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  • Molokai Paddle Board Race

    Tue, 28 Jul 2009 16:30:32 -0800

    Roch survived the Ironman of Paddle board races, the Molokai Channel crossing and only cried for his mommy once!
    Dylan, Roch, Shannon and Jo about to hop on the inter Island flight to Molokai.

    The once amazing resort in Molokai but now shut down. Was a championship golf course but now just a lot of deer grazing.

    Pre race meeting the night before. Very laid back...Island style! Wild boar for dinner right after!

    Race morning. Logistics are tough as you have to paddle all your gear out to your support boat in the morning and then Homer had to swim.

    You name it, all types of boards on the beach race morning.

    Roch sporting his 2XU tights but was releived as there were three other paddlers wearing tights as well.

    Roch and Tom Hinds looking for Diamond head race was not insight until mile 10 so relied on the boat captains to keep us going straight.

    Early on in the race, the washing machine had yet to start.

    Caught up with Dave Kalama along Port Lock and China Wall

    There was very little knee paddling along the wall but with only 2 miles to go you had to go for it!

    I made it and had enough strength left in my arms afterward to drink a few beers as well! I knew it was going to be a tough crossing and was prepared to be out there 7 or more hours but in the end made it across in 6:06. First goal was to start out on the conservative side and I managed to do this but it was hard when you line up next to Jamie Mitchell (now the 8 time winner) and all the local SD and LA boys that I race against all year. The first two hours went by fast as the conditions were very good. Good meaning a direct tail wind of 15-20 knots and the swell coming from the North East. This made it easy to catch waves and do more surfing rather than paddling. The last 15miles brought north and south swells/currents and more wind. Wind was no problem but you would catch a wave from the north swell and then the south swell would build up and want to throw you off the board. Felt like someone was behind you slapping the tail of your board at times. Kind of like a huge washing machine.

    Highlights were seeing Homer jump off the board and hand me fresh bottles every hour or so. I almost t-boned him a few times as I caught a wave just as he jumped in. He had major sunburn on his entire body from the day before out fishing, including his feet so it was hilarious seeing him jump from the boat with socks on.

    The SUP (Stand up Paddlers) started 30min behind us as they are much faster downwind then the paddle boards. It was around mile 20 that Dave Kalama caught up to me, just when the water got very bad with less bump to ride so I was able to stick close to him. At about 1 mile out from the finish you pass close to China Wall, which has great waves when the south swell is pumping and it was pumping on Sunday. I went wide and just managed to not get tumbled but Dave caught an amazing 10 foot wave and was out of sight in minutes. The last mile is into a head wind and the tide was coming out so a tough last 10min to the race.

    Hats off to Mike Takahashi for putting the race on again this year. Not an easy task finding 120 escort boats and keeping track of all the paddlers throughout the channel. Results can be found at:

    Now back to coaching and putting on races. Next up is our Surfmonkey race on August 8th, and then heading up the next day to Cedar City Utah for a 10 day high altitude training camp with 7 of our Ironman Kona athletes. Altitude training is not only a great way to get fit, but also a great way to cut weight! Then off to IM Canada the end of August.

    Until next July…