Australia’s Mitchell Blitzes Field in Hennessey’s International, Hawaii

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HENNESSEY’S INTERNATIONAL
PADDLEBOARD CHAMPIONSHIP

MITCHELL REMAINS UNDEFEATED FOR 2008
Hawaii’s Duncan Trumps Women’s Field

Turtle Bay to Waimea Bay, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii
Distance: 7 miles
Total Prize Purse: $15,000

HONOLULU – (Saturday, July 19, 2008) — World paddleboard champion Jamie Mitchell, from Queensland, Australia, remains undefeated after posting his fourth conclusive win of the season today in the $15,000 Hennessey’s International Paddleboard Championship, on Oahu’s North Shore. The 7-mile course from Turtle Bay to Waimea Bay offered no records due to inconsistent tradewinds, however the flatwater pace set by Mitchell was blistering, finishing in a time of one hour, three minutes and 57 seconds.

Honolulu’s Kanesa Duncan took honors in the women’s division (1:16:49), and Brian Rocheleau (Honolulu, 1:08:08) was the top Hawaii men’s finisher, placing fifth overall. A total field of 186 paddlers took to the water today, including 44 standup paddleboarders (SUP). Guy Pere (Haleiwa) won the men’s SUP division, Candice Appleby (Honolulu) won the women’s SUP, and Christian Bradley claimed the C4 Waterman 17-and-under SUP division.


Above: Jamie Mitchell en-route to victory.
Credit: Hennesseyspaddleboarding.com

Since arriving to Hawaii three weeks ago, Mitchell, 31, has now made a clean sweep of four separate races that have ranged in distance from four- to 17-miles. His final test will come next Sunday when he sets out to defend his title in the 32-mile QuiksilverEdition Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard Race.

“Hard work is what keeps you on top, to tell you the truth,” said Mitchell. “Train harder and harder each year. I just keep looking for new and fun ways to train and raise the bar and hopefully that brings the whole field up to another level.

“It’s really just you against the ocean and try to catch every bump you can – especially on a day like today. You really had to work to get a bump.”

The “bumps” Mitchell referred to are the small rises of wind swell that a paddler looks to catch a free ride on, thereby increasing his speed and gaining distance ahead of his rivals without the need to constantly paddle. Today the bumps were limited to the first third of the race, from Turtle Bay to outside Sunset Beach, where tradewind swells peaked at around three feet. Once paddlers rounded the corner into Sunset Beach, the tradewind swells largely backed off and it became a hot, flat race that was all about hard work – Mitchell’s forte.

“At that point it’s just head down, bum up, and go!” said Mitchell.

“My time was a little slower but I think we were paddling faster. The times don’t show that, but you’ve got to take into account that the conditions weren’t as fast as the year I finished in 59 minutes, 59 seconds (2005). Everyone’s paddling faster, for sure.

“The competition’s getting a lot tougher,” said Rocheleau, 32. “I was not surprised but definitely impressed by how fast the top guys were going.”


Above: (L to R) Brian Rocheleau, Kanesa Duncan, Guy Pere
Credit: bigwaveshawaii.com

Rocheleau remains the top Hawaii paddleboarder heading into Molokai, working hard to adopt the Australian style of knee-paddling that has made them unbeatable for the past six years. The majority of Hawaii paddleboarders still paddle the full distance prone.

“I’m feeling a lot more comfortable paddling on my knees now. I’m a 100 per cent better at it than I was a year ago – I’m paddling 70 per cent of the distance on my knees, and mixing it up 30 per cent of the time laying down.”

Rocheleau has proven to be even more of a threat over long distances, so is optimistic about next week’s 32-mile marathon across the Ka’iwi Channel.

“There’s a lot more waves out there in the channel – more of that surfing feeling. You can catch more waves, rest more, relax more, and stay on your knees for longer. But we’re still trying to catch the Aussies.”

Kanesa Duncan was ecstatic with her victory over Australia’s Shakira Westdorp today, particularly given that she has been out of the water for much of the past year with a knee reconstruction after a skateboard injury. For two years the pair have dominated the top two positions in all major races and Duncan leveled the score today. Westdorp is the defending champion of the Molokai race, so next week will be the decider.

“It’s so good to have Shakira racing,” said Duncan. “She’s everything our sport is about. She’s a total water athlete, she’s a super good surfer, she’s happy, she trains hard, so it’s way better to race against somebody like that who can motivate you.

“I’m having a really good season and I’m really happy with my equipment. My knee is feeling good, even though I’m working it really hard with the knee paddling.”

Guy Pere, a former stock paddleboard champion took the standup paddleboard (SUP) division this year that was presented by C4 Waterman. Paddleboarders and standup paddleboarders started at the same time today and Pere came in sixth over the line behind the top five paddlers who were all on unlimited class, traditional paddleboards.

“It just goes to show that Jamie and those guys can still beat the stand-up paddleboarders even though you get so much reach and leverage with the paddle,” said Pere. “There’s no comparison – they’re two totally different sports, really. I don’t go out there to race the paddleboarders, I go out there to race the other standups. To me, that’s the fairness of the sport.”

Just one week remains before the 32-mile unofficial world championship race: the QuiksilverEdition Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard Race that will take place next Sunday, July 27th.

Mahalo to Hennessey’s Taverns, O2H, Bacardi, C4 Waterman, Bud Light, Hobie, Men’s Journal, and Bark Paddleboards for making today’s race such a huge success.

For Media Information:
Jodi Wilmott – 258-8533
E: oceanpromotion(at)hawaii.rr.com

MAJOR RESULTS:
UNLIMITED PADDLEBOARD DIVISION:
Men’s Overall:
1. Jamie Mitchell (Australia) 1:03:57 – $800
2. Jackson English (Australia) 1:06:14 – $500
3. Nathan Henderson (Australia) 1:06:27 – $200
* Top Hawaii finisher: Brian Rocheleau, 5th overall, 1:08:08

Women’s Overall:
1. Kanesa Duncan (HI) 1:16:49 – $500
2. Shakira Westdorp (Australia) 1:19:01 – $300
3. Sarah Herrington (HI) 1:42:08 – $100

Stock Men:
1. Mikey Cote (HI) 1:12:42 – $500
2. Eric Abbott (HI) 1:13:42 – $00
3. Kai Hall (HI) 1:13:50 – $100

Stock Women:
1. Talia Gangini (Maui) 1:26:01 – $500
2. Jocelyn Kempe (Australia) 1:28:22 – $300
3. Joanne Ambrosi (Maui) 1:29:46 – $100

Big Bruddah Division, Overall: (Weighing in at more than 200 lbs)
1. William Lawson (HI) 1:14:07 – $300
2. Marc Haine (HI) 1:15:31 – $200
3. Phil Iron (SUP – HI) 1:21:24 – $100

STANDUP PADDLEBOARD DIVISION:
Men’s Overall:
1. Guy Pere (HI) 1:08:30 – $800
2. Brendan Shea (HI) 1:10:02 – $500
3. Aaron Napoleon (HI) 1:12:08 – $500

Women’s Overall:
1. Candice Appleby (HI) 1:27:16 – $500
2. Morgan Hoesterey (HI) 1:29:27 – $500
3. Kim Stephens (HI) 1:31:35 – $300

17 & Under:
1. Christian Bradley (HI) 1:18:01
2. Slater Trout (Maui) 1:22:46
3. Tanner Trout (Maui) 2:08:04

Media contact:
Jodi Wilmott
Email: oceanpromotion@hawaii.rr.com

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