A Gloucester native now living in the Peru's Magnolia section, Michael O’Hara is competing as a member of the four-person Irish national team in at least three of the four championship disciplines at the World Stand-up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship in Lima, Peru.
O’Hara turned 50 in December. Next
Because of the withdrawal of the United States national team, O’Hara will also be the only American among about 150 competitors from 23 countries taking part in the event.
The championship began last weekend and wraps up Saturday in Lima’s Miraflores district. Next
O’Hara’s participation in the world championship is the latest chapter in a lifetime of water sports, starting with lobster boat dinghies and Grand Banks dories and then racing 12-man seine boats in Gloucester’s annual St. Peter’s Fiesta. Next
O'Hara has only been paddle-board racing for two years and only tried stand up paddling four years prior. Next
O’Hara acknowledges that his age is a factor, including from a curiosity standpoint, but refused to use it as an excuse.
Even his daughter Jelisa, a student at Santa Clara University in California, "and her buddies think it’s pretty amazing and pretty humorous that old Dad is going to be racing on the big screen,” said O’Hara. Next
O’Hara [pictured here with Team Ireland at the opening ceremonies in Peru] said he’d like to keep racing for another five years or so.
But then, contemplating the world championships, he added with a laugh: “Maybe the night this is over, that’ll be it. I might have a couple of pints, and call it a day.” Back to the beginning
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