July 20, 2012
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

Naish Paddleboard Championships (Maui)

22 July UPDATE: The 2012 Naish Paddle Championships RESULTS are in…

The 7th annual Naish Paddle Championships are taking place this weekend on Maui. The 9.5 mile race course follows the classic Maliko Run, which stretches from Maliko Gulch to Kahului Harbor.

This is the traditional lead-up event to the Molokai-2-Oahu World Paddle Championships (happening next weekend), meaning a whole bunch of the world’s biggest and best Stand Up Paddle racers are in town and ready to race.

In the 2011 Naish Paddle Championships it was Dave Kalama who snared the fastest time, finishing the race in 1:09:29 on his Unlimited board. Jeremy Riggs was the fastest of the 14 footers in 1:13:01, but it was Connor Baxter who impressed the most after the young gun came home in a time of 1:13:33. That was only 5th fastest time overall, but the freaky thing was, Connor was paddling a 12’6″ board…

You gotta remember this was at a time when Connor Baxter wasn’t yet considered the best SUP racer in the world. He was already up there for sure, but this was the first race where he really blew an international field out of the water. One week later he went on to claim his first Molokai crown (in a record time, no less) and then 8 weeks later he was standing on top of the podium at the Battle of the Paddle.

After last week’s epic Maui to Molokai race, it looks like Connor Baxter and Dave Kalama will be the ones to beat again this year, at both this weekend’s Naish Paddleboard Champs as well as next week’s Molokai.

We’ll have full results from the 2012 Naish Paddle Championships as they happen, so stay tuned to SUPracer.com all weekend.