04-Nov-2011 06:04 p.m.

Molokai 2011

Stephenson finishes in world's top five…

Our NZ Champ Jeremy Stephenson placed 5th over the line in the Molokai2Oahu World Paddleboard Champs last week, completing the 32 mile crossing in just 4h 51m (2nd in his division).  NZ Womens Champ Annabel Anderson placed 3rd in the Unlimited Womens race, finishing strongly in 5h 34m, and NZ Unlimited Champ Armie Armstrong placed 1st in the Stock (14’) Class (5h 28m).  Congratulations also to Dallas Ashmore, who raced in a team with Hawaiian paddler Grace Emanuel, finishing in 6h 48m.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary on Sunday, July 31, 2011, the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships, presented by Longboard Island Lager, is recognized as one of the world’s most challenging tests for endurance and courage. Covering 32 miles of open-ocean, over 250 competitors cross the Ka’iwi (kah-EE-vee) Channel, from the North Shore of Molokai to the South Shore of Oahu, under their own power on prone paddleboards or stand-up paddleboards (SUP). The fastest athletes complete the crossing in just under five hours, facing treacherous currents, powerful swells and a depth of nearly one kilometer. Paddlers can ride swells for 100s of yards. Competitors can choose to race as a solo paddler or as part of a team in either the unlimited class (no size limit and with a movable rudder system) or stock class (12 feet or under for paddleboard, 14 foot or under in SUP with fixed rudder).

17 year old Starboard rider Connor Baxter of Hawaii finished the race first overall, beating even top prone paddler, Australia's Jamie Mitchell, across the finish line in just 4h 26m.  See full M2O results

Huge thanks to the Starboard support crew in Hawaii - Campbell, Fleur, Eric and Vanessa, and those who trained with Belz and Jeremy in preparation for the race.  With our New Zealand rider's finishing with such great results, its easy to get excited about the level of Stand Up Paddling downunder.  We guessed it right when we said top 10... now we can say top 5 - way to go guys! We look forward to seeing NZ represent in the Battle of the Paddle California, September 24th.  If you’re keen to head over to San Diego to experience the world’s biggest SUP event with the Starboard crew get in touch with Vic.  Registration's are now open.

Annabel Anderson, 3rd Jeremy Stephenson, 5th Connor Baxter, 1st

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