Molokai 2008 - pre-race

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The National Weather Service forecast for the Kaiwi Channel still says that there will be a 10kt breeze coming from the east - with some tiny waves...  But it looks as though it's going to be a hot, long paddle (for the back markers at any rate).

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I've asked a couple of the top paddlers for their top 5 list and the names mentioned include:

  • - Dawid Mocke (SA)
  • - Hank McGregor (SA)
  • - Tim Jacobs (Aus)
  • - Dave Kissane (SA)
  • - Herman Chalupsky (SA)
  • - Kurt Jarret (Aus)

Who do you think will be in the top 5?  Post your predictions in the comments... 

Pre-race Nerves

I have to admit - I'm feeling very tense about the race.  I'm not sure how I'm going to react to the heat and humidity; is there going to be big surf on the beach at the start (apparently the NE swell was breaking 500m out yesterday ); will we be able to find all the paddlers to give them their GPS units; will they work?  Lots to think about.

Joe Glickman reassured me yesterday.  "There isn't a single paddler who isn't twitching at this point," he said. 

Live Coverage

We'll hopefully be fairly well covered for commentary - the unknown factor is the GPS units and how well they'll pick up the mobile network from Molokai.

I suspect that they may have a problem at the start - so if they don't appear on the display to begin with, please bear with us.  They're a relatively unknown technology at this stage and this race is very much a "proof of concept".  If they do work well, they'll change the way races are followed (obviously) and may help hugely with safety in the future.

SportsTrack ( sponsored the units for the race - thanks Robert & Robyn!  They're looking for distributors and agents worldwide, so I guess they're also going to be watching the performance of the kit with a lot of interest!

The Weather

When I looked out of my hotel room this morning, it was not a pretty sight.  The sea was absolutely flat and overhung with haze...  Thank goodness for GPSs...

No-one can believe that the weather gods have blatted us two years running.


We fly across to Molokai this afternoon - and there's a pasta dinner for all the competitors tonight.  Hopefully we'll find our skis at the start (ours left on an escort boat early this morning; some of them went via container earlier in the week).

Race briefing is at 08h00 on Sunday morning - when I'll be giving Alain an update on the conditions.

We set off at 09h00 on the dot.   The winner should finish in about 3:30 to 3:45, i.e. 12h30 Hawaii-time.

One thing in our favour is that this year we'll be arriving on an incoming tide which means that we shouldn't be bothered by a head-on current as in previous years. 

So there we go - perhaps not quite the downwind conditions that I trained for...  but we'll give it go.

Published in Pacific

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