LM: How big was this competition?
KJ: The 16th annual Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships (M2O), presented by Kona Longboard Island Lager are set to host nearly 300 men and women, representing the world’s top traditional (prone) and stand up paddleboarders (SUP) who will cross the infamous Ka’iwi Channel in a test of endurance and wave riding skills. On Sunday, July 29, 2012, athletes will cover 32 miles of open ocean between the Hawaiian Islands of Molokai and Oahu. They will battle strong currents and surf for hundreds of yards atop waves that can reach more than 12 feet. World-class surfers Rob Machado and Joel Parkinson test their wave riding skills in Ka’iwi Channel for first time. Growing women’s field to see strong competition.
LM: How long did the contest last for you? Can we get your time?
KJ: The race had three starts, one at 7:30am for the Solo paddlers, 8:00am for the 2 man teams and 8:30 for the 3 man teams. I finished in 5 hours and 31 min. beating my time by 40 min.
LM: What type of board were you paddling? What size of board were you riding for this comp?
KJ: My board was a 14 ft stock SUP shaped by Kyle Bernhardt with Flight Hawaii.
LM: Did you have the right board for this contest?
KJ: I had the perfect board for the race until the end where the conditions turned sloppy and the current came against me and in the flats towards the finish line. Overall the board worked really great in the waves and wind.
LM: What did you do to prepare for this contest?
KJ: I have been training for 6 months for this race by going to the gym and lifting weights, running in the sand, swimming, standup surfing, diving, dieting, long distance paddling and most importantly rest, rest, rest,
LM: What would you do differently next time?
KJ: Next time I will eat more the night before and in the morning of the race because at the end I had no energy and wanted to get it over with. I will also work on my cardio more to improve my time.
LM: Best memory from the contest?
KJ: My most memeralble moment of the event was catching fish on the boat the day before and finding shells on the shore with my TEAM and my girlfriend Tini.
LM: Who was your biggest competition?
KJ: Andrew Logeco, the two-time men’s SUP stock champion (2010-11), and Kai Lenny’s crossing easy. The 27-year-old from Oahu has experience on his side and the top stock SUP finish times – 5:13:45 set in 2011 is his fastest.
LM: How was the ocean conditions?
KJ: The conditions were the best ever with world record breaking times and I even beat my time by 40 min. 15 to 25 mile and hour winds with 6 to 12 foot waves, over cast and partly sunny.
LM: What was your placing and results?
KJ: 4th overall for the 14ft Stock SUP and 1st for my age division 30-39 with a world championship trophy
LM: Anything you would like to add?
KJ: I would first of all thank Manny Kulukulualani with PA’A for his support while I was in the Hospital and also for putting on a race to help pay for my medical bills, He is what I call a true friend and as well as the people who did the race that day. Also to my family and friends for being there for me while I was going through my recovery from my accident. To my girlfriend Tini for her undying love and support for me, thank you so much! And most importantly I would like to thank the people who support me with my dream, Bomber Floating Eyewear, Liquid Militia, HIC, Xtrak, Puka Patch, Rainbow Sandals, Bote, FinS, and Kyle Bernhardt.
About the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships, presented by Kona Longboard Island Lager:
Founded in 1997, the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships, presented by Kona Longboard Island Lager, are set to celebrate the 16th anniversary on Sunday, July 29, 2012. The annual race has grown from a grassroots challenge for the legendary lifeguards and watermen of Oahu to the premiere event for the sport of paddleboarding. More than 250 of the world’s most accomplished watermen (men and women) from 15 countries will attempt the challenging 32-mile open-ocean crossing of the Ka’iwi (kah-EE-vee) Channel from Kaluakoi Beach on the north shore of Molokai to Maunalua Bay on the south shore of Oahu. The fastest athletes complete the crossing in just less than five hours, facing powerful currents as they surf atop swells that can reach heights of more than 12 feet and carry athletes for hundreds of meters. The race features two divisions, prone paddleboard and stand up paddleboard (SUP) with athletes competing as solo paddlers or in teams of two and three. Paddleboards are classified into unlimited (no size limit and with the movable rudder system) or stock categories (12 feet or under for prone paddlers and 14 foot or under for SUP with fixed fin).