Oahu, 19 May 2007. Much of the buzz the last few days has
been about the wind or lack thereof. True, without booming trade winds the race
becomes far more tactical and a true war of attrition that may take the winner
significantly longer than four hours. My guess is that the lead pack will be
wash riding for the first few kilometres, but as soon as the top dogs enter the
channel he who finds the most runs and manages the distance best is likely to
Here's my highly-subjective scouting report on what is sure to be one of the
most competitive and talented fields yet assembled.
Hawaii - 15 May 2007. The Molokai Channel is the dream of every
downwind ski paddler on the planet. The bluest water I have ever seen, 3 pound
flying fish, vertical cliffs plunging directly into the ocean all make up a
small part of the Hawaiian paddling experience. So I find myself extremely
fortunate to be apart of the 2007 version, a watershed year for the race.
What's a V10E you might ask? According to Epic, it's E for Elite, but it may as well be E for Extreme - as in extreme lightness and stiffness of construction.
The Epic website says that the skis were built with "super-lightweight unidirectional carbon pre-preg combined with Nomex honeycomb, with a very thin, clear gel coat". The result? An 8kg V10. There are two of the boats in existence with a single V10L which, according to Oscar Chalupsky, is close to 7.5kg.
you think of the history of Molokai, the unofficial World Championship of
open-ocean racing, you think of Oscar (11) and Herman Chalupsky (2), the
brothers from Durban
who have combined to win 13 titles, and Australians Dean Gardiner (9) and Grant
Kenny (5). The only other man to have won this storied race in the last two
decades is the young Springbok Clint Pretorius, who last year edged out Oscar
and two-time Olympic medal winner Clint Robinson of Oz.