June 15, 2024

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

4 min read

Hundreds of elite paddlers from all over the entire world will not be flying into Honolulu the last 7 days of July. They will not be cruising in flip-flops over to Molokai, and will not be embarking on the most grueling mental and physical challenge of their life. 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 simple to just publish this year’s Molokai two Oahu Paddleboard World Championship off as one more coronavirus-linked bummer, alongside with the scratched NBA season and Pearl Jam tour. However, the M2O race is even now occurring, albeit virtually, from all over the entire world.

Any person can do it on any craft. Nearly anything goes.

This yr, as a substitute of creating the trek to Hawaii, paddlers will established up their have routes and paddle their community waters whenever among July 24-26 on whatsoever craft they so pick to paddle, half the distance of the storied 32-mile, island-to-island class. This suggests you. To bring the whole factor alongside one another, registered paddlers can upload race documents, which includes destinations and ailments, or simply just share their paddle on social media.

Kai Lenny finish M2O Molokai to Oahu SUP
Lenny soon after finishing initial at Hawaii’s Molokai two Oahu Paddleboard World Championships in 2016. Brian Bielmann/Pink Bull Written content

“I’m most energized to see exactly where individuals may possibly be paddling,” says Kai Lenny, the figurative and literal poster boy for the event. “They’ll be on rivers, lakes, harbors. There is likely to be another person paddling a pond by their home, likely all over it 400 periods. There will be some unbelievable feats to arrive out of this.”

Lenny, the Maui native surf-kite-sail-massive-wave-paddle-foil question, can do very a lot anything at all on any mix of board and water. Lenny established a new document tie for the 2018 event, racing on a foil-SUP. Before that, he was champ of equally the Stand Up Paddle Limitless and Stock divisions.

The Molokai two Oahu race, deemed the most elite paddle race in the entire world, is 32 miles across the Molokai Channel, also recognised as the Ka’iwi Channel. Racers have to qualify, then place up their have money for flights, lodging and a chartered aid boat.

What Lenny says he will miss the most is the spirit of inclusiveness amongst paddlers.

“There are no ‘outsiders’ at this event,” Lenny says. “If you’re new to the event, everybody who has currently performed it celebrates your initial time. At the opening ceremony, they announce the most recent paddlers and everybody claps and cheers. Anyone precisely wishes you good luck. You have gained the suitable to be there and you’re about to embark on one particular of the best challenges you are going to ever have.”

It is also not the paddling world’s only legendary challenge to go virtual. The Yukon River Quest, the world’s longest working paddle race that requires paddlers 444 miles on the Yukon River, will also be virtual and also half the distance.

50 percent the distance for this year’s M2O racers suggests sixteen miles on any human body of water picked. Though rivals will be decentralized bodily, Lenny talked about getting delighted with event administrators placing in the effort and hard work to hold the neighborhood linked digitally. And he sees new chances. For one particular, any racer can contend next to Lenny or the direct paddlers. And athletes from all over the entire world will be checking out just about every other’s community backwaters and personal finest periods.

“Maybe there are individuals who have by no means been capable to vacation to do this race,” Lenny adds. “They have employment, family members and other priorities at property. How awesome that they now have an possibility? Any person who wishes to place in the time and electrical power can be portion of it. It’s possible this is a stepping stone for them to get to Hawaii and do it next yr. It’s possible they are likely to push them selves that a lot harder. It can help you sense the camaraderie with this neighborhood.”

He also understands his position in that neighborhood, and the force to execute. Though he may be uploading his paddle like everybody else, he will not be “phoning it in.” Lenny’s coming out of quarantine in battling shape, wanting for the finest working day of wind and temperature that weekend to truly race the channel.

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

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