It’s been a few days now since the Carolina Cup and I am still buzzing! This was my first American Podium career finish and also a massively important result as Carolina Cup is the biggest & most competitive of the North American racing season. I also feel this is a massive victory for me because it’s been 4 years of dedication and hard work to reach this level, as well as to share the podium with not only with my friend but also with my Brother, Bruno! This is also an outstanding victory for Starboard as this is the first time there are two Starboards on the podium (I must say a massive congratulations to Boothy for taking home the win).
It was perfect conditions but still a tough race. Friday evening the conditions on Wrightsville Beach were hectic, the seas was very rough and the wind was blowing at almost hurricane strength taking tents and boards in the air. I was quite anxious going to sleep, but ready to race, after many months of preparation in Bali at the Rip Curl School of Surf, following my professional schedule prepared by SEPA Strength and Endurance Performance Academy. The goal was set, last year I managed to keep a good pace throughout the race, but miscalculated my energy and got left behind on the home stretch, finishing 12th, I knew my mistakes and I knew how to step up my game.
Saturday morning came around and the conditions calmed down, with only a light offshore breeze, perfect sunshine and close to flat conditions. I knew it was time to show what I am capable of!w
Michael and I had a very good start, and shortly after the horn blew in Wrightsville we set the pace in the front 1st and 2nd, leading a super-competitive field into the inlet and back canal, where we formed a 4 man train with Bruno and Ty Judson linking up with us. We had a pretty mean pace all the way through with Boothy setting a new course record, which really proves how strong we hammered through the whole race.
After passing “Palms Island” Heading into the second canal, a big boat wake mixed up the formation of the lead pack ~ everybody tried to make the best out of it, Bruno got a huge lead, Michael and I had to put in everything we had to close the gap, while still fighting our top positions. We did what we had to do – paddled so fast to break away from the rest of the pack so they could not draft us.
Heading into the Ocean, with the right lane choice on the second inlet, Michael closed the gap on Bruno, while I was close enough to keep the pace, but just too far to make it to them, we pretty much sprinted a couple of kilometres till the end, all fighting to make it up there. I had a few moments were I was getting closer and closer but in the battle for the 1st place the guys were really pushing hard, which also helped me to increase my lead on the rest of the field.
I kept it together, I knew I can do it, and for the first time in my career managed to put a foot on the Podium in the USA with my third place at the 2019 Carolina CUP SUP race, after Michael Booth in first and my brother, Bruno Hasuyo, in third.
All in all, it was an incredible race with an amazing atmosphere and an increasing number of participants in every race category, according to the event Race Director! A real celebration of the Sport!
I’m really looking forward to coming back next year and thanks a lot to the Wrightsville Beach Club! Thanks a lot Carolina CUP!
May Tiki be with us all!
~ Daniel Hasulyo
All Picture Credits: Laura Glantz