This July marks my 40th Birthday. Tanya and I typically take a vacation together somewhere to celebrate our anniversary, which also have happens to be in July. We typically like to seek out Paddle Destinations, now that we are so involved in this sport, and love seeing the beauty of God’s Creation from our Boards. The original plan however, was to go on a Cruise with a bunch of friends, and really celebrate my 40th in style.
Plans changed, once a friend of mine (Casey Trout) mentioned that he and his family were going on the HIHO trip. As he began to talk about it, I became more and more intrigued. I have had no less than 3 friends and family members tell me that sailing through the British Virgin Islands was the greatest vacation they had ever taken. All 3 of these people travel pretty extensively and have seen some of the most beautiful places on earth, so them telling this was their favorite, held a lot of weight.
Upon speaking to Andy Morell, the event organizer, I found out they have been doing this trip for over 25 years, with the Wind Surfing Community. It wasn’t until 2010 that they opened it up to Stand Up Paddling.
Some of the folks that went last year, are EJ and Andie Johnson, Lance and Dolly Erikson, Mickey Munoz, and John and Barrie Denney. As I began to reach out to a few of them (Andie and John primarily), I heard the exact same thing I had always heard about sailing through the BVI’s. They all absolutely loved it. Here is what Andie sent me via SUP Connect.
I went last year and had an amazing time. The islands and cays that you arrive at each day are unbelievable!
Great healthy lunches delivered to you each day after the races.
The dinners and entertainment are top notch all the way!
It was my first time to the British Virgin Islands and it was more that I had dreamed of. For the first year of introducing SUP, there weren’t too many paddlers, but I expect 2011 there will be many more. This event is a must at least one time in your life!
Here is a video clip from the Denney’s talking about their experiences on the HIHO trip.
As I started speaking these folks about the trip, 2 themes emerged. The Unprecedented Beauty of the BVI’s, and the first class food and parties the event organizers provided.
When all was said and done, I looked at it as combining two things I love into one trip. I love sailing, and have always wanted to sail through the BVI’s. I also love Stand Up Paddling, especially in gorgeous destinations, with crystal clear water. Getting to do both on one vacation was more than I could pass up. All I can say is I am counting down the days until HIHO 2011.
Below is some info from the HIHO Website, along with some contact information for Andy Morell, should you have any follow up questions.
In addition, I am going to try and post daily or semi-daily updates during the event, if you want to follow along.
Photos from last years HIHO
From the HIHO Organizers
Highland Spring HIHO 2011 Set for June 26th – July 3rd World’s Best Stand-up paddle (SUP) Adventure
Tortola, BVI. (December 5, 2010) – HIHO announces details of the Highland Spring HIHO 2011 event in the British Virgin Islands from Sunday, June 26th through Sunday, July 3rd. Known worldwide as one of the greatest watersports adventures, the Highland Spring HIHO is a week long all-inclusive adventure vacation comprising inter-island stand-up paddle (SUP) races, windsurfing, sailing, planned parties, daily water-based activities and accommodations aboard captained catamarans supplied by The Moorings.
Manufacturer YOLO Board joins the 2011 event as the official SUP sponsor and the event will include a YOLO Adventure One-Design Class along with an Open Class for SUP Racers. Daily racing for both the SUP and windsurfer classes take place as the event winds its way throughout the British Virgin Islands including stops at Virgin Gorda, Prickly Pear Island, Eustatia, Anegada, The Baths, Bellamy Cay, Beef Island, Peter & Norman Islands, Little Thatch and Tortola.
Daily SUP races will pit the YOLO Adventure One-Design racers on 2-3-mile course in protected waters. An adventure theme will always be woven into each race. “Participants in the Adventure One-Design class should be ready to swim, dive, limbo and dig for treasure in each race,” confirmed Morrell.
Open class racers will compete on longer inter-island racers. The Open class should expect 5-7-mile courses each day, and yes, they too will get a taste of adventure!
YOLO Adventure One-Design class members must compete on 12’ Original YOLO Boards which are available for rent. Open class racers can compete on any board under 14’. Contact the organizers for a list of open class boards on-hand to rent.
In addition to the races, daily activities are available including kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, yacht racing, fishing, beach trips and a treasure hunt. A kids camp is available for younger attendees. Highland Spring HIHO is also well know for fine cuisine and live entertainment with excellent dinners planned for each island stop and nightly Caribbean entertainment and dancing.
Highland Spring HIHO features a tour of the British Virgin Islands with participants accommodated aboard captained catamarans. No sailing experience is required.
Rates for the Highland Springs HIHO 2011 begin at $2,099 per person for a double cabin occupancy aboard a 40’ or 43’ catamaran and include lunch and dinner with drinks, all parties, most activities, taxes and an official HIHO T-shirt and bag or hat. Additional options are available including an air-conditioned 46’ catamaran upgrade, single cabin supplement, junior participation rate and Kids 6 years and Under rate. Race fees are $125.00 per racer for competing stand up paddlers and windsurfers.
Organizers report healthy advance registration with Slater Trout topping the list of big- name racers who will attend. In addition there are racers from Texas, California, Hawaii, the UK, Brazil, Poland, France and the Caribbean.
For more information on the Highland Spring HIHO 2011, please visit www.go-hiho.com, call 284.494.0337. 2