#M2O: Post-Molokai Reflections (and Photos) from 38 of the World’s Best Paddlers

 

The boards are back on the rack, the boats are back in the harbour and the trophies are up on the mantelpiece. Molokai-2-Oahu is done for another season, however the memories from this year’s epic will live on forever.

The most prestigious race in the world certainly lived up to its hype this year, with the 20th annual crossing of the Ka’iwi Channel proving to be the fastest, most competitive and most exciting edition yet.

I could wax lyrical about this storied event, however nobody says it better than the paddlers themselves, the ones who were actually out there battling in the Channel of Bones for pride and glory.

So to give you a better insight into what M2O really means, here’s a selection of post-Molokai reflections from the world’s best paddlers…

 


 

Kai Lenny

 

Today I achieved one of the biggest goals and dreams in my life. Winning the @molokai2oahu 32 mile race and setting a new world record!!🏆🏁 I approached this years race totally different, learning from my mistakes of the past. I had a good formula going with my physical, and mental aspect. And on top of it all my equipment was on point! I may have won but I couldn't have pulled it off without my support team. Thanks Captain Marshall Rosa, @noa_g, Mom, Dad, Scott Sanchez, @ridgelenny, Billy Robello, Mike Storm, @_mollypayne, @michisilence, @davekalama and to anyone I missed Mahalo! 🙏 I have always been inspired by my peers who are incredible champions, thanks for the motivation @travenormous and @conbax. 📸: @noa_g // @naishsup

A photo posted by Kai Lenny (@kai_lenny) on

 


 

Travis Grant

 

 


 

Sonni Hönscheid

 

 


 

Annabel Anderson

 

 


 

Terrene Black

 

Well so happy to be back on land!! That was another brutal year for me…although I don't know if it'll ever get easier. Stoked to finish with a third and bettered my last years result. I was questioning why I was doing this race a lot out there today but I'm sure I'll be back. I learnt some valuable lessons and it's such a special feeling to complete that crossing. Huge congrats to @sonnihoenscheid for smashing it again!! What a legend!! And everyone who raced and completed the channel of bones today!! Now time to have a drink, it's been a while.. Massive thanks to @ecsboards_australia @qbpaddles @vmgblades @nickcpa @officialmauijim @zhikaustralia @psesupplements @movement_lab #m2o #molokai2oahu 📷 @natty0406

A photo posted by Terrene Black (@terrene_black) on

 


 

James Casey

 

Well that was a big day @molokai2oahu 🌴 Had a great start to the race battling with @travenormous and @kai_lenny in some super fun bumps then just somehow lost my bundle in the middle third, switched off mentally and got overtaken and then dropped by @conbax, @vinmartins, @mattnott1 and @toby_cracknell 💨 Pulled it together in the last third of the race as @kennykaneko121 was creeping up on me and managed to pull my way up to fourth overall by the finish 🌊 Can't thank everyone enough for supporting me the last few months in the lead up 🙏🏽 Special thanks to @custard78 for designing my board and being my hydration engineer, @elizabethedmonds40 for media duties on the boat, super caddy @lanahardiman for helping out with everything in the lead up and all my unreal sponsors for giving me the opportunity to do what I do @jpaustralia_sup @colcrawfordlifestylecars @suzukiaustraliacars @bravo_pumps @catfishdesigns @officialmauijim @hammernutritionaus @vmgblades @altitudeaustralia @velocitek @windsurfnsnow

A photo posted by James Casey (@james__casey) on

 


 

Toby Cracknell

 

 


 

Vinnicius Martins

 

 


 

Kenny Kaneko

 

@molokai2oahu 世界大会を無事終えることが出来ました。沢山のサポートにより、スタートラインに立ち、海峡を横断してゴールすることが出来ました。おまけに総合8位 (4時間30分39秒)という結果を残すことが出来ました。エスコートボートから支えてくれた妻を初めて、応援してくれた全ての人に感謝です。皆さん無しではこの海峡は渡れなかったでしょう。改めてKaiwi海峡の偉大さを感じ、全ての選手が無事笑顔でゴールできたことに喜びを感じます。本当にありがとうございました!🇯🇵 Well that's it! Super good day out on the water with 189 paddlers out in the Kaiwi. Glad to get the first SUP crossing out of the way and happy with my 8th overall. Such an awesome day. Thanks to all my sponsors, family and friends. Couldn't have done it without you! Also special thank you to @h4towing_contracting for taking care of me and da wife😄

A photo posted by Kenny Kaneko 金子ケニー (@kennykaneko121) on

 


 

Josh Riccio

Posted via Facebook: So stoked to have completed another 32 mile solo crossing from Molokai 2 Oahu. We were blessed with some great conditions for racing and some nice open ocean bumps in the channels his year. I’m really psyched to have finished inside the top 10 this year, but even more stoked on how was able to push myself the whole 32 miles without ever “crashing” or “hitting the wall”Huge thanks to my support boat and Captain Loren Eib for keeping me fired up the whole way and for putting me on a fast line. Also like to thank everyone else for sending me positive thoughts and encouragement pre and post event. Aloha Josh Riccio


 

Still frothing from Sunday's 32 mile channel crossing from Molokai to Oahu, the last two solo crossings before this year completely humbled me both physically and mentally, but this year was different. I was able to push myself the whole 32 miles at a good race pace and even did an all out sprint in the last 100 yards just for fun. I'm so psyched to have finished 9th overall but even more stoked that I was able to finally conquer that 32 mile channel crossing without ever falling, resting or stopping! This channel crossing has taught/reinforced in me that no matter what challenges you have in life whether they're physical or mental your fully capable of conquering it, just gotta stay positive and stay strong. Have a great weekend! Aloha, Josh Riccio ✌️ #molokai2oahu #sup #race #kaiwi #channelcrossing @roguesup #roguesup #playhardpaddleharder @harimarishoes #harimari #sandals #flipflops #dunes @wernerpaddles #wernerpaddles @gocarbopro #supplements #nailyournutrition

A photo posted by Josh Riccio (@joshriccio) on

 


 

Jonas Letieri

 

 


 

Travis Baptiste

 

 


 

Andrew Logreco

 

The placing and time it took me for this years @molokai2oahu paddle race was far from my best. Actually it was my worst, at least on paper… But i think this quote couldn't sum it up any better. "Achievement is not always success, while reputed failure often is. It is honest endeavor, persistent effort to do the best possible under any and all circumstances." Rudder failure yes, broken paddle yes, in lots of pain yes, going at a sluggish pace yes, gonna finish the race? Of course. At the end of the day every goal you ever made, all the training, the dedicating yourself to that certain something and than putting toward that finial goal. Is just setting you up for your next goal, whatever it maybe. Or at least that's what I have come to realize for myself. It's growth, and just like that the new goal is formulated. But the real test is just trying to stay in the moment through it all. And always trying to find the fun in everything! Especially when things just don't go your way… ✌️😎 #cantstopwontstop In addition, a big thank you to all who helped me out and made this another awesome experience @sicmaui @konabrewingco @c_bal @knhina @lehua_afton @ingorademacher @ehiku #sicmaui #konabrewingco #mahikuactivewear #molokai2oahu

A photo posted by Andrew Logreco (@andrewlogreco) on

 


 

Lena Ribeiro

 

🌸"Each human powered race across the Channel of Bones is regarded worldwide as the crowning achievement of the sport" (M2O)🌸 Simplesmente indescritível a emoção de cruzar este canal. Muito feliz de terminar em quarto no geral feminino, atrás de super remadoras, todas que já foram campeãs desta prova. Obrigada Furnas por viabilizar este sonho. Obrigada a todos que torceram e enviaram energia positiva, em especial à três monstros do SUP internacional que não puderam este ano fazer a prova e me passaram boas vibrações, @babibrazil , @liviomaui e @andreamollermaui , meus ídolos! E o que falar do meu marido, treinador, companheiro, incentivador…meu tudo @americopinheirojr que este ano abriu mão de competir para me dar todo suporte. Sem palavras para agradecer ❤️Te amo❤️. Obrigada sogros e mami por cuidar dos meus filhotes, ficar longe deles com certeza é o mais duro dessa jornada. Obrigada aos apoios de @sicmauibrasil @kialoapaddlesbrasil @camelbakbrasil @advancednutrition 🌺🌊🌴🐚☀️🍍🌸 #equipefurnas #furnassup #furnasesportes #fivestarperformance #sicmaui #exceed #americopinheiroassessoria #hawaiisup2016 #m2o #molokai2oahu

A photo posted by Lena Guimarães Ribeiro (@lenagribeiro) on

 


 

Chuck Patterson

 

 


 

Tomoyasu Murabayashi

 

Finished my 7th times @molokai2oahu Sup Solo. I think This years Kaiwi channel was the best conditions in past 6 years that I did. I got 13th place on Unlimited Div. 2nd place 30-39 Age div. Also I broke my record. 8 minutes faster than my past record. Everybody going faster and getting strong. I really respect to all the M2O paddlers!! Thanks to my family,my boat captain Russell,Hide-san,boat crew,my training coach Vincent,World best paddler Connor Baxter who training with me whole time in Maui,All my sponsors. Without you I couldn't do this. Thanks and Aloha.🙏🏽 7回目のモロカイオアフはアンリミテッド 13位、年齢別2位でした。 自身のベストタイムを8分くらい更新し、無事海峡を渡れたことを嬉しく思います。 協力、応援してくれた全ての人に感謝します。 Aloha. Photo by Hide-san #middleofthechannel #kaiwichannel #m2o @starboardsup #livethetikilife @teva #livebetterstories @star_cap @fcs_japan @fcssup @zen_nutrition #dovewetsuits

A photo posted by Tomoyasu Murabayashi (@suptomo) on

 


 

Lara Claydon

 

Well that's a wrap! 😊 Took first in our division and were the first women's team to finish with a time of 5:40:30! 🏆 Was a battle to the finish line but we did it! 💪🏼This one is for you @trucker_boy_dukes ! So stoked not just to finish this race or win it just for us but to have done it for Trucker! ☝🏼️BIG Mahalo to @taliadecoite for sticking by my side for the last 2 months and being the best coach and mentor anyone could ask for! Also to my amazing and best parents @mauijclay & @mauiclaydonphoto ! And last put not least my amazing team mate @kalia.alexiou I am so honored to have raced with you today! Already excited for next year! ☺️ @honolua_surfco @rawelementsusa @starboardsup @choicehealthbar @hitechsurf @officialmauijim @creaturesofleisure #lovebeatscancer #molokai2oahu2016 #molokai2oahu #m2o #theyoungandbrave #honolua #starboardsup #teamtrucker #fortrucker

A photo posted by Lara Claydon 🌸🌴 (@supgirl99) on

 


 

Kali‘a Alexiou

 

 


 

Kaihe Chong

 

 


 

Noa Hopper

 

 


 

Ryland Hart

 

 


 

Annie Reickert

 

 


 

Jeffrey Spencer

 

 


 

Takuji Araki

 

 


 

Heath Meldrum

 

 


 

Kieran O’Riordan

 
Posted via Facebook: Well now the dust has settled on the 2016 M2O all of us are left with fond memories and the aches & pains earned from such a huge undertaking. In the lead up there were times where I questioned myself if I deserved to be there on the same start line as so many amazing athletes but the positive attitudes and encouragement that you get from everyone is unbelievable. You kind of feel like you are part of a family such is the atmosphere. I can honestly say it was the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done and I loved every minute of it. I have never been so physically and mentally drained as I was crossing that finish line. I can’t wait to start training harder for next year. :)

Huge thanks to everyone that helped me out along the way with training, advice and positive words, Scott Hardiman, Jimmy Casey, Brad Gaul, Dave Kissane, Sam Parker, and all the friends and family around the world with the positive words and messages in the day – I’ve read all of them and you guys rock!!!! My awesome support crew on the day, my girlfriend Suze, good mate Paul “shark bait” Matthews, excellent escort boat captain Colin Steinberger & Ariel, Sonni Hönscheid for kindly sorting out my board back on Maui. Lets do it all again in 2017. :) // photo: Mike Abbott

Kieran O'Riordan

 


 

Ethan Koopmans

 

 


 

Harry Lee

 

 


 

Belar Diaz

 

 


 

Michi Schweiger

 

 


 

Marcus Tardrew

 
(Marcus, a highly talented downwind paddler himself, created the bold new board designs that Matt Nottage, Jimmy Casey and Toby Cracknell were riding)

 


 

And let’s not forget the prone paddleboarders, who not only pioneered this race back in the 90s but continue to push the limits and inspire everyone in the ocean paddling world…

 


 

Jordan Mercer

 
Women’s prone champion for a sixth year in a row

Six from Six @molokai2oahu Yess! I am so grateful for today's happenings. The channel was amazing. I loved the challenging journey. It doesn't get any easier, that is for certain. I trained the house down to fight for my 6th consecutive title. It was going to be the biggest challenge having the 2016 field of women I was up against. Congratulations Liz and Kanesa on 2nd and 3rd. An honour to race you both. I'm a bit frazzled after today…. My body is aching and my head is pounding. 5+ hours of Hawaiian sun has got the better of me. I hope this makes some sense…. So many beautiful people I am blessed to have by my side. To all of you, thank you for believing in me. My crew today, Captain Eddie, Jamie Mitcho, Dad and Grace. Thanks for being such a dream team. 🌊🌊🌊🌊🏆💪🏼 Congrats everyone! @jm_paddleboards @redbull @vertra @cannibalAustralia @madillhonda #👌🏼👌🏼 #YaaaBoo #FeelTheMana @gentrypro 📷

A photo posted by 6x M2O WorldPaddleBoardChamp (@jordanmercer_1) on

 


 

Matt Bevilacqua

 
Men’s prone champion and new course record holder

Back to Back World Titles and a New World Record yesterday.. It's an ugly mug but this is the result of having to dig deeper than I ever have in my life, @shadedogg pushed us so far under record pace and was relentless, it was honestly one of the craziest battles I've ever been in. Catching 6-8ft swells side by side in the middle of the ocean and not being able to break each other for over 4 hours! I wish I could share what this was like. Massive congrats also to @matt_poole1 who was a beast as always in that channel and right on our hammer the whole way. Thanks for every single message of support and congrats you are all amazing! This one was for my family who helped me take that first step out of the Tasmanian door at 18, and have supported me ever since. They were all there at the finish line this time and on my escort boat, to say it was special hardly does it justice at all 🙏 Mahalo 🌊 🙌 #BacktoBack #AndStill #LiveUnstoppable

A photo posted by B E V Y (@matt.bevilacqua) on

 


 

Stewart McLachlan

 
Men’s prone stock champion (new course record)

 


 

Lachie Lansdown

 

 


 

Jack Bark

 

 


 

Brad Gaul

 

 


 

Abby Brown

Women’s prone stock champion

WOW. I don't know where to start. I'm so stoked to have just finished–let alone win–women's stock! I guess it really is true that determination and hard work pay off. When I started paddling two years ago, I would watch all the Molokai videos over and over again, never thinking I'd actually get to participate someday. Standing on the beach yesterday, I found myself questioning why I signed up and wishing I hadn't, but I was in way too deep so I just paddled to the start line. I'd never cried tears of joy before until I crossed the finish line and saw my family and friends there waiting for me as the loud speaker announced that I was the new world champion. I'd like to extend a huge thank you to everyone that has helped me get where I am today! The support from all you guys means the world to me! Also, a huge shoutz out to @matt.bevilacqua @kai_lenny @matt_poole1 @thewriggler @jackbark @lachie_lansdown and @jordanmercer_1 –you are the biggest legends ever!!!!! When the race was over, I told myself I'd never do it again, but i'll be back next year for sure! Pic @mattwier #suicidepace #prelives #partytime #m2o 🌊💨💀

A photo posted by Abby Brown (@abbybrwn) on

 


 

Carter Graves

 

Unreal day out in the channel today. Today was about the EXPERIENCE and leaving it all out there. The 32 miles of @molokai2oahu never disappoint as it brings you to that breaking point… but learning to push through that pain is one of the most important things I have learned to apply to the rest of my life. I am stoked to come home with the silver and am so proud of @abbybrwn for taking the gold. You are amazing girl ❤️ To all the girls out there today ❤️❤️ A big thank you to my team second family here @jcrushlow and @will_phillipssd keeping me stoked this week and getting me to continue pushing toward the finish when it started to hurt. Thanks to Mark Matheson for reminding me to just HAVE FUN :) and to @rlcote3 and the Hawaiian paddlers taking me in and guiding me through the process. Thanks to fellow paddler and Jolyn sister @robinnlang for all the support and words of wisdom. Thanks to everyone back home… My family, friends, and big thanks to the Coronado Lifeguards for helping me stay STRONG through the ups and downs. Thanks to my sponsors for all the support and helping me make my dreams a reality @jolynclothing @barkboards @oakleywomen @surftechusa @rickaroons @solistick @urturt @glidesoul ❤️⚡️ #molokai2oahu #madeit #32miles #bestfriends #staystrong #faceeverythingandrise

A photo posted by Carter Graves (@charger_carter) on