April 13, 2014
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

Maui To Molokai Dates Confirmed

Connor Baxter downwinding

Feel like doing an awesome downwind race? Then get yourself to Hawaii in July, because the Maui to Molokai SUP race (which covers a stretch of water often described as “The Best Downwind Run On The Planet”) has officially been announced for July 12th, 2014. There were recent suggestions of a date change, however it sounds like it’s officially locked in on its traditional weekend (two weeks out from the Molokai 2 Oahu race).

The Maui to Molokai, which I refer to as the little brother of Molokai 2 Oahu, is a 27 mile race that starts in Honolua Bay on Maui’s west coast and finishes in the Kaunakakai Harbor on Molokai. Paddlers enjoy some of the longest and steepest bumps in the world – you can almost just surf your way across the Pailolo Channel.

The race is also entirely owned by one Connor Baxter.

Last year he pulled away from Travis Grant, while in 2012 he outpaced Dave Kalama across the channel. In fact Connor has never lost this race, stretching back a good six or so years. If anyone can stay within sight of him for the entire 27 miles, I’ll be mighty impressed.

This is the race where those famous pics, of Connor standing on his tail with about 15 foot of board sticking out of the water, were taken:

Connor Baxter downwind paddling

While the downwind run itself is all time, the Maui 2 Molokai race itself has had a bit of a strange history: The course has been run forever as an outrigger race, but ever since it was picked up as a standalone SUP race it’s kinda drifted around. Originally it featured as the headline act in Maui’s short-lived Triple Crown of SUP, but since last year has been its own race. The 2013 event struggled a bit with organisation, however this year Art in Surf has signed on as a major sponsor, so hopefully the event can now live up to its potential.

Either way, we’ll be there to give you the Maui to Molokai results and full race coverage as it happens (or just as soon as I limp across the line…). However the M2M isn’t the only reason to visit Hawaii in a few months time, because the whole of July is Downwind Month in Hawaii.

You’ve got the Maui to Molokai on the 12th, the following weekend is traditionally the Maui Paddle Champs, while of course on the 27th it’s the big one: Molokai 2 Oahu. There are also big races earlier in the month over on Oahu (Cline Mann on the South Shore and the Da Hui Race on the North Shore). There are a lot of big names that fly in for a couple of weeks to try and give the extremely talented locals a run for their money. The wind is blowing like clockwork and the sun is always shining. Basically: If you love downwinding, Hawaii in July is the place to be.

Maui to Molokai Stand Up Paddle race