10th Quiksilveredition Molokai to O'ahu Paddleboard Race
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 12 July, 2006 : - - Spanning a distance of 32 miles with depths that reach 2300 feet, the Ka'iwi (Moloka'i) Channel is an overwhelming body of water that serves as the course for the Quiksilveredition Molokai to O'ahu Paddleboard Race - the ultimate open-ocean marathon of paddling.
The race, considered to be the world championship of paddleboarding, will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Sunday, July 30, 2006, and will feature the top long-distance board paddlers in the world.
Hawaiian legend and recorded history make many references as to why this infamous stretch of water is named Ka'iwi, or 'the bone' Channel, having claimed many lives with its threatening swells, winds and currents. The most recent and notable life taken by the Ka'iwi Channel was that of Hawaiian big-wave rider Eddie Aikau, who was lost there during the ill-fated 1978 voyage of the Hokule'a sailing canoe, en-route from Hawai'i to Tahiti.
The Quiksilveredition Moloka'i to O'ahu Paddleboard Race respectfully embraces the challenge of the Ka'iwi Channel, calling out to those individuals who wish to test the limits of their endurance, open-ocean skills and physical strength.
Heeding the call are around 100 men and a handful of women who attempt the 32-mile crossing on long, narrow, streamlined craft similar to surfboards, that can measure up to 18 feet in length. Powered solely by arm-paddling, they inch their way off the northern shore of Molokai, through broiling currents, riding open-ocean swells that can measure up to 20 feet high, until they reach the shoreline of Maunalua Bay, O'ahu.
This year the contest is opening up to allow a small contingent of stand up paddlers into the mix. It is a race of contrasts. Setting out from Hawaii's least developed, time-frozen island of Moloka'i, the race finishes on the affluent, populated shore of Honolulu.
The crystalline waters of the crossing offer no relief for the dehydration and summer heat exhaustion that are inevitable over the course of five to eight hours of paddling, and the brilliant blue depths become a dizzy wash of changing tides, currents and swells mid-stream. If that isn't enough, the area is renowned for its shark population.
Hawaiians may lay claim to the Ka'iwi Channel, but Californians and, more recently, Australians, have left their mark. Californian surfers Gene "Tarzan" Smith (in the early '40s) and later Tom Zahn (1953) were the first to paddle their way from Moloka'i to O'ahu. In the history of the Quiksilveredition Moloka'i to O'ahu race, Australians have dominated the winner's dais six out of nine years, none more than four-time and defending champion Jamie Mitchell.
Mitchell is the record-holder with a time of 4:56:03 (2004) - almost halving the time posted by Zahn in the first timed crossing he made over 50 years ago. Please join us for a press conference and Quicksilver pre-event and party at Duke's Canoe Club Waikiki Wednesday July 26th. See attached event schedule for more details.
This year's race is also the third and final feature of the Quiksilveredition Summer Event Series that will be preceded by the San Onofre Classic, May 6-7, in Southern California, and the Jeff Divine East Hampton Photo Exhibit on June 17.
What: The 32-mile, 10th anniversary, Quiksilveredition Moloka'i to O'ahu Paddleboard Race
When: Sunday, July 30, 2006
Where: Start: Kalua Ko'i Hotel, Moloka'i, 7am
Finish: Maunalua Bay, Hawaii Kai, O'ahu, first finishers expected around Noon.
Who: Top distance paddlers - men and women, from Hawaii, California, Australia, Japan, France and New Zealand. Defending Champion: Jamie Mitchell (Australia) - men, and Kanesa Duncan (Hawaii) - women. Record: 4:56:03 (Jamie Mitchell, 2004) & 5:53:49 (Kanesa Duncan, 2004)
Event Schedule: Wednesday July 26, 1:00 PM Press Conference Duke's Canoe Club Waikiki At The Outrigger Waikiki Hotel 2335 Kalakaua Ave., Suite 116 Honolulu, Oahu, HI. 8PM Quiksilver Pre- Event Duke's Canoe Club Waikiki At The Outrigger Waikiki Hotel Tel. (808) 922-2268.
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Paddleboard News - Surfersvillage