The ripest mangoes are always just out of reach. Being a flyweight, my friends would direct me up high and out to the “deep end” of the skinny tree limbs. Because, if you only pick the low hanging fruit, the ripeness of life will pass you by.
Oahu based paddler Jenn Lee isn’t afraid to climb the skinny branches. For as long as I can remember, Jenn has schlepped her 12'-6" SUP board to Hood River, Oregon to race the Gorge Paddle Challenge. Far from the glamour of big team support, Jenn and her mother Cathy are self-supported in their 2,600 mile pilgrimage; the journey more difficult than the racing, which is over 2 days consisting of 2 downwind legs and a course race.
Hawaii has many iconic downwind paddle runs. And Jenn has raced them all. Her low hanging fruit is a paddling paradise and no one would fault her if she never strayed from her backyard. But the Gorge downwind runs are too tempting for this adventurous young woman. And like the juicy ripe mangoes just out of grasp, she comes back year after year to bask in the downwind glory of the Gorge.
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