Archive for August, 2011

Brad Thomas Wins the Classic

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

After missing last year’s Catalina Classic because he broke a leg surfing, and finishing sixth in 2009, Brad Thomas knew this might be his last chance to have his name engraved on the Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race Perpetual Trophy.

Race Results

Thomas is 43 and his wife Jill, whom he met four years ago at a Catalina Classic awards dinner, are expecting their first child in two months.

Thomas was favored this year, but not heavily. The Redondo Beach“Shoulder Doc,” as he is known by the many lifeguards whose rotator cuffs he has repaired, defeated last year’s Catalina Classic winnerAdam Buckleytwo months ago in the Hennessey U.S. Paddleboarding Championships in Redondo Beach. But last month he had finished a relatively distant 12th in the Molokai Paddleboard Race, 34 minutes behind 10-timeMolokaiwinner and former Catalina Classic winner Jamie Mitchell. More significantly he had finished 13 minutes behind Australian Mick Porra, and six minutes behind Hawaiian Brian Rocheleau, both of whom would be competing in this year’s Classic.

“I knew Rocheleau and Porra would be competition, but Catalina is a different race thanMolokai,” Thomas said with his characteristically understated manner.

Like the Classic, which starts at the Catalina Isthmus and ends at the Manhattan Beach pier, Molokaiis a 32 mile open ocean race. Hawaiians describe the Molokaias “wrestling alligators.” Simply staying on the narrow 12- to 19-feet boards is a challenge because of the large, following swells. But those same swells propel the paddlers, a benefit Classic paddlers don’t enjoy.

The wind blew 25 knots out of the northwest across the Catalina Channel for the three days prior to last Sunday’s Classic, leaving behind a west swell for the paddlers who would be paddling just two degrees off of north to the Manhattan Beach pier. Molokaimay be a more technical race, but it’s less a test of will power and endurance. Jamie Mitchell’s only paddleboard race defeat in nearly a decade was in the 2006 Catalina Classic, won by Los Angeles County lifeguard Kyle Daniels. Like Daniels in 2006, Thomas went out hard Sunday morning when the starting horn blew at 6 a.m. By the time he reached the waiting escort boats at Ship Rock, two miles out, he had separated himself from the pack of 80 other paddlers.

From there, Thomas never looked back, literally.

“I didn’t look back once,” he said following the race. “My support crew wouldn’t tell me where Rocheleau and Porra were until we reached the R10 buoy.”

The R10 buoy is one mile off the Palos Verdes Peninsula and eight miles from the finish line. Paddlers are required to pass east of the buoy before heading to the Manhattan pier.

Thomas reached the R10 in 3:54:19, for an average of nearly 6 miles per hour, despite the broad beam swell and the even more punishing head wind that measured up to 10 knots mid channel.

Rocheleau was almost six minutes, or nearly a mile behind Thomas when he reached the R10 and Porra another two minute behind Rocheleau. The closest other paddlers where 10 minutes back of the Hawaiian and the Australian.


Catalina Classic 2011 Paddleboard Race results

2011 Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race Results

Sunday, August 28th, 2011
View the 2011 Catalina Classic Race results

Brad Thomas Wins the 2011 Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race

paddleboard race results 2011In the absence of any previous Catalina Classic winners competing in this year’s race, local favorites are expected to meet their toughest competition from Hawaiian and Australian paddlers.

The 32-mile race starts at 6 a.m. Sunday at the Isthmus on Catalina Island and is expected to finish about 11 a.m. at the Manhattan pier.

The local favorites in the unlimited division are orthopedic surgeon Brad Thomas and Los Angeles County Lifeguard Anthon Vella.

Thomas won the eight mile Hennessey U.S. Paddleboarding Championship in July, defeating last year’s Catalina Classic winner Adam Buckley. Vella won the Father’s Day Rock to Rock, a 22 mile race from the Isthmus to San Pedro. But the two will be challenged by Hawaiian paddler Brian Rocheleau, who placed second in last year’s Catalina Classic and 8th in last month’s 32-mile Molokai Channel Paddleboard race, and Australian Mick Porra, who at age 50, placed sixth last month in the 32-mile Molokai race.

In the stock division (12-foot boards, under 20 pounds), Sunday’s two favorites will each be recovering from victories in last month’s Molokai race.

Jack Bark, of Palos Verdes, teamed with 2008 and 2009 Molokai stock winner Mickey Cote to win the 2011 stock relay division. Eric Abbot, of Hawaii, won this year’s solo stock division in a Molokai record time of 5:26. Both paddlers race for Bark Paddleboards, owned by Jack’s father Joe Bark, a perennial top finisher who has competed in every Classic since 1983.

Jay Sheckman, of San Diego, is expected to put pressure on the two stock favorites. Sheckman finished third in Classic’s stock division last year.

The tradition-bound race has just the unlimited and stock divisions. There are no relay, age or sex divisions. But for the first time this year, an honorary relay team will compete to raise money for the Wounded Warriors Battalion. Wounded veterans from the Afghan War will team up with Catalina Classic veterans, including Ron Robuck, Gene Boyer, Kyle Daniels and Chris Brown.

Also, for the first time since 1960, the Catalina Classic is being held on the same day as the Manhattan Beach Open Volleyball tournament. The tournament was established by the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce that year to entertain paddleboard fans waiting for the paddlers to reach the finish line at the Manhattan Beach pier. But the race was canceled the following year, due to rough weather and not resurrected until 1982.

2010 Catalina Classic Race

Official results Page

Video – Rob Rojas – Race Cam

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Rob Rojas, arguably one of the world’s best distance paddlers, won the O’Neill Sea Paddle NYC, a 26.5-mile race he blitzed in three hours and 56 minutes. As New York is one of the most picturesque cities on Earth, SUP Magazine thought it proper to make sure a camera was following Rob’s every move. So enjoy the Rob Rojas Cam as he recaps his Big Apple victory….

2011 Molokai race interviews – Brian Szymanski

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

I had the chance to catch up with the man behind the super fast Starboards race SUP’s, Brian Szymanski on the evening before the Molokai to Oahu race on July 30, 2011. He talks about his shapes, downwind racing, and the Molokai race- good stuff!

~ Robert Stehlik


Zen Waterman Blog

Starboard SUP Dan Gavere

How to Surf Better – Paddle faster w/ Watermans Jamie Mitchell

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Somewhere on the way to his 10 championships, Jamie Mitchell picked up on a few things that can make anyone’s stroke more streamline. Photo: Hodgson/A-Frame

We could go on and on about the delicate intricacies of making you a better surfer (and trust us, we undoubtedly will) but there’s a seldom-sung-yet-hugely-important side to surfing that’s far too overlooked: Paddling. If you want to surf better, you’ll need to start catching more waves. And if you want to catch more waves, you’ll need to become a stronger paddler. To get your arms churning at capacity, we rang up 10-time paddleboard champ Jamie Mitchell for some insight.

There’s much more to being a strong paddler than just moving your arms faster. According to Mitchell, using your body to its fullest—along with the surrounding elements—is paramount. Whether you’ve got the arms of a crocodile or the wing span of Owen Wright, if you’re simply jabbing at the water as opposed to fully extending your arms for each stroke, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Further, if you’re paddling to the inside and see a chop, make the most of it. “It’s not just about throwing your arms around faster,” says Mitchell. “It’s about body positioning, looking at the ocean, and reading what’s going on in front of you and using it to your advantage.”

If you want to paddle faster, you’ll need to make a conscious effort of how you paddle. “We could all put a bit more thought into physically feeling the water in our hands when we pull through it,” says Mitchell. “You want that nice, strong feeling of tension against your hand when you paddle. That alone will transfer into a much stronger stroke.”

Talk to any swimmer and they’ll tell you that the key is pulling every centimeter of reach out of each stroke. To an extent, the same mantra holds true to surfing. “Say you’re in a paddle-battle at Snapper or J Bay for priority, that’s when you want to really extend your arm, open your torso, and get the most out of each stroke and move past your opponent,” says Mitchell. All those extra inches gained will add up.

Like any sport, if you want to paddle faster, you’ll need to cross-train. “There are a lot of things that you can do to make yourself paddle faster,” says Mitchell. “If you really want to get serious, go get yourself a paddleboard, go downwind, and try and catch a few bumps. You’ll pick up a few things about the ocean that you wouldn’t have thought of before.”



Jamie uses the SPF33 Sun Cream – Buy Now

Read post on Watermans Applied Science Sunscreen For Waterman!

Naish Gorge Paddle Challenge with Jenny Kalmbach

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

By Jenny Kalmbach

This past weekend was the 1st Naish Gorge Paddle Challenge in Hood River, Oregon. It was such a great event and I had so much fun. For being in it’s first year, the competition was extremely tough – most of the top women in SUP were there which made it all the more exciting. Saturday was the 4.5 mile course race and the conditions were HOT & FLAT. I managed to get a great start but caught in some of the side chop from all the boards after the first buoy. I was tied for third in the middle of the first lap but after taking a sip of water I fell off the drafting “train”. Once you fall off the pack it is almost impossible to make up the distance!! I finished 4th overall for the women. It was definitely one of the most grueling races I have been in and I will need to start working on my drafting skills, which seem to make a big difference!!

Sunday was the long distance coures. We weren’t sure if the wind was going to cooperate but it managed to come up just enough to make it a fun race. I had another great start and managed to be one of the first 3 paddlers to the buoy turn, the downside of that is that you end up getting passed by all the fast guys at some point! I was in the lead for the first part of the race but instead of turning into shore sooner, I chose to stay in the middle and surf the bumps. Although you’re going downwind, there is a current pushing against you and it’s stronger in the middle of the river. I got passed and was in 2nd place and managed to surf my way back up to the front but as soon as the bumps died and we hit the flat water I fell back again. I finished the race in 2nd place, which I’ll take! It’s always nice to improve from the day before :) That afternoon was the relay race and instead of creating our own teams, each elite athlete was paired with 3 random people. It was so much fun and after a lot of battling and some falls we managed to pull off a 2nd place finish. The best part was seeing all the new paddlers who were so excited to be out there competing.

Paddle for Humanity Washington D.C. – RESULTS

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Stoke technique video analysis from SUP racing workshop

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

This is a 18 minute video from our North Shore SUP racing workshop held this morning, Aug. 21st.
We had 8 participants and two coaches:  Dennis Pang and myself.

If a picture says a thousand words, video says even more and seeing yourself paddle is very helpful, so I focused on getting everyone’s stoke on video both from land and from a wide angle camera mounted on the front of the board.  The video is intended mostly for the 8 participants to understand their stroke better and find small things they can work on.  I think anyone trying to make their stoke more efficient, fast, and powerful can benefit from watching this.

Refining your stoke is not something that happens overnight, you need to put in the time and practice and the more you do it, the more efficient your stoke will become.
There is no right or wrong way to paddle but one thing that all good paddlers seem to have in common is good reach and catch.
Thanks to all the participants, I hope you had a good time and enjoy the video, please leave a comment!

Video stroke analysis at the Blue Planet SUP race workshop on Aug. 21st, 2011.

If you are confused by the terms used in the voiceover, please read the technique posts here- parts 2,3,4.
In retrospect, I should have added some video of a pro paddler with good technique.

In the photo below, Danny Ching shows excellent form during the power phase:  shoulders stacked, paddle vertical, arms straight, transferring the power from the core and back directly to the paddle.

photo: Chris Silvester

Robert Stehlik

Read Full Article on Zen Waterman

The Oregon Open Ocean Classic SUP / paddleboard 2nd Annual Oregon Open Ocean – Newport

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

The Oregon Open Ocean Classic SUP / paddleboard race is on August 27-28th, 2011. The World Paddle Association (WPA) has sanctioned both races and will provide stand up paddlers with qualifying points towards the downwind and Pacific Northwest regional series.

The classic ocean race is an 8 mile, North to South downwind course around Yaquina Head and counts towards the WPA PNW Downwind points series. This years start will be at Otter Rock and the finish at Nye Beach in Newport. Standup and prone paddlers will charge through the surf, then downwind in great ocean conditions along the beautiful Oregon shore.The Le Mans beach start will have participants running to their boards and racing through the surf to reach the open ocean. Once outside the surf, paddlers will head offshore ~1 mile and then South 6 miles riding the prevalent 10 -30 knot winds and swell around Yaquina Head. The finish will be through the surf at historic Nye Beach in Newport. Be sure to mark this one on your calendar, it will be a blast.

A flat water race has been added this year up the beautiful Yaquina Bay estuary providing WPA members with points towards the WPA Pacific NW Regional series. It will be roughly 8 miles but will occur with the incoming tides so paddlers will be able to ride the current over the course with the prevalent NW winds which will be at the paddler’s back. Stand up paddlers not comfortable with surf or offshore conditions will find this race a wonderful alternative, while experienced racers will enjoy the wonderful setting and point to point course.

An important pre-race meeting and banquet will be on Friday the 26th. Specific days of each race will be determined by weather and ocean conditions, so come to Newport, Oregon for the weekend and enjoy some great paddling. Oh, by the way, there are great waves in this area too.

Ocean Race – $75
Bay Race – $45
Both Races – $100

Note: Oregon Open Ocean will donate a portion of each registration to the Newport chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. Registrants who participate in both races will recieve food and beverages during the Friday night meeting and banquet.

Categories Ocean Race

Stock up to 12’6″
Stock up to 14′
Age 50+ (up to 14′ )
Prone (12′ or greater only)

Stock up to 12’6″
Stock up to 14′

Categories Bay Race

Surfboard SUP class (12’2” and under, wide nose & tail)
Stock up to 12’6″
Stock up to 14′
Age 50+ (up to 14′ )
Prone (12′ or greater only)

Surfboard SUP class (12’2” and under, wide nose & tail)
Stock up to 12’6″
Stock up to 14′

Skippers Meeting

A Skippers meeting will take place on Friday August 26th. All participants are required to attend this meeting for a discussion of the race rules, safety, course, weather, contingencies and other important details. The race start will be adjusted based on the weather, surf and wind to make this event as fun and safe as possible. This meeting will address any last minute decisions that might need to be made in order to achieve those goals.


The primary goal of this event is for all participants to have a fun and safe time. The ocean course is extremely challenging. If you have never paddled in rough, windy, surf or open water conditions, do not consider this race as the first test of your ability. For both races safety is a primary concern for everyone’s benefit. Participants will be required to abide by the race rules and the following requirements (can be updated up to race day):

All participants must wear a wetsuit or dry suit to protect against the cold water (water temp off Newport on 7/28 are around 47.8 degrees F)
All participants must wear or carry a Coast Guard approved Type I, II or II PFD. This can include inflatable PFD’s with the above ratings.
All participants must carry a sound producing device (whistle or horn)
All paddlers must be securely tethered to their board. Participants will not be allowed to race without a leash.
All participants are highly encouraged to carry one or more daytime orange smoke flares as a visual distress signal (the ocean is big and visibility is difficult if there’s a good swell). These can be obtained at most marine supply stores, such as here.

So you want to be a diver like Healey? d.j. struntz

Monday, August 15th, 2011


Wanna be a waterman like Healey?  Then you had better read up, get educated, and get fit…Last week while diving off the coast of North Carolina I experienced a medical phenomena unique to free diving called “lung squeeze.”  Basically, I dove while exhausted from a 2 day photo shoot in California compounded by a red-eye flight and dehydration.  These factors combined with pushing myself to remain at depth in hopes luring in a toad grouper resulted in barotrauma to my lungs and me coughing up blood…My advice-take a class from Performance Free Diving, get trained, and do it right…don’t die for a fish…



Connor Baxter shatters course record to make SUP history

Friday, August 12th, 2011



I checked… it has never happened before.  When Chinese teen Sun Yang broke swimming longest standing record this year in the men’s 1500m he did it by 0.42 seconds.  Even when 16-year old Ang Chuang Yang wrestled the world texting record from Ben Cook she did it by only 0.7 seconds.  It took 90-years for men’s marathon runners to cut the world record by 30-minutes and female runners have just barely done it.  On July 31st 16-year old Connor Baxter didn’t just crush the SUP course record by 28:05, he set a new overall course record for the famed Molokai2Oahu Paddleboard World Championships by over twenty-two, coming across the finish line in 4:26:10 – four minutes ahead of his closest competition.

Standup paddling may be new, but at this point in the game it is the athletes who are getting stronger and not the equipment.  Connor’s board and paddle didn’t dramatically change from last year – only Connor did – and when you take into consideration the widely accepted theory that it takes 10,000-hours or around seven years of dedication to master something and remember the teen has only been paddling for three years it makes you wonder where the next four will take him.  One thing is for sure, I’ll be watching


– Pete




Buy Now


Read post on Watermans Applied Science Sunscreen For Waterman!


Thursday, August 11th, 2011


The race STARTS FINISHES on the border of the Coronado City Beach and the NAB/Gator Beach.  The COURSE will take you from the border of Coronado City Beach and NAB/Gator Beach to the Red Buoy just off of Point Loma and then the paddlers will circle back for the return leg.  It is 6.5 miles.

* Awards in 2011 will be for 1st through 3rd place in Unlimited (Age Groups: 18-39 & 40-49), 14′ (Open), Stock (Age Groups: 18-39 & 40-49), Women’s (Open), Legend’s (50+ Open), SUP Stock (Open), SUP 14′ (Open), SUP Unlimited (Open), SUP Legends (50+), and SUP Women’s (Open).

Note:  There are NO REFUNDS!!!  Also, if you qualified for the Legend’s class, but prefer to be in another class, please let us know when you register.

Directions:  Take I-5 North or South; Take the CA-75 exit onto the San Diego – Coronado Bay Bridge toward Coronado; Turn left on Orange Avenue and go past the Hotel Del Coronado; and Turn right either on Avenida de Las Arenas (parking lot) or Avenida Lunar (starting line). Mapquest link to create your own directions.

Race entry

Course Map

Volunteers:  Sheri, Julie, Indriyas, Alison, Arpa, and Coronado Lifeguards: Pepper, PJ, Francisco, Sean, Kyle, & Drew!!!

Watermans Jeff Denholm pre-race interview with Zen Waterman

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

On July 31st, 2011 Jeff accomplished something few thought possible by finishing the 32-mile Molokai2Oahu paddleboard race in under 7 hours – a difficult feet for even the most capable.  However, for those who know Bandit it was no surprise.  As his moniker indicates, Jeff has been stealing possibilities from fate for over a decade since his accident.  For this capable sailer anything is within his wheel house if he decides to put his mind to it.



Buy Now

Read post on Watermans Applied Science Sunscreen For Waterman!

Dave Kalama ” Spin’n and Grin’n “

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

My good friend Pat Myers has been in town the last few days, trying to collect some footage of me, and threw together this little piece of some fun south side action. Hope you like it. Also a quick congratulations to Connor Baxter for doing such a great job in the Molokai to Oahu. I didn’t have such a good day, but he sure did. He truly earned it and I’m sure there will be many more to come. Aloha, Dave

Ps. Check out the clip


Visit Dave’s site: A Waterman’s Journal: Dave Kalama

Connor Baxter Race Recap – Molokai 2011

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Images: Karen Baxter

The Molokai-2-Oahu Race as Jamie Mitchell states, “If you love paddling, this is the race of all races – it’s our Superbowl. I love the feeling of apprehension, the nerves and waiting to see what the ocean’s going to deliver. The depth of talent in this year’s race is unsurpassed.”

Well – the event for me started on Thursday. My dad, mom and I were to take our boat from Maui to Molokai on Friday, relax on Saturday, Race on Sunday. So preparations started on Thursday getting the boat provisioned and equipped.

Around 3:00pm my dad called me and asked me to pick up a guy named “Mike” at the airport. He was going to go on our boat for support. I asked what he looked like, what his cell number was – and my dad told me I did not know him – but he knew me. His cell phone was dead – but he would be holding a paddle.

I got to the airport – and what a “SURPRISE”!!! There was no “Mike” – My sister Ashley had flown in from California – to be with us for the weekend. She walked up to the car – and I was speechless. She and my dad had planned this Surprise – and WOW – what an OUTRAGEOUS Surprise!!

So – already the Weekend started out fantastic for me – with my sister coming to watch me race.

We all left on Friday morning from Kahului Harbor and headed over to the west side of Molokai. We stopped in Kaunakakai on the south side of Molokai to grab my race board that we left with our friend Greg Jenkins after the Triple Crown Event. Finally arriving at Kaluakoi Beach around 4:00pm, we swam in and walked to our condo settling in before dinner.

Saturday was a day to take it easy, focus on the upcoming race and what I had to do to win. That night the event had organized a dinner for us, then I went and had a second dinner at the Maui Jim get together and then it was straight to bed from there.

The next day we had to wake up at 5:00 in the morning to get down to the beach and get ready. Right before the race we had a Pule (Hawaiian Prayer) and then off to the water for the start of a long day. I was really stoked with the start – cause the Solo SUP’s got to start with all the Solo prone paddlers, which was cool because I got to paddle next to Jamie Mitchell for a bit.

When the horn blew I knew what I had to do and that is all I was focusing on. There was a little wind right from the start and I was catching some little bumps, which is always nice. I knew my biggest competition would be Dave Kalama, Scott Gamble and Livio Menelau. And, sure enough – the four of us were out in front quickly.

After about an hour Scott Gamble and I had taken the lead – and we were together right until the end. Pushing each other – never letting up. As we got more and more into the channel the swells got bigger and I started to get better and better glides. I had a steady pace going that was keeping me in the front of the pack. The farther I got into the channel it got harder and harder. I was getting more tired and the current was getting stronger going against me. But, I kept it going as hard as I could until the end.

One thing that really helped was having my family on the boat cheering for me to keep me going. Hearing them cheer was like drinking some energy drink – it just gave a huge boast to paddle harder.

When I was about 10 miles off of Oahu it felt like I wasn’t moving and it didn’t look like I was getting closer to the island at all. The current in the channel is swift – and runs north hampering the downwind headway. As Dave Kalama wrote “Most of this race really is fun…, but when you get close to Oahu the fun stops and the reality of how hard it really is starts to set in. For some reason Mother Nature decided to put one of her most wicked currents in front of Oahu acting like a night club bouncer protecting the door.”

Keeping an eye on Scott – I noticed we were dead even except he was more north than I was. This positioning made a big difference. And, I was exactly where I needed and wanted to be.

When we turned down to head to Coco Head, I was closer than him because he was more upwind (North) of me. This gave me a good gap on him, which would be really hard for him to make up.

Making it to the wall and hugging it, getting out of the washing machine, getting around Portlock – I knew what was in store for me. The “Next” hardest part of the race – the end – making it to the finish line.

Once I turned the corner it was $&!#. I had to paddle upwind for about 1½ miles – and the wind was blowing – gusting to about 20mph right in my face. I was already super tired from the 31 mile Crossing – but then to top it off I had this nice treat. I choked up on my paddle, crouched down with my body, put my head down and just kept paddling to the finish. As I got closer and closer I could hear all the people, which made me paddle faster.

Being the first person to the beach Overall was pretty cool because normally Jamie is the first guy to touch the beach. When I crossed the finish I was so dead and ready for a nice cool – you got it – a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup!!

I ended up with a time of 4:26:10. This time beat last years record be almost 30 minutes and beat Jamie’s new record by about 15 minutes. I was really happy with my result and can’t wait for the next challenge.

I want to thank my sponsors for all their support – Starboard, Rainbow Sandals, Maui Jim Sunglasses, EFX Technology, Dakine, Nike 6.0, GoPro Cameras, On It Pro, Waterman’s Sunscreen, Sunrite Maui, SIC Maui and Hi-Tech Sports.

A Special Thanks to Scott Sanchez from MPG for his wisdom as a trainer.

And, to a wonderful, thoughtful, special Sister – Ashley – Thanks for this special “surprise” weekend!!!

Also a big Mahalo to all the event organizers and volunteers.

Aloha –
Connor Baxter

Race results will be found here!

Nikki’s Top Picks For Getting Flexible and Fit in Laguna Beach, CA

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

There are times that I take a break from my SUP Clinics to be a private fitness, nutrition and wellness coach during my Six Weeks To Wellness Program, developed to give my clients the guidance they need to lead a healthy lifestyle while being able to hold them accountable 24/7 for that time period.  I teach them that leading a healthy life doesn’t have to be ‘lame’.  I give them the tools

Visit Nikki’s Blog

VIDEO – Finish 2011 Molokai World Championships

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Awesome video of the finish of the Molokai 2011 World Championships

Race results

Mitchell Claims his 10th Molokai Win!

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

The weight of the Hawaiian Islands lifted from Jamie Mitchell’s shoulders today when he crossed the finish line of the 32-mile Molokai-to-Oahu world championship race in record time, claiming his 10th consecutive world paddleboard title. Mitchell, 34, (Queensland, Australia) shaved eight minutes off the course record that he posted back in 2007, clocking a new fastest time of 4 hours, 30 minutes and 41 seconds.   “I feel like the weight of the entire Hawaiian Island chain has lifted from me,” said a pumped up Mitchell at the finish. “It’s done.”

It was an emotional and relieving victory that bookended a decade of perfection for Mitchell. It also puts him on par with fellow Quiksilver teammate Kelly Slater, a 10-time world champion of surfing and one of the only human beings on the planet who can comprehend the dedication and commitment such a sporting feat demands. Slater was among the first to praise Jamie’s accomplishment today:

“Jamie has set a bar that few, if any, athletes have set in their careers,” said Slater. “Ten straight years of doing anything is impressive. To beat the world’s best paddlers time and again in treacherous, unpredictable conditions is inspiring and unbelievable.”

Conditions for today’s race were tough and somewhat chaotic with cross-diagonal swells of up to six feet. Relatively weak trade winds didn’t offer much assistance, but an incoming tide made the course surprisingly fast.

“Epic!” said Mitchell. “I can’t believe it was that fast. Conditions weren’t that great, but the current was good. Sometimes the wind felt like it was barely blowing at all. It was pretty hard, you had to work for the (wave) runs. Even though the wind wasn’t that great, thankfully it never got really ugly like it can get. I actually got some of my longest glides in that last six miles, which is usually the worst. I didn’t realize how fast it was until they told me the time.”

Mitchell may never be beaten, announcing today that this would likely be his last Molokai crossing as we know it; it’s time to retire the magical “green machine” paddleboard that has taken him to the past five world titles.

“Go out at the top,” said Mitchell with a smile. “It’s time for a new challenge. I’ve worked hard to get this. Ten years is a long time. It’s time to chase something new.”

But before tackling his next ‘Everest’, it’s time to finally take his new wife Jocelyn on the honeymoon that has been on hold for three months while he pursued his 10th world title. After that, he will lend his support to Slater as head of water safety at the upcoming Quiksilver Pro New York, September 1-15.

Mitchell is one of the world’s leading watermen and star athlete of the Quiksilver Waterman Collection team. In addition to being the 10X world paddleboard champion, he is also a decorated big-wave rider, tow-in surfer, and stand-up paddler.