Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ocean of Hope competes in Hawaii

Scott Gamble is a lot like his cousin. “He was an ocean guy ... loved surfing, paddling, fishing. Loved Hawaii.”

But two rare cancers, angiosarcoma and rhabdomyosarcoma, cut short Dodge Ackerman's life at 22. This year, Gamble signed up with Ocean of Hope, the largest fundraiser for the Sarcoma Alliance.

“I joined O2H because I wanted to help spread the word about their amazing cause,” says Gamble, 33. I am sure both [my cousin] and his family would have benefited greatly from the resources that O2H and the Sarcoma Alliance now provide.”

O2H captain Aimee Spector of Redondo Beach, Calif., says the team will have at least six paddlers in the Molokai to Oahu race. The other five are from the Los Angeles area.

Last year, Gamble placed third in the race. He won first in the 2009 Dukes Hawaii Championships, and second in the 2010 Battle of the Paddle Distance Race. Because he lives in Honolulu, he says, “the Molokai crossing means a lot to me. It is both a mental and physical test ...very grueling, yet rewarding at the same time. It is a great opportunity to not only cross one of the most prestigious channels in paddling, but also meet all the great watermen and women that enjoy the sport of standup paddling as much as I do.

“I got into standup about two years ago and I have been hooked ever since. I really enjoy downwind distance paddling because it combines two activities that I love: paddling and surfing. I really enjoy being out in the open water with nobody around just trying to read and then surf the ocean open swells. Standing on a board versus sitting in a canoe gives a whole different perspective to understanding the water.”

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