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 has dominated the 2016 Maui Jim OceanFest, with Jackson Maynard and Karla Gilbert claiming the men’s and women’s titles respectively, while Travis Grant and Kelly Margetts also enjoyed stand out stand up performances.
Jackson and Karla were the defending champions coming into this year’s event, with the Queensland duo going back-to-back at Maui’s iconic Ka’anapali Beach. The all-round theme of the Maui Jim OceanFest – the event combines SUP, swimming, prone, OC-1 and surfski – heavily favours the Australians, who dominate the parallel world of surf life saving (lifeguard racing). → READ MORE
Travis Grant created history on Saturday, winning the Molokai to Oahu Solo OC1 race to match his victory in the M2O SUP race last July and become the first ever paddler to claim both titles. It’s the Molokai Double.
It’s also a fitting reward for a paddler whose skill and talent is matched only by his hard work and humility — very few paddlers are as respected as Travis, and as the flood of post-race congratulations messages on Facebook show, this is a very popular victory within the paddling community. But nobody is happier than the man himself; He commented after the race that winning the Molokai Solo title is “a life long dream come true.” → READ MORE
I’ve always loved paddling unlimited boards. There’s a special feeling you get from gliding through the ocean on a 17 or 18 foot board that just can’t be matched on a 12’6 or 14. Unlimiteds are slightly challenging at first but I reckon that’s half the fun. Once you get the hang of it you never want to paddle anything else!
Unlimited race boards are pretty common over here in Hawaii but almost non-existent everywhere else. When it comes to unlimiteds: Not many brands make them, not many paddlers ride them, and not many events focus on them. Maybe it’s time to change that. Why not?! → READ MORE
In case you need some mid-week motivation, or if you just want an entertaining trip down memory lane, watch this four and a half minute montage from Quickblade, which features some of the biggest names and events in stand up paddling accompanied by a couple of iconic speeches from the wider sporting world.
Simply titled “Train Hard. Go Fast. Have Fun.” – the official mantra of QB Paddles – the clip is an interesting look back at the past eight years of not only one of the sport’s most iconic brands, but of the sport itself → 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
The Carolina Cup isn’t just a race. The annual pilgrimage to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina signals not only one of the largest, most competitive and most significant events on the international calendar, it’s also probably your best opportunity to learn from some of the world’s fastest and most talented paddlers.
The Carolina Cup isn’t just a race, it’s a true festival of paddling, and one of the best features of the festival are the clinics. → 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
Nice little drone clip out of New Zealand, where reigning Molokai/Carolina champion Travis Grant has been residing/teaching for the past week.
Trav was down in NZ for an NSP training camp, though the current world number two also jumped in to the local Beach Race Series, where he held off a bunch of very talented locals to take the win. → READ MORE
In what can only be described as a ‘massive’ move, NSP has just signed world-beater Titouan Puyo, pairing him with world number two Travis Grant to instantly give the team one of the best lineups in the sport.
Formerly with Starboard, Titou has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past two seasons. He shot up to #5 on the SUP Racer World Rankings last year, and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t become #1 in the future… → READ MORE
As the year draws to a close and we reflect back on 12 months of paddling adventures, one thing that stands out is just how many awesome SUP videos were released in 2015.
From Carolina to Oregon to Doheny to Paris to Perth and virtually everywhere in between, there have been a tonne of awesome edits from the paddling community this year. Here are 15 of the best… → READ MORE
Great little clip out of West Oz this week, featuring world beater Travis Grant showing us how to really have fun on a stand up paddle board: Wake surfing behind boats.
Click through to watch, then go and find a boat to chase… → READ MORE
Great highlights reel from last weekend’s big King of the Cut downwind race in West Oz, which was won by Matt Nottage and Angie Jackson.
Via Reflex Films, this clip does a good job of showing just how fun the bumps are in this part of the world. → 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
The season is winding down and the SUP world has already begun looking towards 2016, so we’re currently in the middle of rounding up dates for all of next year’s main events. And no date is bigger, or rather, no date is more prestigious than that of the Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships.
The M2O has taken on mythical proportions in recent years. The 32 mile crossing of the Ka’iwi Channel, aka the Channel of Bones, has become one of the pillars of the international racing season, while the winners become instant legends within the community. → READ MORE
If you still haven’t had your fill of crazy, chaotic, carnage-filled imagery from the inaugural Pacific Paddle Games, you’ll enjoy this clip.
Watch Buzzy Kerbox give us a play-by-play recap of the main event at the PPGs… → READ MORE