Molokai 2013: Travis Grant, Terrene Black Lead Aussie Clean Sweep On Dramatic Day In Hawaii

Molokai 2013 results
All hail the new King and Queen of the Ocean: Travis Grant and Terrene Black both caused dramatic upsets at the Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships today, beating home local favourites in one of the most exciting SUP races we’ve ever seen and claiming Australia’s first ever M2O Stand Up Paddleboard World Titles in the process.

The pair led an Aussie clean sweep of the event, with Brad Gaul and Jordan Mercer winning the men’s and women’s Prone Paddleboard World Titles respectively.

What a race… what a performance by the Aussies…

The day started with good conditions and a predicted 20 knots of downwind fun. However the wind never really materialised and the race soon turned into a slog fest. Bumps were small & short and conditions were messy as a light ENE wind met a small SE swell. Combining that with the swell bouncing back off Oahu and a tide pushing the wrong way the entire race, and the 32 mile crossing soon became an absolute grind.

Connor Baxter, Kai Lenny and Danny Ching started as race favourites, while Travis Grant and Scott Gamble were the dark horses that had all the work to do. And work they did. Taking a totally different line across the Ka’iwi Channel between Molokai and Oahu, Travis and Scott snuck through on the traditional Northern route while the pre-race favorites Kai and Connor battled it out a long way to the South.

Kai Lenny

Kai Lenny was leading early but ultimately proved to be on the wrong Southern line, as Travis and Scott snuck through to the North.

Kai was the Southernmost paddler on the entire course, following the guidance of the experienced Kai Bartlett and Dave Kalama, while Connor was taking the same course, perhaps assuming (incorrectly) that Kai was the greatest threat to his quest for a three-peat. Danny Ching meanwhile opted for a more direct line over the Channel and was slightly behind yet still in contention right up until he pulled out with a shoulder injury. It was a cruel blow for the Battle of the Paddle champion, as the light conditions nullified much of Kai and Connor’s home ground advantage and would have suite Danny perfectly. However three solid months of non-stop outrigger racing clearly took their toll, with the retirement coming around 45 minutes from the finish.

So while Kai and Connor were locked in an epic battle – the two switching back and forth all the way during the second half of the crossing – Travis, paddling his awesome Robello Rosa custom unlimited board, kept his line and his cool a long way to the North, following the guidance of his experienced boat crew (and shapers) Billy Robello and Marshall Rosa.

Molokai 2 Oahu is a stubbornly tough race to call, with paddlers stretched out for miles from North to South, making it impossible to tell who is in front at any one point. It wasn’t until Travis reached the infamous China Walls – where paddlers turn the corner for the final, brutal, upwind, against-the-tide one mile paddle to the finish line in Hawaii Kai – that it became clear just how much of a lead the Aussie held. Kai and Connor were out of sight and Scott Gamble was a mile behind.

Travis Grant

Travis Grant heads around China Walls and towards the finish at Hawaii Kai, holding a surprisingly big lead…(photo © standupmagazin.com)

But despite the surprisingly big lead, Travis dug deep as his escort boat screamed encouragement at him all the way to the line. The Aussie crossed in 4 hours 50 minutes and 17 seconds, 10 minutes ahead of Scott Gamble, who, like Travis, had snuck through on the Northern line, and 12 minutes ahead of two-time defending champ Connor Baxter. Kai Lenny was a further 5 minutes back in fourth place. The times showed just how tough the race was. Last year Connor crossed in 4 hours 13 minutes. This year he was 49 minutes off his own pace, or 20% slower.

Trav’s stealthy route to the North fooled everyone. It’s not like it was a mystery, most paddlers take that route, it’s just that everyone was focused on the Kai vs. Connor battle. The race directors and media crew were totally thrown off by Trav’s lead. They were following Connor/Kai closely and assumed right up until the end that the two young guns were first and second. When Travis hit China walls ten minutes ahead they didn’t even know who it was, scrambling to get the video crews back over to record the actual race winner. When Connor broke Kai in the final 20 minutes and sprinted towards Hawaii Kai with a considerable lead over his rival, he and his support crew thought he was going to win, only to realise moments later that both Travis and Scott Gamble had already finished.

Travis Grant wins Molokai

Travis totally pumped as he crosses the line

What an amazing performance from Travis Grant. He’s overcome the odds and beaten Connor Baxter and Kai Lenny on their home turf. And it was awesome to see Scott Gamble – who painfully retired from the race twelve months ago – take second place. Scott and Travis are good friends and were the sentimental favourites for many, including ourselves. Our pre-race prediction was summed up with the line: “Heart says Travis or Scott, head says Connor or Kai, gut says Danny.” Our head and gut were wrong but our heart called it.

This was an epic race that won’t soon be forgotten, especially in Australia where the celebrations among the hardcore Aussie paddling community are just beginning.

And this was just the men’s race… The women’s race proved to be just as exciting, with the pre-race favourite faltering in the liht conditions and another Aussie dark horse storming home to take the crown.

Terrene Black finished third in this race a year ago and should have been given more recognition before the race, especially given her performances in many of the lead-up races over the past month. But it was the Downwind Queen Andrea Moller that everybody was predicting to win.

So just like Travis, Terrene had to fight hard the whole way against the local favourites. And that’s exactly what she did. Despite trailing by a few hundred metres mid-race, the Aussie dug deep and pulled alongside Andrea with about five miles to go. From there something snapped inside the Aussie’s mind and she went into overdrive, dropping Andrea and Jenny Kalmbach and powering her board all the way to Hawaii Kai.

By the time Terrene hit the line she was five minutes clear of runner-up Jenny Kalmbach, while Andrea Moller hit wall and had to settle for fourth place, 12 minutes off the pace and 17 seconds behind the impressive third-place-getter Sonni Honscheid.

Terrene’s amazing performance was the third title for Australia this afternoon, after Brad Gaul (prone champ) and Travis Grant set the tone for the Green & Gold. Minutes after Terrene crossed, 19 year old Jordan Mercer added to her dominance of the event as she won the women’s prone title.


Raw video footage from today’s race, including an interview with the champ himself

So that meant Australia claimed all four of the major Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championship titles today. Though just for good measure, Zeb Walsh claimed the men’s prone paddleboard stock class win as well, giving Australia a 5th victory. Combine today’s efforts with Jamie Mitchell’s historic 10x straight World Titles in this event and suddenly Molokai 2 Oahu belongs to the Aussies.

What a race. Connor and Kai’s epic battle to the South, Danny Ching’s heartbreak when he had Oahu in sight and then Travis’ determined, persistent effort on the Northern line.

All hail the new kings of the ocean.

>>> MORE: Relive the action from our Molokai Live Coverage 

*****

2013 Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships RESULTS

SUP SOLO

Overall #
Name
Time
Class
Class #
1Travis Grant4:50:17Men's Unlimited1
2Scott Gamble5:00:53Men's Unlimited2
3Connor Baxter5:02:02Men's Unlimited3
4Kai Lenny5:07:57Men's Unlimited4
5Kaeo Abbey5:11:48Men's Unlimited5
6Luiz Carlos Guida5:17:29Men's Unlimited6
7Travis Baptiste5:22:59Men's Stock1
8Eric Terrien5:24:36Men's Unlimited7
9Kody Kerbox5:26:21Men's Stock2
10Mo Freitas5:27:43Men's Unlimited8
11Tamarua Cowan5:28:46Men's Unlimited9
12Marcus Tardrew5:30:28Men's Unlimited10
13Vinnicius Martins5:34:14Men's Unlimited11
14Tomoyasu Murabayashi5:38:07Men's Unlimited12
15Livio Menelau5:39:32Men's Unlimited13
16Terrene Black5:40:40Women's Unlimited1
17Will Anido5:42:54Men's Unlimited14
18Lincoln Dews5:43:59Men's Stock3
19Jennifer Kalmbach5:45:22Women's Unlimited2
20Stephane Bodet5:47:27Men's Unlimited15
21Christian Bradley5:47:49Men's Stock4
22Noa Ginella5:51:08Men's Unlimited16
23Sonni Honscheid5:52:07Women's Unlimited3
24Andrea Moller5:52:24Women's Unlimited4
25Scott Trudon5:58:37Men's Unlimited17
26Norman Hann5:58:55Men's Unlimited18
27Takuji Araki6:02:27Men's Stock5
28Matt Becker6:04:34Men's Unlimited19
29Jimmy Spithill6:09:24Men's Unlimited20
30Jeremy Riggs6:09:52Men's Unlimited21
31Mariko Strickland6:10:43Women's Unlimited5
32Zane Schweitzer6:15:56Men's Stock6
33Gustavo Oliveira6:17:23Men's Unlimited22
34Jimmy Fitt6:18:18Men's Unlimited23
35Yoshiaki Nagamatsu6:18:50Men's Stock7
36Scott McPhail6:19:47Men's Unlimited24
37Lina Augaitis6:27:02Women's Unlimited6
38Devin Blish6:34:15Women's Unlimited7
39J Stephens6:38:54Men's Stock8
40Patrick Broemmel6:44:37Men's Unlimited25
41Roberto Araujo6:46:09Men's Unlimited26
42Kimon Dos Santos6:47:00Men's Stock9
43Stuart Murray6:53:27Men's Unlimited27
44Joel Pepper6:54:17Men's Unlimited28
45Kevin Horgan7:03:19Men's Unlimited29
46Chikara Tsumura7:05:29Men's Unlimited30
47Joel Comer7:08:34Men's Unlimited31
48Jennifer Lee7:09:04Women's Unlimited8
49Michael Nunnery7:10:16Men's Unlimited32
50Andrew Ching7:23:37Men's Unlimited33
51Christian Cook7:26:18Men's Unlimited34
52Terry Stevens7:27:13Men's Stock10
53Michael Richards7:29:35Men's Stock11
54Chuck Glynn7:29:53Men's Stock12
55Brad Feldman7:36:38Men's Unlimited35
56Peter Petersen7:48:17Men's Stock13
57Bob Arnot7:58:14Men's Stock14
58Matthew Schollard8:00:41Men's Stock15
59Brigette Van Aswegen8:55:00Women's Stock1

 

SUP TEAMS

#
Name
Time
Class / Division
1Bess/Raioha5:18:51SUP STK 14' 2 Team M01-79
2Kalepa/Napolean/Kerbox5:24:12SUP Team 3 Male
3Moore/Francis5:39:09SUP STK 14' 2 Team M01-79
4Stehlik/Pavao5:39:17SUP STK 14' 2 TEAM M01-79
5Grimaud/Frogier5:45:32SUP STK 14' 2 Team M80-99
6Fong/Perkins/Uemura5:50:59SUP Team 3 Male
7Wheeler/Harrison5:52:37SUP STK 14' 2 TEAM M01-79
8Patterson/R Lenny5:52:59SUP STK 14' 2 Team M01-79
9Jeppesen/Oliver/Tillman6:06:31SUP Team 3 Mixed
10Roberts/Helm6:07:56SUP STK 14' 2 Team M80-99
11Smith/Evatt6:11:30SUP STK 14' 2 Team M100+
12Lui-kwan/Lui-kwan/Lui-kwan6:12:36SUP Team 3 Male
13Schweiger/Notar6:14:23SUP STK 14' 2 Team Mixed
14Chang/Madisok/Pugh6:17:05SUP Team 3 Mixed
15Moller/Moller/Pagdilao6:22:57SUP Team 3 Mixed
16Szymanski/Friedman6:23:24SUP STK 14' 2 Team M80-99
17Pestana/Lii6:24:37SUP STK 14' 2 Team M100+
18Walker/Vento6:26:28SUP STK 14' 2 Team Mixed
19Cachuela/Machado/Tom6:29:39SUP Team 3 Male
20Lopez/Hope/Lopez6:37:01SUP Team 3 Male
21Ouellet/Meter6:37:07SUP STK 14' 2 Team Mixed
22Hart/White6:44:58SUP STK 14' 2 Team M80-99
23Frey/Darbyshire/Welch6:46:01SUP Team 3 Male
24Klemawesch/Klemawesch6:48:57SUP STK 14' 2 Team M100+
25Smith/Balouskas/Viveiros6:51:42SUP Team 3 Male
26Smith/Sohier6:54:00SUP STK 14' 2 Team Mixed
27Hoesterey/Dowling/Riddle7:03:56SUP Team 3 Female
28Farrer/Morgan/Thomas7:23:40SUP Team 3 Male
29Fourcade/Yonehiro7:24:17SUP STK 14' 2 Team M01-79
30Titcomb/Kam/Kam7:25:50SUP Team 3 Male
31Nagasawa/Ashikawa/Takabayashi7:29:22SUP Team 3 Mixed
32Gomes/Look/Noa7:30:48SUP Team 3 Female
33Froiseth/Adams/Deeley8:17:45SUP Team 3 Male

 

MEN’S PRONE
1st: Brad Gaul (5:05:32) Australia
2nd: Cam Cole (5:07:49) Australia
3rd: Matt Poole (5:11:09) Australia

WOMEN’S PRONE
1st: Jordan Mercer (6:10:00) Australia
2nd: Leanne Darling (6:22:40) USA
3rd: Candice Appleby (6:41:22) USA

 

>>> MORE: Relive the action from our Molokai Live Coverage

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