys, Sonic 5000, Yolo Seaside Race, 2010 St. Thomas, USVI Get Up Stand Up-Plastic free Ocean, 2010 Puerto Rico Paddle Royal, and most recently at the 2011 Cold Stroke Classic. She also had impressive finishes at BOP Cali (7th in elite, 9th overall in distance), and the Hennessey (3rd). And in 2011, she’s loaded for bear.

She has natural speed and took a lot of her training and work ethic from being a runner. I ask her about her training and she said she’s really working hard—specifically for the Molokai. “We have trade winds that blow around 20 knots here this time of year,” Heather tells me.Her husband takes her out 10 miles and she trains in open ocean swells to prepare.

Even a badass hummingbird and needs all the training she can get for Molokai. I asked Candace Appleby about Molokai once and she said it was only for the truly sadistic among us—those who like pain and have a freakish attraction to it. Some day, I’d love to travel there to do the crossing. Heather, I wish you the best of luck there.

Heather’s advice to paddlers:

  1. Invest in proper equipment—especially a good paddle that’s fitted to your height. This will help you paddle efficiently and prevent shoulder injuries.
  2. Get as much help and tips as you can from people who know what they’re doing.
  3. Push yourself
  4. Smile
In 2011, she has her target races set—Catalina, BOP Hawaii, Gulf Coast Championships, Carolina Cup, the HIHO, Molokai, BOP Cali, and the Hennessey Championships.

Heather’s sponsors include Kialoa, Bark, Maui Jim and Raw Elements and recently she made the transition from Kialoa Ambassador to their Caribbean Rep. She couldn’t be more stoke with her new role. Meg and Dave Chun obviously think highly of her. Before we get off the phone, she’s already talking to me about trying a Shaka Puu. She’s off to a good start.

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