Tiger Shark Attacks Connor Baxter’s Foilboard While Downwinding Maliko Run
MAUI--Last weekend, champion SUP racer Connor Baxter was attacked while downwind standup foilboarding Maui’s Maliko Run with friends and fellow professional paddlers, Zane Schweitzer and Alex Aguera.
The culprit, a tiger shark that Baxter reported to be about 10 feet long, latched onto his board’s foil underwater and began thrashing relentlessly. The turbulence was enough to knock Baxter--a three-time Molokai 2 Oahu champion and multiple SUP Award recipient-- flat on his back. Luckily he was able to stay on his board and out of harms way.
“After about 20 seconds (of thrashing) I realized, 'OK, this thing is not letting go and I need to do something quick,'” Baxter told local television newscasters.
Baxter spent the next few minutes warding off the shark, jabbing it with his paddle from atop the board. It took about ten solid blows before the shark relented and left Baxter--a lifelong paddler of his hometown’s Maliko Run--trembling from the experience.
“I was on my knees for the next 20 minutes, shaking,” Baxter said.
All three paddlers finished the run physically unscathed, despite the horrific scare. Stay tuned for a follow up interview with Baxter about the experience.