And just like that, it’s the end of July. Where has this season gone? It seems like only yesterday we were freezing in the French Alps and getting ready to launch The Paddle League. Now it’s the end of July, the season is well over half done, and it’s suddenly time for the big one: Molokai.
The 32-mile, open-ocean channel crossing between the Hawaiian islands of Molokai and Oahu has grown to become the most prestigious (and arguably: most challenging) race in the sport of paddleboarding, whether that be standing up or laying down. And this year is set to be a cracker, with a stacked field and promising conditions lining up to create a monumental showdown for this six-star specialty event.
Race day is Sunday, but in the meantime, here’s a quick look at the top contenders for this year’s Molokai crown. → READ MORE
Connor Baxter has overpowered an Travis Grant and James ‘Jimmy’ Casey to narrowly claim an historic eighth-straight Maui2Molokai title this afternoon, setting a new record for longest winning streak in the sport and continuing his extraordinary run as the only guy to ever win this race.
The world number one got pushed further than ever before though, with an in-form Travis leading for about the first 23 miles of the 26 mile (42km) crossing forcing Connor to dig deep in order to keep his unbeaten run alive. Jimmy was also applying the pressure on Connor, and the world number seven was still within sight of the champ as they finally hit the finish line on the south side of Molokai after just over three hours of paddling. → READ MORE
In brief: Aussie James Casey has continued his winning ways in Hawaii, with the 2017 OluKai champ taking out the M2Molokai Challenge on the weekend as the ocean paddling world gears up for a big double header later this month.
Jimmy completed the 42km (26 mile) crossing from Maui to Molokai in a time of 3 hours, 19 minutes and 9 seconds, narrowly avoiding an upset at the hands of his Team Sunova board designer Marcus Tardrew, a lesser-known but extremely talented downwind paddler who crossed less than a minute later. Maui’s Kody Kerbox restored some pride for the home team by snagging third place.
Annabel Anderson was in a league of her own in the women’s race, claiming the win in 3:39:05, with Andrea Moller runner-up and stars-of-the-future Kali’a Alexiou and Lara Claydon enjoying a close battle for the third step on the podium. → READ MORE
We’re still coming down from the high of Carolina, but there’s no time to rest as the paddling world heads straight into another big weekend of racing. From the Key West Classic in Florida to the big downwind showdown on Maui, there will be plenty of results to keep track of on Saturday.
Here’s a quick preview and a few not-so-bold predictions… → READ MORE
The start list for the 2016 Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships has just been revealed, with the men’s solo stand up paddle division attracting the most competitive field in the event’s 20 year history.
Top ranked athletes including three-time champ and world number one Connor Baxter, two-time champ and world number two Travis Grant, number three Danny Ching, and number four Kai Lenny will be racing across the Ka’iwi Channel (aka the “Channel of Bones”) on Sunday, July 31st. → READ MORE
What are some of the world’s top SUP athletes doing in the off season? What they love most: Surfing big waves.
Jamie Mitchell, Kai Lenny, Mo Freitas, Connor Baxter, Zane Schweitzer and 7-time OluKai champion Andrea Moller were just some of the stand up paddlers to feature recently in a string of historic big wave sessions. → READ MORE
Connor Baxter has just won the Maui 2 Molokai race in Hawaii, further extending the longest winning streak in the history of men’s SUP racing. This was Connor’s sixth straight Maui 2 Molokai crown, dating back to the inaugural event in 2010.
With conditions on the famous downwind run milder than usual over the final five miles, Connor won in a time of 3 hours 13 minutes, nine minutes slower than his 2014 victory. Dark horse Australian Matt Nottage, a definite name to watch in the future, was runner-up while Brazil’s international star Vinnicius Martins took a very strong third place. → READ MORE
Connor Baxter has won his 4th straight OluKai title, claiming a strong victory ahead of Travis Grant, Dave Kalama, Travis Baptiste and Danny Ching. Minutes after Connor crossed the line, Andrea Moller triumphed in the women’s race for an extraordinary 7th straight year, further extending the greatest winning streak in the sport of stand up paddling.
Click through for full results + the updated World Rankings… → READ MORE
Today saw the release of the 2015 Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships official start list. And it’s looking mighty stacked.
Some people were worried the new lottery system – introduced this year to deal with unprecedented demand – would thin out the field for the 19th annual edition, however I can safely say this will be the most competitive M2O of all time. → READ MORE
Downwind Month Glides on… Connor Baxter has just won the Maui 2 Molokai race yet again, beating an all star field and firing a shot across the bow ahead of the big one, Molokai 2 Oahu. This must be about the 6th or 7th time in a row that Connor has claimed the M2M title, however this year the win was more hard fought than ever. Connor edged out fellow Maui young gun Kai Lenny by a couple of minutes, while behind him was a who’s who of the downwinding world including Dave Kalama, Travis Grant and Livio Menelau.
Very interesting to look at today’s result in relation to the Molokai 2 Oahu race coming up in two weeks (and which we’ll have live coverage of). Today’s Maui 2 Molokai could be a bit of a form guide for the big one: All five of the top guys from today will be back in action on the 27th. → READ MORE
Andrea Moller is a machine. There’s no other way to describe some of her performances, especially the 48 hours of May 2nd and 3rd…
The Brazilian-turned-Maui-local flew to California last week to attend the Billabong XXL Awards (the Oscars of big wave surfing), where she was nominated for surfing some ridiculously large waves during the Hawaiian winter.
Despite the festivities, Andrea got up super early the next morning and jumped straight on the plane back to Hawaii. After landing on Maui just before lunch, Andrea went straight from the airport to Maliko Gulch for the start of the Paddle Imua race at 1pm. One hour and 23 minutes later, Andrea was crossing the line to claim yet another victory. → READ MORE
Connor Baxter and Andrea Moller have reasserted their dominance of the Hawaiian downwind scene, taking out the 2014 OluKai Ho’olaule’a in surprisingly good conditions on Maui today. Despite Facebook being flooded with messages such as “Hey does anyone have a flat water board I can borrow?!” over the past 48 hours, the wind along the famous Maliko downwind run turned on just in time for the start of the race.
Connor showed once again that he’s the King of Maliko, finishing in a very solid time of 51 minutes, over two minutes clear of the only guy who got within shouting distance of him, Aussie Travis Grant. Maliko stalwart Jeremy Riggs put in a good effort to take home third, while Kody Kerbox came home in 4th ahead of Danny Ching and Livio Menelau.
With close to 300 paddlers on the line, including several of the biggest names in the sport, the event itself has shown it’s one of the world’s premiere races. → READ MORE
Maui’s Paddle Imua race kicked off the 2014 downwind season on Saturday, with locals Connor Baxter and Andrea Moller showing their class in less-than-ideal conditions. With light winds turning the race along the famous Maliko run from a downwinder into a bit of a grind, the 150+ paddlers (including 97 on stand ups) had to dig deep to find the bumps.
And finding them better than anyone was Connor Baxter. In a further sign that he’s not human, Connor beat the entire field on a 12’6. That’s five feet shorter than most of his rivals. Granted the light winds blunted much of the advantage of the unlimited boards, but even Kody Kerbox on a 14 footer could only get within a minute of Connor.
The win puts Connor in great form ahead of next week’s massive OluKai race and shows that his shocker of a result in Carolina was an anomaly. → READ MORE
It seems like 2013 has been the Year of Debate in the Stand Up Paddling world. From drafting to board classes to prize money to world championships and pretty much every little topic in between, informal talks, public discussion and downright heated arguments have become the norm.
SUP racing is at a crossroads; it’s gone from a small, novelty, niche sport into something bordering on the mainstream, with close to a thousand races around the world each year and a new breed of paddlers enjoying full-time careers on the water. And it’s this explosive growth that is fueling the debate, as different organisations and differing opinions jockey for control and attention, with influence on the future of the sport a reward.
So far we’ve heard a lot of talk and some serious action, but it’s mainly come from the male athletes. That changed recently however, with the Gorge Paddle Challenge in Oregon attracting one of the strongest fields of female paddlers we’ve seen outside the BOP, and one of the leading, Candice Appleby, using the chance to roundup the top female talent for a serious debate. → READ MORE
Downwind masters Kaeo Abbey and Andrea Moller have taken out today’s downwind race @ Duke’s OceanFest on Oahu.
The race was held on the famous Hawaii Kai downwind run, which goes from Hawaii Kai back to Waikiki. This is the same course that was used for the Battle of the Paddle Distance Race in 2010 & 2011, as well as for the Waikiki Paddle Festival last year. → READ MORE
Kody Kerbox and Fiona Wylde have taken out the 2013 Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge in Hood River, Oregon ahead of a stacked local and international field. Kody beat some big names in Georges Cronsteadt and Slater Trout, while local surprise packet Fiona Wylde put in a commanding overall performance to knock off the likes of Andrea Moller, Candice Appleby and Jenny Kalmbach.
Click through for the full results… → READ MORE
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… Click through for full race results plus a recap and photos of the action. → READ MORE
The 8th Annual Maui Paddle Championships are happening right now in Hawaii. This is one of the races of the year, with an all-star local cast being joined by many of the world’s best paddlers for a race along the famous Maliko downwind run.
Results are in and it’s again Connor Baxter taking the win, while Andrea Moller surprised nobody by claiming the women’s. Click through for the full results… → READ MORE
Connor Baxter and Andrea Moller have won the 2013 OluKai SUP Race on Maui, holding off an elite field of paddlers to defend their respective titles.
Dave Kalama was 2nd in the men’s race with Kai Lenny in third, while Talia Gangini was the next best female paddler. Click through for the FULL RESULTS… → READ MORE
The 2013 Paddle Imua SUP Race went down on Maui yesterday, with very close to 100 Stand Up Paddlers hitting the world famous Maliko downwind course. In the end it was Livio Menelau who took line honours just over a minute ahead of Jeremy Riggs, while Andrea Moller dominated the women’s race to the surprise of nobody.
Super grom Travis Baptiste put in a lightning quick time to claim the 14′ class and take third overall, with Aussie Ironwoman Queen Karla Gilbert another strong performer, taking out the women’s 14′ class and crossing the line 2nd overall behind Andrea. → READ MORE