Nutri-Grain Ironman, athlete and Springfree Trampoline ambassador Luke Cuff is currently in Hawaii, preparing for the M20 Paddleboard World Championships!
Competing in the World Championships is a huge achievement, as it is one of the toughest ocean races in the world! Luke will race the other athletes 52km from the island of Molokai back to the island of Oahu.
We caught up with Luke, as he prepares for the Molokai2Oahu Paddleboard World Championships…
What does it mean to you as an athlete to make it into the world championships?
"I have been to the Surf Lifesaving World Titles and have competed in the paddleboard races in previous years, but this is on another level - it's the Long Distance Paddleboard World Championships, and as my first time competing I'm absolutely stoked to compete in the race that has so much culture behind it."
What’s the atmosphere like in Hawaii at the moment?
"The atmosphere is quite weird at the moment, there was a mini hurricane called Darby last night when I was here, with huge winds and insane lightning and rain which has tossed things around a little bit. But the next day has actually been amazing, and the hype is building for the race. After doing a few training sessions off Diamond Head I'm getting really excited now."
What kind of preparations are you undergoing before July 31?
"I'm still trying to maintain a program, as I would with any other races I do. I’m swimming 5kms in the morning, then I usually have a paddle on the craft, getting used to the board that I’ve picked up here in Hawaii. The boards are 18ft long so it's very different from a normal 10ft racing mal. I have a scooter which is fun on the island, and I’m meeting some of my mates that I'm racing, so it's all fun and getting real!"
Can you tell us more about the Paddleboard World Championships?
"The M2O Paddleboard World Championships is a 52km race from the island of Molokai back to the island of Oahu. It's a paddle against the ocean and winds and it's one of the toughest ocean races in the world. It's a huge cultural experience, with paddlers competing on stand-up paddleboards, 12ft prone paddleboards, solo outriggers, and 2 man and 6 man outriggers. So it's a huge event and I can't wait to take part, and have a good crack at it."
How are you feeling about your solo race?
"I'm feeling better now that I'm off the plane and had some sleep and got my things prepared here on the island, ready for the big weekend coming up!"
How does this sit on the scale of things, compared to the other events you’ve competed in? – This is pretty huge!
"This is massive for me, usually I have competed in events around 45 minutes long. This can be anywhere from 5 to 6 hours or more, depending how the ocean treats us on the day, which is why it's such a big event. You never know what it can toss up. The training has been different, long and tiring, but because I have changed up my program it's kept things interesting and I'm loving the long distance at the moment!"
Is there anything else you’d like to share, or add?
"My coach Mike Janes is over here supporting me and my girlfriend Chandler will also be on my support boat, cheering me on the whole way, and helping me out with food and nutrition that I need. So I am very thankful and grateful for this experience and would like to thank Springfree Trampoline for supporting me and helping me along this journey. Appreciated."
Join us in showing your support for Luke, by following on Twitter @lukejcuff and Facebook @thecuffironman and wishing him luck. And make sure you hashtag #teamcuff. You can also follow the Springfree Trampoline Facebook page for updates!