We’re just two and a half weeks out from one of the biggest and most prestigious races of the year: The 2014 Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships.
This is the big one. One of the most grueling races on the planet. Along with the Battle, probably the most prestigious trophy in the sport. It’s the race that sold out in three hours. It’s SUP racing’s pilgrimage to Mecca.
While the women’s race will see a battle royale between Jenny, Sonni, Andrea and Talia, the men’s side runs even deeper. There we’re set for a shootout between big guns Travis Grant (defending champ), Connor Baxter (2011 + 2012 champ), Dave Kalama (2010 champ) and Kai Lenny (2012 stock champ and one of the hungriest competitors you’ll ever meet). The four favourites will be joined by another half a dozen locals that also have the talent to be right near the front (Scott Gamble, Jeremy Riggs, Livio Menelau and Kaeo Abbey just to name a few).
Over in the stock class it will be an interesting duel between the young guns, while in the relay division I’m predicting that Starboard’s “Dream Team” of Titouan Puyo and Zane Schweitzer will be impossible to catch.
But in the main event, the unlimited class, it’s going to be very tough to predict. Connor always starts favourite in an Hawaiian ocean race, but Travis showed last year why he’s the world’s most under rated paddler. Throw in a determined Dave Kalama and a super hungry Kai Lenny and we’re in for a classic. Plus you’ve got the ultimate dark horse, Scott Gamble, plus if the bumps are on guys like Jeremy Riggs and Livio Menelau know how to read them better than most.
I’ll be releasing my official
guesses predictions in a couple of weeks, but until then we can hear from one of the most experienced guys in the sport: Buzzy Kerbox.
Buzzy’s been around since day one of the sport and has crossed the Ka’iwi Channel between Molokai and Oahu more times than most. Check out what the big wave surfing legend and Maui local has to say about this year’s race. There’s also some cool sound bites from Connor Baxter himself.
Buzzy Kerbox’s Molokai Predictions
1st: Connor Baxter
2nd: Kai Lenny
3rd: Travis Grant
MEN’S STOCK (14′)
1st: Kody Kerbox
2nd: Travis Baptiste