July 12, 2014
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

Connor Baxter Wins Maui 2 Molokai Ahead Of Kai Lenny, Dave Kalama And Travis Grant; Devin Blish Fastest Of The Women

Maui 2 Molokai SUP

The view of Molokai from Maui this morning, with the ants disappearing into the distance… (photo credit: StandUpMagazin.com)

Downwind Month glides on… Connor Baxter has just won the Maui 2 Molokai race yet again, beating an all star field and firing a shot across the bow ahead of the big one, Molokai 2 Oahu. This must be about the 6th or 7th time in a row that Connor has claimed the M2M title, however this year the win was more hard fought than ever. Connor edged out fellow Maui young gun Kai Lenny by a couple of minutes, while behind him was a who’s who of the downwinding world including Dave Kalama, Travis Grant and Livio Menelau.

Very interesting to look at today’s result in relation to the Molokai 2 Oahu race coming up in two weeks (and which we’ll have live coverage of). Today’s Maui 2 Molokai could be a bit of a form guide for the big one: All five of the top guys from today will be back in action on the 27th.

Connor showed he’s in dangerously-good form while the other top finishers weren’t looking too shabby either, setting us up for a mouthwatering clash across the Ka’iwi Channel in two weeks.

UPDATE: Take a look at Connor’s Maui 2 Molokai race recap

Kai Lenny was very impressive today and is extremely hungry to claim his maiden Molokai 2 Oahu unlimited victory. Dave Kalama reminded us that he’s still got it in the open ocean, his third place being even more impressive considering the first hour and a half of today’s race offered little in the way of bumps. Travis Grant was also right there for the first half of the crossing, where the conditions were probably quite similar to what’s in store at M2O.

Livio Menelau would have been loving the bumps in the second half – if the wind is right in two weeks time then he’ll be another podium contender. Also a great performance today from Brazil’s international star, Vinnicius Martins, who finished 6th overall and came home ahead of dozens of downwind specialists. Vini also happens to ride for Art In Surf, who were the presenting sponsor for today’s race.

In the men’s stock class Josh Riccio was the quickest, beating all the other 14 foot guys and only narrowly missing a top 10 overall finish.

In the women’s race, the extremely under-rated Devin Blish put on a show and caused an upset by taking out the Downwind Queen Andrea Moller.  The 2012 Molokai champ, Talia Decoite, came home 3rd, just three and a half minutes behind Devin after the nearly four hour voyage. Angie Jackson had a great race to claim victory in the 14′ class as well as a 5th place overall against the unlimiteds.

2014 Maui to Molokai SUP

View from the start line this morning… (photo credit: StandUpMagazin.com)

While the Maui 2 Molokai race is known as the World’s Funnest Downwinder, conditions weren’t exactly firing today. The wind picked up for the second half of the 27 mile (43km) crossing but the first half was a bit of a side-wind slog. According to Travis Grant:

“The first half of the race was very tricky but it did get really fun in the second half, when the wind turned on and bumps started rolling. Dave, Kai and myself were all trading back and forth the first 25km while Connor was always slightly in front. It was good racing, very technical. After the conditions turned on in the back half of the race, Connor got a big lead on us before Kai pulled away from Dave, who in turn gapped me. Sounds like Kai made up some ground towards the end but Connor still won by a good couple of minutes. I was probably 10 minutes behind by the end.”

Also very interesting to see the equipment being used out there today. Maui 2 Molokai isn’t exactly your average SUP race and many competitors, from the weekend warriors right up to the international superstars, jump on specialised equipment when racing in Hawaii. We did a quick poll of the top finishers to find out their board and paddle of choice. I don’t wanna get into a whole debate about brands (it’s fairly common practice for team riders to use custom gear in these kinda events – it’s the same thing that happens in the pro surfing world), I just figured it would be interesting to see what length and type of boards the pros are on.

Obviously it’s no surprise to find SIC’s unlimited boards dominating the podiums. The brand is synonymous with downwinding in Hawaii and almost completely swept the field once again. In the women’s race, Devin Blish was on a 15′ custom SIC, Andrea paddled a 17′ production SIC Bullet and Talia was on a 16′ production SIC. On the men’s side, Connor paddled his personal 17′ custom unlimited from SIC’s head shaper Mark Raaphorst, Dave Kalama was on his 18’6″ rocket, which was custom-made at the SIC factory on Maui, while Livio was on a hollow 17′ SIC Bullet.

Meanwhile Kai Lenny was on a new prototype Naish unlimited (I believe it’s 17’6″), which isn’t available for us common folk to purchase just yet (and may never be), but clearly works for the young superstar. Travis Grant used his winning board from last year’s Molokai, the Oahu-shaped unlimited board from Billy Robello that I believe is a 17 footer.

On a side note, Dave Kalama must be smiling right now: He might not have won the race but his paddle swept the podium. Four of the top five guys were using his signature Quickblade V-Drive paddle, the hold out being Travis Grant (who was using his own signature QB model).

Anyway the full results are below…

Maui 2 Molokai Stand Up Paddle

photo credit: StandUpMagazin.com

RESULTS: 2014 Maui 2 Molokai presented by Art In Surf

Course: 27 miles (43km)
Conditions: First half was a grind, second half was great fun
Click “Class” to switch between men’s and women’s results
Click “Time” to reset the results

1Connor Baxter3:04:31Men's Unlimited1Under 30
2Kai Lenny3:06:44Men's Unlimited2Under 30
3Dave Kalama3:08:58Men's Unlimited340-49
4Travis Grant3:14:13Men's Unlimited430-39
5Livio Menelau3:18:57Men's Unlimited530-39
6Vinnicius Martins3:24:38Men's Unlimited6Under 30
7Kody Kerbox3:25:12Men's Unlimited7Under 30
8Jerry Bess3:31:44Men's Unlimited840-49
9Armie Armstrong3:32:16Men's Unlimited940-49
10Mo Freitas3:36:16Men's Unlimited10Under 30
11Josh Riccio3:37:07Men's 14'1Under 30
12Tomoyasu Murabayashi3:38:59Men's Unlimited1130-39
13Amir Arbel3:42:25Men's Unlimited1230-39
14Bullet Obra3:43:24Men's 14'2Under 30
15Paul Jackson3:44:35Men's 14'330-39
16James Casey3:46:03Men's Unlimited13Under 30
17Alex Matero3:46:55Men's Unlimited1440-49
18Ralph Sifford3:47:44Men's Unlimited15Over 50
19Gustavo Olivera3:48:21Men's Unlimited1630-39
20Devin Blish3:48:37Women's Unlimited1Open
21Phil Greggory3:48:50Men's Unlimited17Over 50
22Jimmy Fitt3:49:12Men's Unlimited1830-39
23Andrea Moller3:50:03Women's Unlimited2Open
24Talia Decoite3:52:18Women's Unlimited3Open
25Kathy Shipman3:52:48Women's Unlimited4Open
26Robert Lopes3:54:28Men's Unlimited1940-49
27Steve Walker3:55:13Men's 14'440-49
28Noah Garfield3:55:25Men's Unlimited2030-39
29Buzzy Kerbox3:56:35Men's Unlimited21Over 50
30Belar Diaz3:56:53Men's 14'530-39
31Justin Gordon3:58:58Men's Unlimited2240-49
32Angela Jackson3:59:40Women's 14'1Open
33Penelope Strickland4:00:04Women's Unlimited5Open
34Ed Wheeler4:00:20Men's Unlimited2340-49
35Karla Gilbert4:00:36Women's Unlimited6Open
36Masao Fukayama4:00:48Men's Unlimited2430-39
37James Martindale4:02:05Men's Unlimited2540-49
38Anders Jonsson4:06:59Men's Unlimited2630-39
39Americo Pinheiro4:07:00Men's Unlimited2740-49
40Randy Royse4:08:20Men's Unlimited28Over 50
41Jeff Chang4:10:35Men's 14'6Over 50
42Meron Akman4:10:53Men's 14'730-39
43Jeff Okuna TEAM4:11:21Team1Team
44Timmothy Wyers4:11:59Men's Unlimited2930-39
45Gregg Leion4:12:24Men's Unlimited30Over 50
46Brett Staib4:16:37Men's Unlimited3140-49
47Jeremy Willmess TEAM4:18:32Team2Team
48Rob Walton4:18:47Men's 14'840-49
49Antonio Filho4:19:46Men's 14'930-39
50Mike Jucker4:21:13Men's 14'1040-49
51Shep Nelson4:21:40Men's Unlimited3230-39
52Gavin Ferguson TEAM4:21:59Team3Team
53Craig Wright4:22:26Men's Unlimited3330-39
54Martin Giroud4:23:12Men's 14'1140-49
55Kieran O'Riordan4:26:22Men's Unlimited3430-39
56Bailey Rosen4:26:34Women's 14'2Under 30
57Stephen Pugh TEAM4:26:55Team4Team
58Brad Feldman4:28:40Men's Unlimited35Over 50
59Mahea Grambill TEAM4:30:35Team5Team
60Sean Bicknell4:31:32Men's 14'1240-49
61Kelsa Gabehart4:31:52Women's Unlimited7Open
62Ed Price4:33:47Men's 14'13Over 50
63Lori Park4:34:04Women's Unlimited8Open
64Victor Lopez4:34:26Men's 14'14Over 50
65Jennifer Lee4:37:51Women's Unlimited9Open
66Candio Chuzoriansc?4:39:22Men's 14'1530-39
67Alyssa Waltze TEAM4:41:17Team6Team
68Carlo Prado4:41:42Men's Unlimited3640-49
69Fabio Valango4:43:34Men's 14'1630-39
70Warwick Gray4:43:47Men's 14'17Over 50
71Nicole Madosik4:46:16Women's 14'3Open
72Nichole Klink4:47:11Women's 14'4Open
73Bob From Brazil!4:48:04Men's Unlimited3730-39
74Fabiano Faria4:49:25Men's 14'1830-39
75Peggy King4:50:38Women's Unlimited10Open
76Lara Claydon4:58:28Women's 14'5Open

SIC Downwind Month