Crossing the Channel of Bones is definitely a love-hate relationship. The cross-chop from everyone in the beginning is crazy, but after 30 minutes you look around and you’re just alone in the middle of the ocean, waiting for your escort boat to find you. I trained on more flatwater and upwind this year instead of downwinders. Coming from Maui, I’m so spoiled with great downwinders like the Maliko and toward the end of the race, as I came to China Walls, I had to hammer upwind for 2 miles straight, so the training paid off, but my arms were shaking with every stroke. It was the hardest race I’ve ever done and I thought my body was going to collapse. During the race I kept thinking, ‘this seems harder than last year,’ and I was fighting myself to keep a good mindset. I wished I could teleport to the finish when I saw the buoys.