Molokai 2 Oahu, Ocean Paddling’s Super Bowl, Embraces Digital Format

Hundreds of elite paddlers from all over the world will not be flying into Honolulu

Hundreds of elite paddlers from all over the world will not be flying into Honolulu the final 7 days of July. They will not be cruising in flip-flops above to Molokai, and will not be embarking on the most grueling mental and physical obstacle of their lives. They will not be emotionally gliding into Maunalua Bay Seaside Park and celebrating at the Outrigger Canoe Club with a neighborhood of stamina brothers and sisters.

It would be straightforward to just produce this year’s Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard Environment Championship off as one more coronavirus-related bummer, alongside with the scratched NBA time and Pearl Jam tour. On the other hand, the M2O race is continue to happening, albeit practically, from all over the world.

Any one can do it on any craft. Something goes.

This calendar year, in its place of creating the trek to Hawaii, paddlers will set up their individual routes and paddle their neighborhood waters at any time amongst July 24-26 on whichever craft they so pick out to paddle, 50 % the distance of the storied 32-mile, island-to-island training course. This suggests you. To bring the full point jointly, registered paddlers can upload race files, such as spots and situations, or basically share their paddle on social media.

Kai Lenny finish M2O Molokai to Oahu SUP
Lenny right after finishing first at Hawaii’s Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard Environment Championships in 2016. Brian Bielmann/Red Bull Content material

“I’m most psyched to see exactly where men and women may be paddling,” says Kai Lenny, the figurative and literal poster boy for the occasion. “They’ll be on rivers, lakes, harbors. There’s going to be another person paddling a pond by their household, going all over it 400 periods. There will be some unbelievable feats to appear out of this.”

Lenny, the Maui native surf-kite-sail-huge-wave-paddle-foil speculate, can do fairly a lot something on any combination of board and water. Lenny set a new report tie for the 2018 occasion, racing on a foil-SUP. Prior to that, he was champ of equally the Stand Up Paddle Limitless and Inventory divisions.

The Molokai 2 Oahu race, viewed as the most elite paddle race in the world, is 32 miles across the Molokai Channel, also acknowledged as the Ka’iwi Channel. Racers have to qualify, then place up their individual income for flights, lodging and a chartered aid boat.

What Lenny suggests he will overlook the most is the spirit of inclusiveness amid paddlers.

“There are no ‘outsiders’ at this occasion,” Lenny suggests. “If you’re new to the occasion, absolutely everyone who has currently performed it celebrates your first time. At the opening ceremony, they announce the newest paddlers and absolutely everyone claps and cheers. Every person specially needs you superior luck. You have gained the ideal to be there and you’re about to embark on 1 of the biggest worries you will at any time have.”

It’s also not the paddling world’s only legendary obstacle to go virtual. The Yukon River Quest, the world’s longest running paddle race that usually takes paddlers 444 miles on the Yukon River, will also be virtual and also 50 % the distance.

Half the distance for this year’s M2O racers suggests sixteen miles on any system of water picked out. Nevertheless competitors will be decentralized physically, Lenny outlined getting happy with occasion administrators putting in the exertion to retain the neighborhood connected digitally. And he sees new chances. For 1, any racer can compete up coming to Lenny or the guide paddlers. And athletes from all over the world will be checking out each and every other’s neighborhood backwaters and own best periods.

“Maybe there are men and women who have hardly ever been able to vacation to do this race,” Lenny provides. “They have work, family members and other priorities at house. How amazing that they now have an prospect? Any one who would like to place in the time and power can be aspect of it. Probably this is a stepping stone for them to get to Hawaii and do it up coming calendar year. Probably they’re going to drive themselves that a lot tougher. It allows you truly feel the camaraderie with this neighborhood.”

He also understands his job in that neighborhood, and the pressure to conduct. Nevertheless he could be uploading his paddle like absolutely everyone else, he will not be “phoning it in.” Lenny’s coming out of quarantine in fighting form, on the lookout for the best day of wind and weather that weekend to truly race the channel.

If you’re fascinated in signing up, sign up at molokai2oahu.com ($80 will get you an occasion hat, T-shirt, M2O camp mug, customized neck gaiter, and sarong). Then all you have to do is paddle sixteen miles and you have competed in the famed rite of passage, sort of.


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