We’re just over 24 hours away from the most prestigious race of the season, and what a race it’s shaping up to be. The 20th annual crossing of the Ka’iwi Channel between Molokai to Oahu is already destined for the history books, but a record level of talent and a few last-minute twists should ensure we’ll be talking about this one for many years to come.
The Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships, aka M2O or just simply Molokai, has become the ultimate event of the international stand up paddle racing season. The race has taken on an almost mythical status over the years, and it’s surely one of the toughest trophies in the sport to get your hands on. Becoming a Molokai champion makes you an instant hero, while many paddling legends have built their reputations by conquering this epic, dangerous, thirty-two mile stretch of open ocean between these two imposing Hawaiian islands. → READ MORE
Just in case you couldn’t make it to Hawaii on the weekend, here’s a great clip from Saturday’s big Maui2Molokai race, aka M2M, featuring some insightful athlete interviews and plenty of endless downwind glides.
The 7th annual channel crossing from Maui to Molokai saw Connor Baxter extend his record winning streak — he has, quite incredibly, won every single edition of this event — while Devin Blish claimed her second crown in the space of 24 months. → READ MORE
Connor Baxter has won a record seventh-straight Maui 2 Molokai (M2M) title, narrowly edging out Travis Grant in one of the fastest ever channel crossings, and setting up a mouth-watering clash at the major Molokai 2 Oahu (M2O) showdown later this month.
Connor finished in a time of 2:58:51, less than two minutes ahead of Travis, with conditions firing in the middle part of the course but stormy weather preventing it from being an all-time downwinder. → READ MORE
In brief: Australia’s James “Jimmy” Casey has made it a winning start to Downwind Month in Hawaii, taking out the Da Hui Independence Day Race on Oahu’s North Shore.
Jimmy led home a flotilla of Aussies, with Kelly Margetts finishing runner-up ahead of fellow Green & Gold Toby Cracknell. North Shore local Andrew Logreco was the top Hawaiian in 4th, followed by Bullet Obra who scored 5th overall on his 14 footer. → READ MORE
Connor Baxter has won his 5th straight OluKai title, defeating an all-star cast of the world’s best downwind paddlers in near-perfect conditions on Maui this afternoon.
After going into the race as red hot favourite – Connor has won every edition of this event stretching back to 2012 – the world number one relished the excellent downwind bumps on the famous Maliko run to finish in a time of 47 minutes, 41 seconds, while Mo Freitas put in a commanding performance to claim the runner-up spot. → 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
James Casey and Angie Jackson took out the 2016 Saucy Jack Classic in New South Wales, Australia last weekend, defeating an elite field to show they’ll be real contenders on the international circuit this season.
The Saucy Jack weekend (formerly “Harry’s Paddle”) was split into three separate races this year: The BOP race, the knockout sprints, and the 10k “Harbour Hustle” distance race. Points were combined from each to produce the overall event standings, and with seven of the world’s top 35 ranked men on the start line, including four of the top 15, it was always going to be a tough one to win. → 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
Matt Nottage has proven he’s one of the best ocean paddlers in the world for the second week in a row, taking out today’s King of the Cut downwind race, presented by Stand Up Surf Shop, in triumphant fashion.
The emerging young gun defeated world number two Travis Grant, Jake Jensen, defending champ Beau O’Brian and a who’s who of the Aussie paddling scene. To cap it off, Nottage also narrowly beat home the top unlimited paddlers, giving him the 14′ and line honours double. → READ MORE
Matt Nottage has shown he’s one of the best ocean paddlers in the world right now, defeating world number two Travis Grant, defending champ Beau O’Brian and a dozen more international level athletes to win The Doctor ocean race as part of Aussie Downwind Week.
The unheralded youngster, who recently joined Team Starboard, outlasted his compatriots after more two hours of racing, with Trav crossing the line just 17 seconds behind Matt, while Beau a further 33 seconds adrift. Trav was leading for much of the race but faded about half an hour from the finish, while Matt powered home in what he described as the race of his life. → READ MORE
James Casey and Angie Jackson have won the inaugural Central Coast Saltwater Festival on Australia’s East Coast, edging out a star-studded field of world ranked and local dark horse paddlers. Sounds like the inaugural event was a big success, with a well organised weekend of racing, big prize purse and top level talent all supporting a great cause.
The event, which kind of popped up out of nowhere despite offering a near record prize purse for Australia ($16,500), attracted a who’s who of the Aussie SUP scene, with the weekend comprised of three different races. → READ MORE
Australia’s quest to regain the ISA Worlds team trophy it lost in Mexico has officially begun. This week, Surfing Australia hosted the Australian SUP Titles on Queensland’s Gold Coast, with the short course and distance races going down at the mecca of paddling known as Currumbin.
There’s probably a higher concentration of paddling talent in Australia than any other nation, so the country’s national titles generally attract a more competitive field than many international events around the world. And while a few of the big names were missing this week, the start line still looked pretty solid. → READ MORE
It’s taken us a few days to come down from the high that was D-Day at Doheny, but now that the dust has settled and dings have been repaired, it’s time to sign off on this amazing event by posting the full and final results from the 2015 Pacific Paddle Games.
Click through for the full results, plus changes to the SUP Racer World Rankings… → READ MORE
Less than 72 hours til the biggest race of the year, the Pacific Paddle Games. I get the feeling this event is going to elevate the stand up paddling world to a new level, and while this is the inaugural edition of the PPGs, the race is happening at the “spiritual home” of SUP racing, Doheny State Beach in Dana Point California, the place it all began way back in 2008.
Speaking of taking it back to the beginning: Quickblade. The QB team have been around since day one of the sport. Literally. Jimmy Terrell made one of Laird Hamilton’s first paddles over 10 years ago, while the Mad Scientist was himself part of the very early SUP races back in 2006 and 2007. → READ MORE
And so Downwind Month continues. At the same time Connor Baxter was winning his sixth straight Maui 2 Molokai race on Saturday, one of his key rivals in ocean racing, Travis Grant, was dominating the Cline Mann Memorial Paddleboard Race over on Oahu.
Perhaps it was symbolic that Connor crossed the line first on Molokai while Travis won on Oahu, as these guys are the two favourites for next weekend’s Molokai 2 Oahu showdown. Connor has won three of the past four M2O showdowns, while Travis is the 2013 champion and went very close to beating Connor twelve months ago. → READ MORE
This is part of our “What You Missed In…” series that we’ll be running today, where we update a bunch of races that we failed to cover in the past few weeks.
The Independence Day Race: Now in its 37th year, it’s safe to say this event is now an annual tradition on Oahu’s iconic North Shore. The race, part downwind race, part day out at the beach, attracted over 400 paddlers once again this year. But finishing on top of the pile was Mo Freitas, who’s probably still on a high after his beyond-epic win at the Payette River Games a couple of weeks prior. → READ MORE
Candice Appleby has claimed the first gold medal of the 2015 ISA Worlds for Team USA, winning today’s Long Distance Race ahead of defending champ Lina Augaitis (Canada), Terrene Black (Australia) and Celine Guesdon (France).
Click through for results, recap, photos and video… → 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
Nice little recap of the BOP race at last weekend’s Ocean and Earth Southern Cross SUP Festival, aka the New South Wales State Titles. This event was the first qualifier on the pathway to the 2015 Aussie Titles, which ultimately decides who’ll represent Team Australia at next year’s Worlds.
Click through to watch… → 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