In from Margareta Engstrom from Starboard SUP:
Our Starboard team dominated the 32-mile Rainbow Sandals Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard Race. The biggest news being Ekolu Kalama posting his first solo win in the record time of five hours two minutes and six seconds. His wife and Starboard rider Honora Kalama won womens team devision, together with Rebecca Jakeway on 6:19:46.
Our young talents was not far behind. Zane Schweitzer reports;
“It was such a cool event, there were over 135 teams and competitors. There were a lot of firsts, and I think even a few records.
Connor Baxter was the first kid to ever solo the event. He did great and got first place in his division!
I was on a team with another 15 year old kid named Kody Kerbox, and we were the first TEEN team that ever completed the race.”
Connor Baxter states;
When I first started the race all that went through my mind was – this was going to be a long, grueling day. My strategy was to follow Ekolu as long as I could. Which incidentally ended up not being very long. He took off immediately and left all of us behind. So now, my goal was to stay with the pack. About 10-15 minutes into the race, all the boats started looking for their “paddler” and boats started going every which way. They were going in front of me, behind, on the side – and their wakes created so much turbulence it was hard to stay on the board. Luckily I didn’t fall, but a lot of other people were falling left and right from the boat wakes, which allowed me to pass them and move to the front. Coming into the finish, I could hear the announcer saying my name and the crowd started to cheer – which made me paddle even faster. When I crossed the finish and got to the beach I didn’t realize what I had accomplished. It took me at least a day to realize – I really did paddle the Ka’iwi Channel. I made it. This was the most grueling 6 hours and 56 minutes of my life. And, now one of the greatest accomplishments of my life as well.
Starboard is also proud to congratulate Talia Gangini to your 2nd place 6:1:46, and Anne Marie Reichman to your 3rd place 6:56:32.
Next race is the 11-city tour in Holland, 1-5 September.