July 18, 2015
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

FULL RESULTS: Connor Baxter Wins Maui 2 Molokai For Record Sixth Straight Year

Connor Baxter on his way to a sixth straight Maui 2 Molokai crown (photo: Karen Baxter)

Connor Baxter on his way to a sixth straight Maui 2 Molokai crown (photo: Karen Baxter)

Connor Baxter has won this weekend’s Maui 2 Molokai race in Hawaii, further extending the longest winning streak in the history of men’s SUP racing. This was Connor’s sixth straight Maui 2 Molokai crown, dating back to the inaugural event in 2010.

With conditions on the famous downwind run milder than usual over the final five miles, Connor won in a time of 3 hours 13 minutes, nine minutes slower than his 2014 victory. Dark horse Australian Matt Nottage, a definite name to watch in the future, was runner-up after matching Connor for the first hour, while Brazil’s international star Vinnicius Martins took a very strong third place.

Connor’s win cements his reputation as the world’s greatest ocean racer. The guy is close to unbeatable in Hawaii. In addition to six straight Maui 2 Molokai titles, Connor has won four straight OluKai crowns and three of the past four Molokai 2 Oahu showdowns.

The “greatest winning streak in men’s SUP racing” began almost five years ago to the day, when Connor scored a surprise win in the 2010 Maui 2 Molokai race. On that day, a skinny little 14 year old Connor defeated Ekolu and Dave Kalama, Livio Menelau and Mark Raaphorst to win the inaugural M2M title (see the archival photo down below).

View the updated SUP Racer World Rankings – Top 100 Leaderboard

In the women’s M2M it was downwind queen Andrea Moller triumphing once again, with New Zealand’s Penelope Strickland runner-up and Lena Ribeiro from Brazil third. Interestingly, Andrea is the only stand up paddler who can claim a longer winning streak than Connor, having won her seventh straight OluKai title a couple of months ago.

Though missing from today’s race was Andrea’s SIC team mate and downwind sparring partner, Sonni Honscheid. Sonni opted to sit out the 27 mile channel crossing and save her strength for next weekend’s big one, where she’ll look to defend her crown across the 32 mile “Channel of Bones” between Molokai and Oahu.

More M2M coverage: Mike from Stand Up Magazin just posted a great Maui 2 Molokai recap, with some excellent photos of the paddlers and a few interesting insights from the race

Maui 2 Molokai race

The start of Saturday’s Maui 2 Molokai race (photo: Karen Baxter)

Outside the men’s top three, today’s unlimited field also featured the likes of Lincoln Dews, Beau O’Brian, Jeremy Riggs, Vinnicius Martins, Mo Freitas and Josh Riccio, while Kody Kerbox, Armie Armstrong and Ethan Koopmans battled it out for a close 1-2-3 finish in the stock class (14′).

Despite the big names, the level of competition at the 2015 Maui 2 Molokai race was slightly down on last year, with superstars Travis Grant and Kai Lenny, who both raced M2M in 2014, choosing to rest ahead of next week’s main event. Dave Kalama, who finished third in this race last year behind Connor and Kai, pulled out of both the M2M and M2O after constant travel disrupted his training schedule.

Last year’s M2M scored 26.5% on the Race Index, while this year’s Maui 2 Molokai came in at 21.5%. That won’t be enough to improve Connor’s overall world ranking points tally, as he’s already holding five very big results (and besides, the Starboard superstar can’t go any higher than world number one anyway), however we can expect a few other changes when the Men’s Top 100 Leaderboard gets updated on Monday afternoon.

UPDATE: View the post-M2M World Rankings – Top 100 Leaderboard

Look for runner-up Matt Nottage to make a big jump. My preliminary calculations see the Aussie dark horse rising 8 or 9 spots from his current position at world #34. Matt has been a virtual unknown outside Australia, though I don’t think that’ll last much longer. The youngster seems to get better and better with each race and has the potential to match it with the best in a year or two.

Vinni Martins should jump a few positions as well, with the Brazilian set to move within one or two spots of the exclusive top 20 after claiming an excellent podium spot this weekend. The JP Australia team rider currently holds a world ranking of 24.

Lahui Kai’s Lincoln Dews, who was carrying two orange donuts in his “five best results” points tally before this weekend, will also jump a few spots and should be safely back inside the top 20. Lincoln is the highest ranked paddler that’s carrying less than five results from the past 12 months.

As with all the ocean races in Hawaii where unlimited boards dominate, Maui 2 Molokai is classified as a “line honours” race, meaning it doesn’t matter which board class you were in, your absolute position across the line is what determines your world ranking points. So if you finished 15th in the unlimited division but three stock guys beat you, you actually finished 18th and that’s what decides your world ranking points. The only exception is the 2- and 3- person teams, which don’t count for points (solo results only).

Unfortunately the women’s M2M, which scored 21.0% on the Race Index in 2014, won’t count for points this year due to the relatively shallow depth of talent on the starting line.

We’ll update the men’s World Rankings on Monday afternoon. View the updated World Rankings – Top 100 Leaderboard.

Connor Baxter

Connor Baxter has been virtually unbeatable in Hawaii over the past half a decade (photo: Karen Baxter)

Outside Maui 2 Molokai, the other big change to the rankings this week will be Kai Lenny dropping down one spot to world number three. Kai overtook Danny Ching following the Barcelona race three weeks ago, however his decision not to compete in this year’s M2M, and more importantly the removal of points from the 2014 SUP World Cup in Germany, will see him slip.

Races are only held in the World Rankings system for 12 months in order to keep the leaderboard fresh and relevant. The SUP World Cup, which Kai finished runner-up in last year, was canceled this year and points from the 2014 edition are set to expire tomorrow. So despite neither Kai nor Danny actually racing this weekend, both their world ranking positions will change. Kai will have a shot at redemption next weekend though, with Molokai 2 Oahu expected to score very highly on the Race Index (my early calculations peg it at roughly 40.0%, which would make it one of the most competitive races of the year). If the Naish superstar wins M2O he’ll not only jump ahead of Danny, he’ll replace Connor as world number one.

Speaking of Molokai, we’ll have full coverage of the big one next weekend, including live updates and photos from out in the channel. Stay tuned for more details on that in the next couple of days…

2015 Maui 2 Molokai SUP Race

Course: 27 miles (43kms)
Conditions: Great for the first 22 odd miles but then the wind died off
Race Index: 21.5%
Points: SUP Racer World Ranking points (view the updated World Rankings – Top 100 Leaderboard)

1Connor Baxter3:13:12Unlimited21.50
2Matt Nottage3:20:36Unlimited16.13
3Vinnicius Martins3:29:04Unlimited12.90
4Lincoln Dews3:31:21Unlimited10.75
5Jeremy Riggs3:32:36Unlimited9.14
6Beau O'Brian3:36:05Unlimited7.53
7Josh Riccio3:36:25Unlimited6.45
8James Casey3:38:53Unlimited5.38
9Tomoyasu Murabayashi3:41:45Unlimited4.84
10Ryan Murphy3:42:20Unlimited4.30
11Franck Muller3:43:20Unlimited3.87
12Kody Kerbox3:45:19Stock 143.44
13Armie Armstrong3:46:25Stock 143.23
14Ethan Koopmans3:46:56Stock 143.01
15Jeremy Stephenson3:50:16Unlimited2.80
16Phil Gregory3:55:16Unlimited2.58
17Mo Freitas3:55:29Unlimited2.37
18Charles Domin4:02:07Unlimited2.15
19Bart de Zwart4:03:07Stock 141.94
20Americo Pinheiro4:03:47Unlimited1.72
21Belar Diaz4:07:28Unlimited1.61
22Kousuke Matsuyama4:07:31Unlimited1.51
23Mark Huxley4:08:23Unlimited1.40
24Art Aquino4:10:43Unlimited1.29
25Yoshiaki Nagamatsu4:10:55Stock 141.18
26Roberto Lopes4:10:57Unlimited1.12
27Dale Chapman4:12:17Unlimited1.05
28Tim Wyers4:16:43Unlimited0.99
29Rob Walton4:20:03Unlimited0.92
30Buzzy Kerbox4:21:16Unlimited0.86
31Shep Nelson4:21:51Unlimited0.82
32Kieran O'Riordan4:24:06Unlimited0.77
33Gregg Leion4:25:04Unlimited0.73
34John Walsh4:25:15Stock 140.69
35Eric Walker4:28:05Unlimited0.65
36James Knowles4:28:30Stock 140.60
37Adam Cole4:30:39Stock 140.56
38Russ Scully4:30:53Unlimited0.52
39Blake Richardson4:36:04Stock 140.47
40Ian Santos4:36:24Unlimited0.43
41Antonio Chaer4:37:08Stock 140.41
42Frank Forbes4:37:30Team
43Claudio Chain4:38:59Unlimited0.39
44Jeffrey Oltman4:40:57Unlimited0.37
45Evan Green4:42:41Unlimited0.34
46Benjamin Claveau4:43:58Unlimited0.32
47Andy Fermo4:46:58Stock 140.30
48John Alexiou4:47:45Unlimited0.28
49Tsuyosh Harada4:47:48Stock 140.26
50Neal Drinkward4:48:39Team
51Naoki Marutani4:49:34Stock 140.24
52Adam Quandt4:49:43Stock 140.22
53Alex Mawae4:51:48Team
54Bob Araujo4:53:09Team
55Cameron Harvey4:53:28Unlimited
56Brad Feldman4:53:49Unlimited
57Peter Shepherd4:56:04Unlimited
58Jay Gomez4:59:13Stock 14
59Anthony Barchard4:59:47Stock 14
60Paul Matthews5:03:06Unlimited
61Michel Pierre Sempere5:04:26Stock 14
62Lee McLean5:05:16Stock 14
63Gavin Ferguson5:06:03Unlimited
64Claudio Carmeiro5:06:57Stock 14
65Terry Stevens5:07:52Stock 14
66James Hawley5:10:31Stock 14
67Carlo Prado5:10:35Unlimited
68Mike Jucker5:14:58Stock 14
69Angelina Correa5:19:55Team
70Matthew Dowling5:21:11Stock 14
71Daniell Cameron5:23:34Team
72Matthew Larrson5:24:12Stock 14
73Kyle Ferguson5:25:03Unlimited
74Zoltan Bazso5:37:59Unlimited
75Bob Arnot5:44:39Unlimited

2015 Maui 2 Molokai – Women’s SUP Race

# Name Time Class
1 Andrea Moller 3:54:35 Unlimited
2 Penelope Strickland 3:59:40 Unlimited
3 Lena Ribeiro 4:33:20 Unlimited
4 Lara Claydon 4:48:41 Stock 14
5 Gail Walker 4:51:06 Unlimited
6 Tomoe Yasu 5:07:37 Unlimited
7 Margarie King 5:28:45 Unlimited
8 Suzie Cooney 5:33:11 Unlimited
9 Jaecey Suoa 5:42:24 Unlimited

Thanks to Mike from Stand Up Magazin for the early reports (and the Insta shots below) – check out Mike’s updated recap of the race. Cheers to Beau O’Brian for giving us the full top 10 and Karen Baxter for the great start line and mid-channel shots.

Maui 2 Molokai SUP Race

The start of the 2015 Maui 2 Molokai race, aka the M2M (photo: Karen Baxter)

Maui 2 Molokai 2010

Connor Baxter won the very first Maui 2 Molokai race way back in 2010