James Casey, Annabel Anderson Win the Weather-Affected OluKai ‘Beach Race’ on Maui (RESULTS)

 

World number one Annabel Anderson and Sunova’s James Casey have taken out the weather-affected OluKai Ho’olaulea race on Maui this morning, winning the modified ‘beach race’ event at Kanaha after the standard Maliko downwind run was canceled for the second time in two days following wild and unsafe conditions.

With swirling winds and stormy weather continuing to lash the Hawaiian coast, OluKai organisers wisely opted for safety over tradition, keeping the event inside the reef at Kanaha Beach Park instead of sending competitors on what would have been a somewhat-treacherous ocean paddle from Maliko Gulch.

This definitely wasn’t OluKai as we know it, but there’s not much you can do about mother nature. And despite the conditions producing a clearly-depleted field, there was still plenty of top talent on the start line for the approximately 40-minute course race.

James, or ‘Jimmy’ as he’s known at home in Australia, saluted ahead of superstars Danny Ching, Travis Grant, Mo Freitas and five-time OluKai winner Connor Baxter. This is actually the first time Connor hasn’t won OluKai since 2011, though considering the modified course you could argue that his ‘OluKai-Maliko’ winning streak is still intact.

Either way, this is a huge result for James Casey and Team Sunova. Those of us who follow the sport closely have long known Jimmy is a number one contender in all formats and conditions, but this is the first time the supremely-talented Aussie has saluted at a big international event.

Jimmy’s victory also creates a ‘weekend double’ for Team Sunova after Kelly Margetts saluted at the Bay Bridge Paddle in Maryland yesterday (update: it’s actually a treble with Annabel riding a Sunova board today as well).

It was also something of a return to form for Danny Ching, who had a disappointing 10th place finish at the massive showdown in Carolina last weekend.

Rising junior prospect Ryan Funk crossed the line just outside the top five, finishing a minute clear of the highly under-rated Josh Riccio, while Kody Kerbox, Tyler Jaggers and Riggs Napoleon rounded out the top 10.

Despite the drastically different course layout, the majority of paddlers stuck with their original board choice, which suggests that although this was a ‘beach race’ it was mostly straight line paddling with only a few buoy turns. It looks like 6 of the top 10 guys were on unlimiteds, while Connor, Ryan, Josh and Riggs were on stock 14 footers.

The winning board was Jimmy’s unlimited dugout designed by Marcus Tardrew for Sunova, similar to what some of the Aussie boys used in Molokai last year (you can get a closer look at ‘Pinky‘ on Instagram).

On the women’s side, Annabel (unlimited) outlasted defending champ Sonni Honscheid (14’) after the top two had a see-sawing battle around the course–the lead changed at least three times. The world number one eventually paddled clear though, with the fast-finishing Kiwi only missing a spot inside the men’s top 10 by one second, while she was a minute clear of the powerful German.

This is Annabel’s second big victory in two weeks following her fifth-straight Carolina Cup title last weekend, however Sonni also looked very strong on her stock 14 footer and will be the favourite to defend her EuroTour title next month.

Young guns Jade Howson and Kali’a Alexiou finished 3rd and 4th in the blustery conditions, continuing their string of top five results over the past 12-18 months (I believe both girls were on stock 14 footers). Jade and Kali’a are two of the leading junior women on the race scene right now and no doubt we’ll be seeing their names for many more years to come.

Another star of the future, Erika Benitez, came home 6th behind seven-time OluKai champ Andrea Moller, who would have been in unfamiliar territory after the traditional downwind run was called off.

Look for in-depth coverage and photos of the event on supthemag.com later today, but in the meantime here are the top finishers plus some live vision from the finish line thanks to Will from SUP the Mag.

 


 

2017 OluKai Ho’olaulea ‘Beach Race’ Results

#
Athlete
Time
Points
Division
1James Casey0:37:1340.00Elite unlimited
2Danny Ching0:37:4930.00Elite unlimited
3Travis Grant0:38:3324.00Elite unlimited
4Mo Freitas0:39:4220.00Elite unlimited
5Connor Baxter0:40:3417.00Elite 14
6Ryan Funk0:41:0314.00Elite 14
7Josh Riccio0:42:2312.00Elite 14
8Kody Kerbox0:43:2510.00Elite unlimited
9Tyler Jaggers0:43:389.00Elite unlimited
10Riggs Napoleon0:44:148.00Elite 14
11Bart de Zwart0:46:157.20Open 14'
12Tyler Bashor0:47:216.40Open 14'
13Ethan Koopmans0:48:026.00Elite SUP
14Bojan Bernard0:48:585.60Open 14'
15Noah Garfield0:49:175.20Open 14'
16Steven Dunlop0:49:244.80Open
17Hans Wannemacher0:49:374.40Open 14'
18Jeffrey Spencer0:49:384.00Open 14'
19Robert Foriikekau0:50:083.60Elite SUP
20Peter Kosinski0:50:463.20Open 14'
21Keaton Rose0:51:233.00Open 14'
22Warwick Gray0:52:152.80Open 14'
23Livio Menelau0:52:492.60Elite SUP
24Elijah Schoenig0:53:062.40Open 14'
25Paul Zacharias0:53:282.20Open 14'
26Rj Whener0:54:012.08Open 14'
27John Walsh0:54:241.96Open 14'
28Ricky Ikeda0:54:261.84Open 14'
29Martin Giroud0:54:331.72Open 14'
30Tom Pace0:54:401.60Open
31Robert Howson0:54:551.52Open
32Doug Thomas0:54:581.44Open 14'
33Jeff Okuna0:56:131.36Open
34Masao Fukayama0:56:141.28Open 14'
35Ron Stjohn0:56:451.20Open 14'
36Adam Schell0:56:571.12Open 14'
37Michael Johnson0:56:591.04Open 14'
38Jeffrey Oltman0:57:020.96Open
39Brian Fishbook0:57:130.88Open 14'
40Thomas Burke0:57:230.80Open 14'
41Shiratake Hidemasa0:57:320.76Open
42Finn Spencer0:57:400.72Open
43Kyle Ellison0:57:490.68Open 14'
44Zeke Rose0:58:130.64Open 14'
45Zoltan Bazso0:58:150.60Open
46Paul Pokorski0:59:060.56Open 14'
47Ryan Cook0:59:110.52Open
48Andrew Baker1:00:420.48Open 14'
49Sharn Mentz1:00:510.44Open
50Brandon McCormick1:00:510.40Open 14'
51Steve Funk1:01:030.00Open 14'
52Gary Candido1:01:120.00Open
53Shawn Tierney1:01:280.00Open 14'
54Derek Sproul1:01:380.00Open 14'
55Stephen Pugh1:02:030.00Open
56William Enoka1:02:120.00Open
57Bryceen Silva1:02:320.00Open
58Lee Harrison1:03:120.00Open 14'
59Geoff James1:04:010.00Open
60Nelson Carmichael1:04:520.00Open
61Fred Andersen1:04:530.00Open 14'
62Yasuharu Nakabayashi1:05:210.00Open 14'
63Searay Beltran1:06:570.00Open 14'
64Bill Worthington1:07:480.00Open 14'
65Matt Murasko1:08:220.00Open
66Ryder Tremble1:09:140.00Open 14'
67Bryon Stevens1:10:150.00Open 14'
68Fred Stanton1:12:520.00Open 14'
69Peter Martin1:14:230.00Open
70Jeffrey Janovich1:19:120.00Open
71Craig Harris1:21:000.00Open 14'

 

#
Athlete
Time
Points
Division
1Annabel Anderson0:44:1530.00Elite unlimited
2Sonni Honscheid0:45:1322.50Elite 14
3Jade Howson0:51:2118.00Elite 14
4Kali'a Alexiou0:52:3215.00Elite 14
5Andrea Moller0:53:4112.75Elite Unlimited
6Erika Benitez0:54:2410.50Elite SUP
7Annie Reickert0:56:069.00Elite SUP
8Lara Claydon0:58:207.50Elite SUP
9Jennifer Lee1:01:066.75Elite SUP
10Kiyomi Sheppard1:04:186.00Elite SUP
11Sharon Baldwin0:59:525.40Open SUP
12Marjie Kahookele1:09:164.80Open SUP
13Elizabeth Campos1:14:374.50Open SUP
14Kristy Wright Schell1:09:574.20Rec SUP 14
15Marie Dautrude1:17:513.90Rec SUP 14
16Tomoe Yasu1:00:293.60Rec SUP 14
17Natalie Fon1:08:023.30Rec SUP 14

Raw results available on the official timing site