Posts Tagged ‘molokai’

[Training] Dave Kalama on Inspiration and Molokai Solo

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

No matter what Dave says he is massively inspiring to a ton of paddlers and speaks about his potentially crushing experience at the M20 Molokai crossing in 2009.

Ocean Paddler TV – 2012 OluKai Ho’olaule’a Channel Footage

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Awesome edit from OCTV that supposedly focuses on the 2012 OluKai Ho’olaule’a at Maliko but mixed in is some epic Molokai Channel paddling footage and a tribute to the escort boats. A must watch for those racing in the islands for the first time this year on a SUP, OC1, OC6, Paddleboard, sailing Outrigger and Surfski.

Parko at Molokai

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013
Master and apprentice. Wes showing Parko how it’s done during a training paddle on the Gold Coast. Photo: Andrew Shield

“Aww, I’m competitive. I’m here to be competitive, I’m here to finish, survive and be competitive. Just throw your hat in the ring and see what happens.”

Joel Parkinson wanted to do more than just make up the numbers on the 51km Channel of Bones Hawaiian ocean paddle race in late July … and with a third place team finish with paddling partner Wes Berg, he did much more than just survive.

Wade Koniakowsky – M20 Race Art

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

This documentary captures Wade Koniakowsky creating the art for the 2013 Molokai 2 Oahu World championships of paddle boarding through various inspirations from the event and location.

Retro – Molokai 2012 Some Raw Footage

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Some stuff I hadn’t seen in this clip..get’s me all fired up for this year!

Carnage at the Na Wahine O Ke Kai Paddle Out 2012

Monday, April 8th, 2013

I had only seen pictures but here are some scenes from the paddle out through high surf at Hale O Lono harbor for to starting line of the 2012 Na Wahine O Ka Kai canoe race from Molokai to Oahu on September 22, 2012.

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Playlist – Maui to Molokai Downwind with Connor and Dave Kalama

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Check out some of the action from last year’s epic Maui to Molokai race (part of the Triple Crown of SUP race series). Our playlist consists of videos from Bill Boyum and SUPHQ

If you’ve seen the race results you’ll know that the finishing times were insanely fast, with the overall winner (Connor Baxter) averaging over 9mph for almost three straight hours.

Kaiwi Channel at it’s best!

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Universal Sports is definitely getting some unreal Hawaiian water sports coverage. Priceless. Way to go Alex and crew!

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.


Race Results | 2011 Molokai Paddleboard and SUP World Championships Race Results

Saturday, July 30th, 2011
Buy a DVD - Dan gavere and Nikki Gregg

Race Results | 2011 Molokai2Oahu – Molokai Paddleboard World Championships


Paddleboard – Unlimited Men

1st place: Jamie Mitchell 4:40:31

2nd place: Brad Gaul 4:47:45:90 (faster than Jamie Mitchell’s time from last year!)

Paddleboard – Unlimited Women

1st Place: Jordan Mercer 5:22:31

Paddleboard – Stock Women

Joanna  Bilancieri 6:39:02


SUP Unlimited Women

1st place: Andrea Moller 5:26:51

SUP – Unlimited Men

1st Place: Connor Baxter  4:26:10
2nd Place: Scott Gamble

 Paddleboard – Stock

1st place: Eric Abbott 5:26:59

Full results can be found here

Compare them with last years results 


Welchie back on it again!! – Greg Welch

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Molokai 2011Paddleboarding is Perfect.

Even before Greg Welch was forced to retire in 1999 as the world’s top-ranked triathlete, the ‘94 Ironman champion could easily envision paddles in his future. Unfortunately, they were the kind of paddles attached to a defibrillator, delivering body-jarring jolts of electricity to re-start his heart.

After 12 years and 10 heart surgeries lasting a total of more than 60 hours, Welch indeed has found the power of the paddle, but it’s a paddle of a different sort. He’ll be using it to navigate the treacherous 32-mile channel in Hawaii called Kai’iwi, a wind-whipped and shark-infested span of ocean that’s locale of the Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships on Sunday.

“I do have trepidation,” said Welch, 46, his native Australian accent still intact after 21 years of residence in the triathlon hotbed that is north San Diego County. “I’ve gotten over the fear of my heart problem. I couldn‘t care less about my performance. I’ll just be out there for the challenge of trying to get from Point A to Point B. And I know my limits.”

Should he forget or ignore those limits, surely, Welch will have sufficient reminder with him on his 14-foot board. For one thing, there’s that high-tech gadget just beneath the skin on the left side of his chest, an implanted defibrillator. It monitors and responds to accelerated heartbeats that result from the ventricular-tachycardia condition that drove Welch to retirement..

Perhaps more importantly, Welch will be in the standup-paddleboard (SUP) three-man team event with Encinitas buddies Roch Frey and Chuck Glynn in a relay format. Frey, who recently combined with Welch and Paul Huddle to finish the 40-mile event to Catalina, is 43 years old and coming off both hip-replacement and knee surgery. Glynn is 25.

“Chuck’s the young buck, one of the best paddleboarders around,” said Welch, “and he’s got two old cronies who are washed up and almost dead.”

If only Welch was completely joking. Nothing less than the prospect of death would be able to make a veteran triathlete – let alone the winner of five world championships, including the rare “Grand Slam” — walk away from the world’s most grueling sport.

Consider that in ‘99, Welch was the early gold-medal favorite for the debut of triathlon in the Sumemr Olympics, which happened to be located on the Sydney Harbor course where Welch grew up racing. He was already qualified for Team Australia and ranked No. 1 in the world.

During the ’99 Ironman, however, Welch began having what he thought were asthma attacks in the first–phase swim. He stopped thrice in the water to let his breathing calm down. It happened 12-14 more times during the bicycle phase and a few more times in the running marathon, prompting Welch to pull off the road to regain his breathing. Somehow, he still finished 11th.

“I was so mad because I was one place out of the money,” said Welch. “But I could’ve killed myself. I basically had 18 cardiac arrests. But it was the Ironman. There is no (pain) threshold.”

Diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia, Welch was taking a treadmill test in Los Angeles a few months later and went into full “v-tach,” his heart rate racing to 320 beats per minute. Fitted with the internal defibrillator, he’d run, pedaled and swum his last race.

Even when doing nothing at all athletically, though, Welch’s heart issue worsened. Thirty times in 2003, the defibrillator could not control his heart rhythms systematically and zapped him with 800 volts of electricity as the last measure.

“I’d know it was coming and I was like ehhhhh, waiting for it,” Welch said. “It’s horrible, really horrible, and left me a basket case for about a year.”

As the v-tachs subsided over an 18-month period, though, Welch couldn’t stand the sedentary life and its own side-effects. Naturally drawn back to the water and the sport of his youth, he returned to surfing, but soon found that the pressure from lying on the board set off the defibrillator.

“Now I can’t even surf?” Welch said. “I was devastated. I tried golf, but couldn’t even walk a difficult course without feeling it. And then I tried paddleboarding, and once I got out there, I realized it didn’t raise my heart rate too much. I was a new-found athlete.”

See? Perfect.

Top Paddle Athletes Compete for 15th Annual Molokai-2-Oahu World Championship

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Jamie Mitchell and Kanesa Duncan lead men’s and women’s prone paddleboard division en route to record wins – Dave Kalama and Andrea Moller return to defend titles in growing stand-up paddleboard (SUP) division

“If you love paddling, this is the race of all races – it’s our Superbowl. The depth of talent in this year’s race is unsurpassed.”

In its 15th year, the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championship (M2O), presented by Kona Brewing Co., will host its largest field of international competitors, featuring the sport’s most elite athletes. On Sunday, July 31, 2011, an armada of more than 250 athletes on both prone and stand-up paddleboards (SUP) will attempt the 32-mile, open-ocean crossing of the infamous Ka’iwi (kah-EE-vee) Channel, also known as the Molokai Channel. Live race updates will be broadcast on Facebook and Twitter.

Australia’s effort to continue national dominance over the men’s solo prone paddleboard division is led by 34-year-old Jamie Mitchell who is seeking his tenth consecutive win. In 2007, Mitchell recorded the fastest ever Molokai crossing in a time of 4 hours, 48 minutes, 23 seconds.

“If you love paddling, this is the race of all races – it’s our Superbowl,” Mitchell said. “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.”

Mitchell’s closest competition in the past 10 years has come from Brian Rocheleau. The 35-year-old Hawaiian has finished second to Jamie three times and in the top five in each of his solo crossings. Rocheleau would like nothing more than to break the Australian sweep seen at the 2010 race and return the title to the islands.

Australians Joel Mason, 29, and Jackson English, 36, are also vying for the top spot.

A host of talented newcomers to the M2O championship are expected to push the pace on Sunday. Two notable lifeguards are looking to add the sport’s most prestigious title to their collection of paddleboard victories.

Australian Wes Berg, 31, was reported to have fired a warning shot over the bow of the 2011 M2O championship after he staged an impressive win at an open-ocean warm-up race in Mitchell’s hometown of Currumbin.

Dominant SUP athlete Candice Appleby to compete in prone division!

Los Angeles County Lifeguard, Anthony Vela is also in this year’s mix. The 36-year-old Redondo Beach resident is coming off a recent win in June at the Jay Moriarty Memorial Paddleboard race in Santa Cruz, California. In his first 32-mile race at the Catalina Classic, Vela finished third.

On the women’s side, Kauai resident and eight-time M2O champion, Kanesa Duncan, made her entry to the race’s hall of fame in 2004, setting the current women’s record time on a stock paddleboard (5:53:49). Her record setting victory is proof that the power of the athlete, favorable water conditions and strong navigation skills can sometimes win the day on a stock board, rather than on a longer and more streamlined unlimited board.

Duncan, a 35-year-old professor of Marine Biology at the University of Hawaii, has been paddling in the unlimited class for the past eight years. While she is seeking her ninth win and would enjoy beating her record, Duncan says, “when you are battling the energy of the currents and swell that pass through the Ka’iwi Channel, victory is quite simply a matter of just getting to the finish. Molokai is the focus of my training all year.”

Making the switch from SUP to the prone division is Candice Appleby. Originally from San Clemente and now living in Honolulu, the 25-year-old has dominated the SUP race scene over the past few summers. Appleby hopes to transfer her SUP skills to a successful challenge in a division that has been dominated by her fellow waterwoman, Duncan, for nearly a decade.

The paddling world will be watching a rising star from the Sunshine Coast of Australia. Buderim, Queensland native Jordan Mercer, at the age of 18, is the youngest solo prone paddler in history to compete at the M2O World Championship. Mercer is following in the footsteps of her father, Dean, and uncle, Darren, whose names are legendary in Australian professional lifeguard competition.

The ancient Polynesian mode of transportation, stand-up paddleboarding, now more commonly referred to as SUP, is making a modern resurgence. At M2O this year, 52 solo racers will compete on stock and unlimited boards.

One of the sport’s most active supporters and 2010 M2O champion, Dave Kalama, 46, is a favorite in this year’s SUP division. Last year, the world-renowned waterman and big wave surfer from Maui set a SUP course record time of 4:54:15, just two minutes behind his prone paddleboard counterpart, Mitchell. Seeming evenly matched, bragging rights may be up for grabs between the two friends.

Connor Baxter, also from the island of Maui, is back after a fourth place finish in 2010 (5:12:43) and hoping to chase down Kalama. Recently, the 17-year-old Baxter exchanged leads with Kalama in a race over the Pailolo Channel, connecting Maui and Molokai. Baxter prevailed in this meeting, demonstrating that he is one year older, one year stronger and a serious contender for the M2O World Championship.

Scott Gamble, 35, from Honolulu is also returning and looking to better last year’s performance. Gamble was in contention for second place in 2010 before he made a miscalculation in the last few miles, tripping up on an inside wave and landing in third place (5:06:15).

The popularity of SUP is evident in the women’s race with a record field of more than 10 solo competitors led by returning champion Andrea Moller. Born on the island of Ilhabela, Brazil, Moller, 32, moved to Maui in 1998. Her 2010 win at the M2O World Championship was a women’s record at 6:00:00.

The 2009 M2O women’s champion (6:18:31), Jenny Kalmbach, returns for her third time. Born in Costa Rica, and now living on Kona, Kalmbach, 28, has risen quickly in a short career, building an impressive list of victories.

The 2011 stock class at M2O boasts two notable athletes from Honolulu. Erik Abbott and Andrew Logreco lead the field in their respective divisions of prone (Abbott) and SUP (Logrecco). Both will likely win their class and stand a strong chance of beating some of their unlimited counterparts to finish in the top 10 overall.

Behind the field of solo paddlers will be 75 teams in both the prone and SUP divisions, featuring the father-son duo of Aaron and Riggs Napoleon in the SUP division. The Napoleon’s are a famous Hawaiian waterman family. Last year Riggs was the youngest ever solo competitor to cross the channel at age 12.

Former Ironman Triathlon World Champion, Greg Welch, is making his return to endurance competition on a team with fellow triathlete Roch Frey and powerhouse paddler Chuck Glynn.

View Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championship results history by clicking here.


Celebrating its 15th anniversary on Sunday, July 31, 2011, the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships, presented by Kona Brewing Co. is recognized as one of the world’s most challenging tests for endurance and courage. Covering 32 miles of open-ocean, over 250 competitors will cross the Ka’iwi (kah-EE-vee) Channel, from the North Shore of Molokai to the South Shore of Oahu, under their own power on prone paddleboards or stand-up paddleboards (SUP). The fastest athletes complete the crossing in just under five hours, facing treacherous currents, powerful swells and a depth of nearly one kilometer. Paddlers can ride swells for 100s of yards.

Competitors can choose to race as a solo paddler or as part of a team in either the unlimited class (no size limit and with a movable rudder system) or stock class (12 feet or under for paddleboard, 14 foot or under in SUP with fixed rudder).

The organizers and athletes of the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championship thank the valued partners for making the annual race possible. Partners include (alphabetically): Dukes, Garmin, Hotel Renew, Kona Brewing Co., Maui Jim, Patagonia, Rogue, Sambazon, Scott Hawaii, Standup Paddle Magazine, Wahoos and Waterman’s Sunscreen.

Race results will be found here!

Molokai Holokai SUP Race Overview

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

The first annual Molokai Holokai isn’t just another downwind race for stand up paddlers. It’s an opportunity to discover one of Hawaii’s fastest, and least known, down-winders. It’s also a chance to give back to the island which has for decades, served as an integral location for major water-sports events.

The Molokai Holokai is designed, first and foremost, as a competitive venue for our Molokai SUP community.  Many Molokai paddlers often lack resources to attend off-island race events, so this one if for them… but we welcome friendly competition from the outside! Off-island paddlers, you’re invited to holokai, or come out on the water with us, to help make SUP accessible to the greater Friendly Isle community.

The Kamalo run is 8.5 miles of pure fun. Tradewinds are funneled through the Pailolo Channel creating consistently strong winds that are almost always directly at your back. Add in pristine water, breath-taking multi-island views and friendly people, and you’ve got an unforgettable event.

The Molokai Holokai is held during Labor Day weekend giving you and the `ohana the perfect excuse to visit the Friendly Isle. Hotel Molokai, a major sponsor of the event, is making it even easier by offering paddlers and their families X discount throughout the weekend.

If you’re coming from Maui, travel is very easy. The Molokai/Maui ferry provides round trip service between Lahaina and Kaunakakai. For more information visit

Molokai `Ohana Surf Club is a non-profit whose mission is to provide Molokai youth and young adults with healthy and safe opportunities through surfing and water sports while perpetuating the Hawaiian values of malama `aina, malama ke kai, and aloha `ohana.

We’re still looking for sponsors and prizes – if you’d like your organization associated with this family-friendly event, please let us know. Also, if you have new, used or slightly damaged equipment or other resources you’d like to donate to our local SUP and surf community, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Todd Yamashita – Molokai `Ohana Surf Club Vice President
Ph: 808-646-0542
Also on Facebook under Molokai `Ohana Surf Club

Event Specifics
Stand up paddle downwind race – All classes
Saturday, September 4 – Labor Day Weekend
Kamalo Wharf to Hotel Molokai – 8.5 miles
$25 Pre-registration online (info TBA), $30 Registration day of race
Categories: Unlimited, 14’ rudderless, stock, men’s, women’s and youth.

Race Day Schedule:

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. registration Kamalo Wharf (mile marker ?)
1:30 p.m. All divisions beach start Kamalo Wharf
3:00 p.m. Pupus and pa`ina Hotel Molokai

3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. Awards and pa`ina

Visit main site:
View Molokai Holokai Race Course in a larger map

George Plesk at Molokai – gives us an idea how rough it was!

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Molokai2Oahu George Plesk
Here’s a clip of George Plesk at the Molokai2Oahu race this year which gives a fantastic view into the conditions out in the channel – Blustery and uneven – definitely a challenge and a ton of hard work for sure.

Molokai Teaser…

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Well the big one is done and dusted ….. What a great year. A huge amount of Aussie’s invaded the Hawaiian Island Chain this year to take on the Channel. I think we were represented by Queensland , N.S.W and West OZ. Great job everyone.. As they all found out the Channel isn’t a perfect downwind run.. It never has been and never will be. Thats why it is the challenge that it is and why you feel such satisfaction coming across that line.

I was lucky enough to have my Fiance Joss do some filming of the process of doing the channel. She has done a great job and here is a little teaser of what is to come. The full version will be available in the next week.. Well i hope everyone has had a little break and is recovered.. I am on the road at the moment and have just been to Utah and am on my way to New York in a few days then off to Lake Tahoe. A busy few weeks and i’m really looking forward to being back home on the Gold Coast. Thanks for all the support of my Fiance,Family and Friends. Couldnt do it without you guys. Take care JM

Molokai Teaser ( from Jamie Mitchell on Vimeo.

Dave Kalama – Molokai to Oahu

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

What a doozy that race was. Every year I say to myself ” I’m never doing that race again”. How quickly you forget the pain and mental anguish you go through to finish that race. As I described it at the awards party ”this race is like a candy bar with a rock in it. While you’re eating it, it tastes great. Then you get the rock( Oahu ) and ouch.” Most of this race really is fun and there are ample bumps to keep you moving, 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. Only the hardest core of the paddling elite will be let in for the celebration inside. If you do make it past the muscular current protecting the door, you’re met at the corner of Port Lock Point with your next crushing reality. A wall of wind that will test your mental and physical fortitude to the very core. I have a whole new appreciation for the salmon that swim up stream to get to their instinctual breading grounds. Like the salmon it literally feels as though you are fighting tooth and nail for every foot as you get closer to the finish line. There was a point when a gust hit me and I was giving it everything, which wasn’t much because of how tired I was, and according to my escort boat I wasn’t moving forward. You basically try not to go backwards during the gusts and go like hell when they subside to make as much ground as possible before the next one. You are literally 31.3 of the 32 miles there and you start to wonder if you can make it. It really is one of the most cruel things I do to myself on an annual basis, but as long as you just keep pulling the paddle out of the water and keep reaching it forward you eventually make it.  It starts to soothe the pain a little when the rest of your stand up buddies are all describing the same experience.

Misery loves company.
Photo by Daniel Costigan

For me this race had a lot to do with redemption. I had an extremely tough racing season last year with two very big disappointments. First, at last years Naish Maliko race my rudder fell off by the time I got to Hookipa. I probably had a 100yd. lead by that point and thought it was money in the bank. The next thing I know my rudder isn’t reacting to any of my movements so I jump in the water, turn my board over and there’s nothing there. It was like a bad dream, I couldn’t believe it was happening and it took me a good couple seconds to get my mind around it. My first thought was “I’m screwed”, then I thought no, I’m gonna see how many people I can beat without a rudder. Had I actually gone across the finish line at the end I still would have gotten 9th place, but on that day I wasn’t looking for a 9th place finish, I was just trying to salvage some type of moral victory.

Next was last years Molokai to Oahu. I over trained and ended up getting sick. It really was heart breaking because I had put in an absurd amount of training to prepare for that race. I started with a one hour up wind paddle and kept building till I had gotten to the point of doing a five and a half hour up wind paddle. The downwind part only took an hour fifteen. I ended up doing the race anyway but went through a very tough mental experience that I described in detail in the “Inspiration” post.

The night before this year’s race I had the good fortune of having a meal with Jamie Mitchell. Part of the good fortune being that his fiance Joss cooked one of her fantastic pasta dinners, the rest being that we talked about strategy and line stuff. Even though I’ve been across that channel many more times than Jamie, nobody has won as many times as he has so it’s always good to get his take on the line and strategy. He had mentioned that he might go a bit north and as I saw the following day, boy did he ever. Which in the end I think was a factor in my success, because everyone decided to follow him, even the stand up guys. That left a more direct route wide open for me to exploit. Maybe only one or two guys decided to follow me on the A to B tactic, which was great because the whole race I was left alone to race my race and not be distracted by the press boats and the helicopter flying over head. It was just me and my escort boat to run our line.

At about half way my support crew, Loch, his brother Hunter and Nalu, were telling me I had maybe two miles on the rest of the pack, but because I don’t like to look back, I didn’t really believe them and just kept acting like they were right behind me. My cousin Ekolu is such a strong paddler that no lead is big enough to be safe from him, and that’s just what I was thinking almost the whole way. It wasn’t till I got maybe a couple hundred yards from the finish did I actually believe he wasn’t going to catch up. Like I told his mom earlier in the day,” I don’t care which one of us wins, as long as it’s a Kalama”, she agreed and gave me a big smile.

In most of my races that I do or even in training runs I like to create a mantra and then just keep repeating it to myself, in order to help me focus on whatever I feel is important for that day. For this day it was ” every bump matters, use every single bump no matter how small it is”, and ” do whatever it takes to keep the board moving”. Both are very obvious but when you’re fatigued and your wits aren’t as quick as normal, it’s tremendously helpful to already have those stuck in your head like a bad song you can’t stop singing. What they also do is create a point of focus so you don’t wonder off into la-la land, which is really easy to do if you’re by yourself with no competition. Another really important factor is your escort boat. They really can make it or break it for you. I had a great crew in that they were very positive, very supportive and very motivating when I had no competition around me. They kept checking if I needed liquids, which reminds you to hydrate. At one point I started thinking maybe I should back off to conserve energy and as soon as they could see me letting up Loch said ” keep pushing, go for the record!”. Just that little comment totally fired me up again and it was full steam ahead. Most people don’t put much consideration into their escort boats but I’ve learned my lesson, and I can tell you this. If you’re serious, you better start paying attention to who is on the boat because it can make a huge difference. Ali from Australia found out the hard way what a bad boat driver can do to you. The guy bailed on her just before the finish line, she cramped and there was nobody there to help her. Didn’t even get to cross the line. If it were me, in the mental state anyone would be in after that much exertion, I would have snapped. Full postal. But she handled it with tremendous grace and focused on all the positive things she did accomplish. She is much more evolved than I am.

As hard as this race is, and as much as I like to say I’ll never do it again, there is a certain feeling of accomplishment that comes with just doing this crossing. Whether you’re first or two hundred and first it really doesn’t matter–the race is against the channel. You can see the glow on every participants face that says” I did it”. So simple yet so profound. Because behind that glow of exhaustion, is all the miles of preparation, the days of work to buy the airline tickets, the phone calls to organize your escort, organizing your equipment, the anticipation, making sure you have enough to drink, the hours working on your technique, the sacrifice of being away from friends and family and all the hundreds of other details that must be tended to. You earn that glow, it can’t be fabricated. It only comes from the finishing of that monumental task, and finishing position has nothing to do with. Everyone that does it gets the glow whether they want it or not. When you look a fellow paddler in the eye, you see it, and you smile knowing words can never describe what you both share.

I hope to see you out there next year. I think.



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

Huge Accomplishment for Connor Baxter at 15 – 4th place finish at Molokai!

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Connor Baxter Molokai 2 Oahu

Karen Baxter is a very proud Mom! Way to go Connor Baxter!

Molokai to Oahu  27 July, 2010 32 mile Crossing across the Ka’iwi Channel. Before this race I felt so prepared because that week I ate super good, drank lots of water and rested. My mom and I went over to Molokai Friday night on the Ferry to Kaunakakai. Then headed over to the west side and stayed at the condos right where the event was. I slept in on Saturday and then went for a swim – I basically had a super relaxing day. Around 5:00 the race meeting started and then I had a huge dinner and went back to the room – and went right to bed to get a good night sleep. When I woke up I had oatmeal and put on my headphones and blasted some music to get pumped up. We had the blessing at 6:30am and then it was hurry up and get all the gear to the boat and get out to the start line. The lay down paddlers went first at 7:30am and now my heart is racing. I paddled over to the start line and I knew what I had to do. We started at 8:00am and we were off to a fast pace. The conditions were super good – the winds were up and there were good swells. In the beginning, it was more flat water so the stronger guys with muscles took off. But once we got into the swells I started to catch up to Livio Menelau and Ekolu Kalama. Dave Kalama and Scott Gamble went south so I did not see much of them. I finally caught and passed Livio, but I just could not catch up to Ekolu. So I put my head down and paddled my hardest. When I looked up about 45 min later I had closed the gap and was right behide Ekolu but once he notice I was right by him he turned on his after burners and just took off. So now I was in 2nd place so I just kept paddling. When I looked over to my left (south), I noticed another SUP paddler and it was Scott Gamble. He was coming from the south and I was now trying to pick up my pace to stay up with him. He was super far to the south so I thought I still had a chance, but his course was a lot better and he pulled into 2nd and put me in third. When I finally rounded the outside point to come into the harbor, my jaw drop to the board because the wind was blowing about 10 knots offshore and I had to paddle 2 more miles into it. It’s like running a 32 mile marathon and putting the last 2 miles up a steep hill. When I finally crossed the finish line and got into shore, I was so happy because I made it and got third place. BUT, then someone told me that Dave Kalama was already in and he got 1st place, not Ekolu. Dave was so far in front that I did not even see him (I don’t think anyone did!!). So at the end I got 4th overall for Solo Stand Up paddling and I got 7th overall out of all the lay down paddlers and SUP paddlers, both team and solo. So I am super stoked on my results and hope to do better next time.

My Finish Time 5:12:43.
1st Place SOLO SUP Men’s 29 and under
4th Place Overall SOLO SUP
7th Place Overall SUP, Paddleboards, Solo and Team – out of 139 Entries

SUP Results:
1st = Dave Kalama 4:54:15
2nd = Ekolu Kalama 5:03:13
3rd = Scott Gamble 5:06:15
4th = Connor Baxter 5:12:43

I want to thank all my sponsors for their help and support – Starboard, Nike 6.0, SIC, Dakine, Sunrite Maui, Waterman’s Sunscreen, and Ion Wetsuits. Also, my newest sponsors Kaenon Sunglasses and EFX Performance USA!!!

Also, a BIG Mahalo to Mark Raaphorst, Livio Menelau, Scott Trudon, Bart de Schwart for all the time and support they have devoted to training with me!!!!!!!!! Also, Scott Sanchez (MPG) for his wisdom on fitness and training!!

Aloha –
Connor Baxter

Photos: Karen Baxter

Molokai 2010 results: Jamie Mitchell Wins 9th Molokai to Oahu Paddle Race

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

The unofficial news is that Jamie Mitchell has won his 9th Molokai to Oahu World Championship Paddleboard Race..we’ll keep you posted!

Result Updates:

First Place: Jamie Mitchell 4:52:45 UNLIMITED PADDLEBOARD

Second Place: Dave Kalama  4:54:15 SUP UNLIMITED

Third Place: Ekolu Kalama  5:03:13 SUP UNLIMITED

Fourth Place: Scott Gamble 5:06:15 SUP UNLIMITED

Fifth Place: Jackson English 5:07:54 UNLIMITED PADDLEBOARD

Full unofficial results own Brian Szymanski’s Team NCP and Pete Stirling killed it ..great job guys!!

Australian Jamie Mitchell, 33, claimed an unprecedented ninth Molokai-2-Oahu World Paddleboard title in Hawaii today, completing the 32-mile distance just four minutes outside of his own record in a time of 4 hours, 52 minutes and 45 seconds. His record of 4:48:23, set in 2007, stands for another year. Mitchell attributed today’s convincing win to experience in Hawaiian waters that allowed him to overcome an uncooperative ocean of disorganized  swells. And if Mitchell is the ‘King of Paddleboard’, then Hawaii’s Kanesa Duncan-Seraphin, 34, is the ‘Queen’, claiming her 8th Molokai-2-Oahu title in a time of 6:02:45 – less than 10 minutes shy of the record she set in 2004.

In the men’s division, it was 1-2-3 for Australia with Jackson English, (5:07:54) in second, and Joel Mason (5:15:42) in third. Fourth-placed Mikey Cote was the top placing Hawaii paddler (5:15:42). Beyond the finish line, Mitchell and English were paddling today to raise funds for SurfAid International. Their impressive 1-2 finish will likely see them surpass their $10,000 target.

“You had to really work for everything you got out there,” said Mitchell. “The wind seemed a little more out of the north, meaning a lot of of disorganization out there so you had to really work through the bumps.

“There was no real current, but the wind and the swell just made it hard. It was definitely not the hardest one I’ve done, but it wasn’t the best one, either, maybe 6 out of 10.”

Duncan-Seraphin was perhaps a little more forgiving: “It was  a fairly fast course, but it was technical. The bumps were very close together and you really had to stay focused. I love this race and this was my 10th (year doing it). I’m just stoked to finish. I felt like I had a great race today. This was one of my top 3 performances.”

Victory in the stand-up paddle (SUP) men’s and women’s divisions went to Maui’s Dave Kalama (4:54:15) and Andrea Moller (6:00:00), both setting records for their  respective divisions. Stand-up paddlers can be faster across the channel than the traditional paddleboarders, as standing upright with the wind at your back, and using a paddle can be of assistance. Kalama was roughly two minutes behind Mitchell, and Moller was two minutes faster than Duncan-Seraphin. Today’s rough surface conditions were a particular test of balance for the SUP contestants.

“There are a lots of really good sprinters, but I’m not one of them, so the windy races are what I train for and that’s what I’m built for,” said Kalama. “I’m really happy I won. Last year was really frustrating and to comeback and win it means everything.”

Renowned as one of the most treacherous bodies of water in the world, the Molokai Channel upheld its reputation today dishing out either high times or heartbreak. One hundred and fifty paddlers started out today, eight did not officially finish. Among the eight were 2009 runner-up Brian Rocheleau (Hawaii), who was forced to withdraw part-way through the race due to severe illness. Mark Matheson (Hawaii), the only paraplegic to ever undertake the famous Molokai Channel crossing, found himself on a sure course to finish today, but lost his mandatory escort boat to engine failure with 10 miles remaining and was forced to call it a day. Kauai’s Ann Hettinger, 52 and the oldest woman to SUP solo across the channel, had to withdraw after 11 miles when the steering rudder on her paddleboard failed.

But like every channel swell, every trough has a peak, and it was high times for many paddlers who accomplished personal bests today. Among them were 12-year-old Riggs Napoleon (Hawaii, 7:10:30), the youngest person to ever cross the Molokai channel on any unmotorized watercraft; and Jeff Denholm (California, 7:49:10), an inspirational athlete who designs his own prosthetics and then puts them to the ultimate stress tests in a variety of sports. Denholm, 43, lost an arm to an accident on a fishing boat off the coast of Alaska more than a decade ago, but never allowed it to undermine his athletically driven lifestyle. He crossed the Molokai Channel last year in spite of his prosthetic glue giving out on him. Today he posted a personal best of 7:49:10 and vowed to return even faster in 2011.

“I jumped up to an 18-footer today and I wrestled it the whole way and had a hard time, but the arm was a bomber!” said Denholm. “So just one more piece of the puzzle: if I can figure out a board that matches what I can do then I’ll be faster. It was humbling as usual. My arm worked great, the crew was strong, but I just got on a board that I couldn’t handle. I was paddling sideways the whole time.  I was more sideways then I was straight! But I’ll be back.”

Molokai Race is On!

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

HAWAII KAI, Oahu (HawaiiNewsNow) – For the first time in it’s history the Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championship has sold out. A record number of women will be competing this year too.
They take off this Sunday from Kaluakoi on Molokai and end up in Hawaii kai 32 miles later. The first finishers should arrive around noon. The top athletes will complete the 32-mile channel crossing in just over five hours.

Molokai Champion Jamie Mitchell

Unlike short- and middle-distance races, the 32-mile Molokai 2 Oahu World Championship is the ultimate extreme test of a paddlers endurance and athletic ability. With a depth of 2,300 feet, the Ka’iwi (aka Molokai) Channel is infamous for its heavy seas, debilitating heat, and nightmarish currents.

Race rules mandate that every single entry must have their own escort boat accompaniment, support, and be qualified to compete in the race. Including official race boats, there will be a flotilla of over 200 craft crossing the Molokai Channel on July 25.

This year you can help the paddlers paddle for a good cause. 32::32 is a new initiative where you can donate one dollar per mile. You will receive a limited edition t-shirt and hat as a thank you. Proceeds benefit Molokai 2 Oahu race non-profit partners: The Molokai Community Service Council, Na Kama Kai, Malama Maunalua, and The Rell Sunn Eductional Fund.

Click HERE for a link to the official race website.