Slater Trout dominated the Open class in this year’s Highland Spring HIHO race in the British Virgin Islands. Over the 6-day event, the 16-year-old from Hawaii kept a strong lead in each of the four Open class segments. Tom Pace from Pensacola, Fla. grabbed second and Tanner Trout, Slater’s younger brother, took third place. The Open class competitors faced varying open-ocean courses up to 7-miles long that took competitors to a new island each day. Competitors were required to race boards 14 feet and under.
Janette Ocampo won the YOLO Adventure class after taking a strong lead early in the multi-event race. After winning two of the events, she took a 4.5 point lead over Casey Trout, to win the class. Points were awarded for each event win. “I started out well,” the Hermosa Beach, Calif. native chimed. “My results slipped after the pirate party when I might have danced and celebrated for too long,” Ocampo said, as all participants of HIHO were invited to dinner every night that included local music and dancing. Jennifer Trout from Hawaii, local BVI paddler, Michael Daniels, and Californian Brad Gerber took third in a three-way tie. The YOLO Adventure class racers competed in various one and two-mile downwind courses that focused on fun and adventure with different challenges that included diving for pieces of painted coral and scavenging for treasures. Each racer in the YOLO Adventure class competed with the 12’ Eco Trainer board, ideal for the inter-island racing offered in the HIHO race.
HIHO 2011 was a family affair with many clans competing in the different classes. The Trout, Gerber, and Denney families traveled from Hawaii, California, and Florida respectively to compete in the multi-event race. “This year’s Highland Spring HIHO had a great family flavor,” event director, Andy Morell said. “It’s wonderful to see whole families racing together.”
Athletes stay aboard a fleet of Moorings catamarans on the week-long inter-island tour of the British Virgin Islands. This year’s event saw competitors from around the globe as racers traveled from the US, France, Poland, South Africa, and Brazil to paddle through the British Virgin Islands. – Shari Coble