Baxter sweeps races at Oregon SUP event

Connor Baxter of Pukalani swept the three events at the Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge that took place Saturday and Sunday in Hood River, Ore., adding to his collection of 2014 stand-up paddling titles.

Baxter won the course race, completing five laps of approximately one mile each in 56 minutes, 2 seconds. Baxter then won both of Sunday’s eight-mile downwind races, finishing the first in 1:02:39 and the second in 1:07:49.

Haiku’s Kody Kerbox, the defending champion, was fifth in the course race, and 11th in each downwind competition. Former Maui resident Slater Trout was ninth in the course race, and posed back-to-back 10th-place finishes in the downwind events.

Baxter arrived in Oregon off a second consecutive victory in the Ultimate SUP Showdown in Waikiki on Aug. 19. Last month, he captured the Molokai- 2Oahu World Championships, and the Camp David World Cup in Germany. He claimed a third consecutive OluKai Maliko Downwind Run championship in May, and swept the sprint and distance races in the Stand Up World Series’ Brazil Pro Grand Slam in April.