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  • Mindless Kona Moments - Part 3

    Thu, 9 Oct 2008 13:15:00 -0800

    Whether your racing or not, one of the best fringe benefits of being in Kailua-Kona for the Ford Ironman World Championship is the water of Kailua Bay. We've tried to get out in the water every day, not so much to catch another pro at Dig Me Beach but to simply enjoy the natural beauty of this amazing water.
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    Paula, Heather, Shannon, & Roch head out on a glassy Kona morning. Notice how everyone is smiling? Thatís what Kailua Bay will do on pretty much any morning. Who needs coffee?

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    This is the same view swimmers will have during the race breathing to their left as they swim toward the turn around. Thatís the Royal Kona Resort in the foreground (the landmark that denotes half way to the turn-around) and Hualalai unobscured by clouds. When you can see the summit of Hualalai at this time of day, you can pretty much be guaranteed a very hot sun beyond noon time down on the coast. A beautiful time of day with an indication of much hotter temperatures to come.

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    Heather and Shannon decide to trade boards. Shannon would move from the 16-foot NCP paddleboard to the 12-foot SurfTech Laird Stand Up while Heather would do the opposite. Both ladies would try to make this exchange without getting wetÖplease! Itís 80-degrees! Get in the water and get it over with.

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    Huddle gets a crack at Big Red Ė the name weíve given the SurfTech Laird Stand Up Paddleboard. At this point he was looking for the espresso catamaran but, like we said, when youíre on Kailua Bay in the morning, you certainly donít need caffeine. Walking on water in paradise is more than enough to wake you up.

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    Iíve got to admit, itís a little easier (not to mention, faster) to paddle to the swim turnaround of the Ford Ironman World Championship course than it is to swim. Roch and Huddle take a moment at the turn around buoy to flex and behave like the posers that they are for the camera. Nice job boys. Now get off those sissy paddleboards and swim back!

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    Paula and Heather position for a picture at the turn around buoy and, somehow, manage to perfectly frame Shannon in the background. This was the first time any of these women, who have collectively swum this course over 50-times, have been to the swim turnaround on top of the water rather than in the water. No wonder theyíre all smiling!

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    If thatís Scott Molina, coffee canít be far away. The 1988 Ford Ironman World Champion is back to race in the 45-49 age group but, even when heís swimming in Kona, coffee is never far from his mind. Scott would board the catamaran to serve coffee to his fellow Ironman competitors. By the way, he looks like heís chiseled out of stone right now so Iíll put him down for a 9:30 Ė definitely a sub-10-hour race Ė on Saturday.

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    Roch pulls up at the floating espresso bar for a little pick-me-up. I think it was the novelty of getting Molina to serve him in a Speedo that prompted Rochís sudden jones for a cup.

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    If youíre swimming and have your head down, how will you ever know thereís coffee available? Well, the folks at www.coffeesofhawaii.com have thought of everything. Simply get a few rocks and a nice big banner and put your sign on the floor of Kailua Bay. Even Ironman swimmers can appreciate a nice cup of 100% Kona in the middle of a swim. No, it didnít cost anything Ė it was free! Now thatís a promotion worth swimming forÖgenius advertising.

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    Donít think Ironman focused swimmers will look around under water? Well I swam over to the main thoroughfare for the morning swimmers next to the underwater coffee advertisement and dropped down about 10-feet and took a few shots looking back up. In the moments that I was underwater taking a few shots, I actually got this woman to smile and wave as she went by. You know she stopped for coffee on the way back.

    80-degrees. Crystal clear. Colorful fish. Spinner dolphins. Turtles. Manta rays. Shaved men in Speedos. Coffee bars. Coffee Bars?! Yes, it's 2008 and there's a coffee bar out there. That's right, we're describing the water of Kailua Bay during race week of the Ford Ironman World Championship. Here are some images from the water of this great race.