Thirty minutes into the Maui Jim Molokai Challenge, first-time participant Jasper Mocke led a five-man conga line of Clint Robinson, Hank McGregor, Cory Hill and Jeremy Cotter. When Mocke sprinted for a wave that shot him across Robinson's path, the five-time Olympian admonished him like a state trooper confronting an unlicensed driver. Mocke thought nothing of his move. "That's how we race in South Africa," he said. "It was just aggressive."
A few hours ago Hank McGregor won his second Molokai title in similar conditions to the first...
The trade winds that had been blowing the week before the race fizzled out on Thursday and the paddlers were faced with a gruelling flat water grind across the Kaiwi Channel in stifling 30 degree C temperatures.
Molokai is home to the world surf ski championships and rightly so – it’s one of the most testing events on the International Ocean Ski calendar. But can it lay claim to being the only open water crossing in the world? The Celtic Crossing is the brainchild of event founder and organiser Glenn Eldridge of Ocean Sports UK – “completing the Molokai in early 2000, seeing the Hawaiians cultural link with the ocean and the heritage of the crossing I thought that there must be something similar I could do here in the UK”.
After two weeks of howling trade winds and mountainous seas in the Kaiwi Channel, the 2014 Molokai Challenge is faced with baking temperatures, glassy seas and “winds light and variable”. And that means 52km of an intense challenge of a different kind…
As we all know, Molokai is the Big Kahuna of surfski races; the 32mile/51km crossing of the Kaiwi Channel between Molokai and Oahu Islands in Hawaii is a daunting challenge (whatever the weather!). The race is back for 2014, but it's now back under the management of the Kanaka Ikaika Racing Association (KIRA). Here's the preliminary announcement from KIRA's Jim Foti.
Oahu, Hawaii - Debate is raging in Hawaii ahead of the Molokai Challenge surfski ultra-marathon this weekend at which Oscar Chalupsky is aiming to win a 13th title, as weather forecasts point to the winds and swell drying up just before the scheduled start at 11am local time on Sunday 19 May.
Durban – Surfski icon Oscar Chalupsky is planning to extend his own record in the tough Molokai Challenge in Hawaii on 19 May by winning his 13th title in the 52km crossing, and in the process explode the myth that athletes cannot remain competitive as they get older.
Australia’s largest outrigger event, Gatorade Battle of the Paddles, will take place on Hamilton Island from 14 – 18 June 2012, with an impressive prize pool worth $90,000... and surfski is included as a discipline for the first time.
This video just popped up on Youtube - it's a team Epic Kayaks clip put together to celebrate their achievements (first double; first, second and fifth singles)... Some nice footage, showing what the conditions were like on the day.