Durban, South Africa - A strong reaction has followed the news that ace Tahitian paddler Lewis
Laughlan has pulled out of the ARB Surf Ski World Cup in Durban later this
The quietly spoken star who hit the headlines a few weeks back when he won the
Molokai title in brutal conditions said that he had opted to stay in Tahiti to
honour commitments to a local RAI event rather than make the trip to South
Africa for the year's only ICF Sanctioned Surf Ski World Cup. He was the
highest placed international at last year's successful inaugural ARB Surf Ski
Hank McGregor is the Molokai 2009 Champion... It was a neck and neck tussle between the South African and Aussie Clint Robinson until about 2:18 into the race when the heat and flat conditions finally broke Robinson and he pulled up with cramps.
That left Tim Jacobs as sole challenger but he paddled the entire race on his own and never really came close to catching McGregor who powered his way to a win in 3:54:39.
Defending champion Lewis Laughlin took third place.
The conditions were glassy - with a 10kt headwind for the final hour.
"Much has been discussed with the men's division, but hardly anything about the gals," wrote Clyde Hedlund."Nowhere could I find Naomi Flood on the ballot.So let this be my token vote for her (sorry Lauren)."
Epic Kayaks presented the 1st Annual Makapuu Challenge with
an international field of paddlers. The thirty-five surfski entrants
represented Australia, Canada, New
South Africa, USA, and Hawaii
Early on a Sunday morning last May, 133 international athletes gathered together on the edge of Molokai's western shore, held hands, and prayed for a tail wind to aid their progress during the 2008 Epic Molokai Challenge.
During the first 30 years of Molokai - the unofficial World Championship of open ocean racing - the 55-kilometer channel crossing was defined by three men: Aussie Ironman turned Olympian Grant Kenny, who put the race on the map when he won the first of his five titles in 1979; nine-time winner and course record holder Dean Gardiner, and 11-time champ Oscar Chalupsky. Though the ultra-fit, two-time Coolangata Gold Ironman champ Guy Leach was first across a glassy channel in 1991, over the next decade-and-a-half the only winners were named Chalupsky or Gardiner. In 1995, Oscar crossed the line with his brother Herman, and Herman smashed the field for his first outright win in 2004.