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Maui2Molokai 2015

 

Another year another victory for Connor Baxter, I can’t think of one single SUP Race that has been won by the same person since its very existence.

The weather forecast for the race day was more than iffy. All week the trade winds have been moderate to non existent, but a sudden surge in wind speeds on Saturday prompted the NOAA to post a small craft advisory for the Pailolo Channel. I was very happy; with a lack of training I was in no mood to paddle 27 miles across islands in moderate or no winds. (All though I did get a taste of that later in the race.) In races beyond the 10 mile mark I heavily relay on the wind and waves to help me on the way to the finish line.

Saturday was race day and the winds kicked in just during the night, so already at 8am there were white caps in the Pailolo Channel. Happy me, happy paddle! It was great to see many familiar faces at the starting line. People from all over the world are coming to Maui in July to enjoy Downwind seasons. Professionals and enthusiasts enjoy the conditions in waters that are known to host the best conditions for downwind racing. Sure the race it self has room for improvement and could probably outdo the famous M2O with a proper marketing strategy, but that’s not the point today. We simply all came today to enjoy the best downwind race course in the world.

Connor-Baxter-Maui-2-Molokai-M2M-645x430

Connor ridding bumbs (Foto: Karen Baxter)

 

The horn blew at 9.30 for the start and as I leisurely started my 27 mile journey I watched some of the world elite sprint away, never to be seen again. Connor finished his race in 3 hours 13 minutes, at that time I was still somewhere way far away from Molokai, wondering if I ever get to feel my toes again. Either way, somehow I felt my crossing was faster than in the previous year and the bumps seem to run mostly in one direction. It is actually amazing how you almost become one with the wave pattern out in the open ocean trying to catch the ones that push you in the right direction. I was playing that game for hours, having fun along the way. The real fun then starts past a buoy known as the Kamalou Buoy, this is where the course turns from the Pailolo Channel into the Kalohi Channel. As the wind wraps around the mountain range it picks up significantly in speed. The wind swell there runs short and steep, it was a surf-o-rama for miles. I did not care anymore that my feet were killing me, my fingers blood red and my shoulder… what ever… surf-o-rama, until… roughly 5 miles before the Kaunakakai Harbor the wind started to fall apart until it was completely gone. This is when the suffering began. It was hot, humid and every inch towards the finish line come from my weak paddle strokes. Good grieve I had to paddle there myself no wind no wave no push. 22 Miles of happiness ended in 5 Miles of torture.

I dragged my self across the finish line in pain until… I saw my buddy Frank already sitting on his boat inviting me over for a cold Corona. I stuffed my hands in his ice bucket and enjoyed one of the best beers I ever had aswe talked about some of the best bumps we ever had. What pain?

At this time we are still waiting for the official results but thanks to Beau O’Brian we got the top 10 but no times.

1. Connor Baxter (Hawaii)
2. Matt Nottage (Australia)
3. Vinnicius Martins (Brazil)
4. Lincoln Dews (Australia)
5. Jeremy Riggs (Hawaii)
6. Beau O’Brian (Australia)
7. Josh Riccio (Hawaii)
8. James Casey (Australia)
9. Tomoyasu Murabayashi (Japan)
10. Ryan Murphy (Hawaii)

If you want the drill down on the race stats off course Chris at SUPracer always got that in detail, but you probably read that already anyway.

In the meanwhile enjoy some pictures:

Leute sowas gabs wohl noch nie: Connor Baxter gewinnt das Maui2Molokai seit dessen Beginn in 2010 als er 14 Jahre alt war. Anstatt nur Fotos zu machen war ich dieses Jahr zum 2. Mal mit auf der Rennstrecke. Den Bericht könnt ihr nebenan auf Englisch lesen.

Genaue Resultate fehlen noch aber hier schon mal die Top 10 Herren

Top 10

1. Connor Baxter (Hawaii)
2. Matt Nottage (Australia)
3. Vinnicius Martins (Brazil)
4. Lincoln Dews (Australia)
5. Jeremy Riggs (Hawaii)
6. Beau O’Brian (Australia)
7. Josh Riccio (Hawaii)
8. James Casey (Australia)
9. Tomoyasu Murabayashi (Japan)
10. Ryan Murphy (Hawaii)

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