Olukai SUP Race 2015


Connor Baxter and Andrea Moller win again – Record breaking participation – Crazy Start

This Saturdays Olukai SUP Race will be going down in history as one of the best one we have seen. The conditions were epic to say the least. Sunny weather and trade winds blowing steady at 18 – 22kts straight down the line. Not only was the weather perfect but there was also a record of participants this year between OC and SUP Paddlers there were more than 500 registrations for this weekend. With a growing number of paddlers also comes an increase in traffic in and out of Maliko Gulch. The organizers did a great job offering free shuttles from Kanaha up to the starting line. Several trailers and two school buses were lined up at Kanaha Beachpark to shuttle people up to the start. Even the regular shuttle with Moorewatertime was for free. –> Thank you Olukai!

One of the unique features of the Olukai Race is when all of paddlers make their way out to see to the starting line. Its a “sea of yellow” inside the gulch and people are fighting the wind and sea on their hands an knees. I am not too sure who is a friend of the open ocean start. It was a grind to get out there. I fought so hard against the wind, sometimes on me knees and sometimes laying down flat prone paddling. I had no clue where the start line exactly might be so I just followed the pack as good as I could. I saw a guy taking a white cap / swell over his head and I got knocked off by a side gust combined with a white cap. I was very happy when the boat with the yellow flag finally showed up giving me a point of reference. The start was to be at 12.00 sharp. I finally made it to the boat / startline and sat down between Mark (Raaphorst) and Jeremy (Riggs). I was very happy to sit down for a moment and catch a breath, the helicopter was hovering and I tried to take some pictures out there. All of a sudden the start horn blew as most paddlers were still all over the place, nobody was sure if this seemingly premature start was meant to be. Before I could gain composure Mark and Jeremy were already gone. Trying to keep up with these guys remains an impossible thing for me, so I just concentrated on finding my own rhythm and catching as many bumps along the way.

The entire +/- 8 Miles turned out to be a surf fest. I don’t get to paddle Maliko all that often as it take me an hour drive to get there (plus shuttle time) for me this was one of the best runs I ever had. I was able to connect bumps several times over surfing open ocean swells using my paddle to steer from one bump to another. It was so much fun and the fact that there were a few hunderd people along the way made it even more. This year the race course was set to take a buoy turn before heading to shore, that made the whole thing a bit tricky and I cleared the buy just by inches. Then came the surf across the reef and a somewhat very tricky land fall with cross winds and wind chop from all over the place. Never the less I was able to catch some mini bumps on the way in also falling into the water twice on that short stretch.

Finally at the beach the 100 yard sprint took the rest out of me but being greeted with high fives by my kids along the way was the best of the entire run. I was exhausted. The platelunch provided by Olukai tasted fantastic and my beer along with it even better. It was a great day all together. Just unfortunate that I can’t paddle the race and take pictures at the finish line all together, but honestly I rather paddle. There for a big “mahalos” to my wife who did her best to capture the pictures of the elite guys, even the camera went out exatly that moment when Connor did his legendary “superman” across the line.

Enjoy the gallery:




Das Olukai SUP Rennen diesen Samstag war wieder einmal legendär. Connor Baxter und Andrea Moller gewinnen wie immer und das Aufgebot an Elite-Paddlern wird jedes Jahr grösser.

Wer meine persönliche Erfahrung vom Race lesen möchte und die Bilder sehen kann dies neben an im englischen Teil tun.


Top 10 Herren

1. Connor Baxter 0:44:26
2. Travis Grant 0:46:28
3. David Kalama 0:47:16
4. Travis Baptiste 0:47:21
5. Danny Ching 0:47:26
6. Georges Cronsteadt 0:47:35
7. Livio Menelau 0:47:38
8. Jeremy Riggs 0:48:25
9. Beau O’Brian 0:49:02
10. Dave Kissane 0:49:40

Top 10 Damen

1. Andrea Moller 0:53:20
2. Sonni Honsched 0:55:38
3. Kathy Shipman 0:55:57
4. Devin Blish 0:56:27
5. Terrene Black 0:57:24
6. Fiona Wylde 1:00:14
7. Angela Jackson 1:02:19
8. Rachel Bruntsch 1:02:26
9. Mariko Strickland Lum 1:04:13
10. Lance Leasure 1:05:35