Jamie Mitchell Claims the QuiksilverEdition Molokai Race

QuiksilverEdition Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard Race

Australian Jamie Mitchell Posts 6th Win in Record Time, Shakira Westdorp Wins Women’s

Australian paddleboarding phenomenon Jamie Mitchell, 30, continues to reign supreme after posting his sixth consecutive win of the 32-mile Quiksilveredition Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard Race in a record time of 4:48:23 today. Mitchell shared the winners dais with fellow Australian Shakira Westdorp, 22, who took first place in the women’s division with a time of 5:59:52.

Kauai’s Kevin Horgan posted a narrow win in the stand-up paddleboard division, presented by C4 Waterman (6:20:59), and Oahu’s Keoni Watson won the 12-foot stockboard division (5:39:48). Conditions were excellent for today’s race, offering 15- to 20-knot easterlies and open ocean swells of four to six feet. The Quiksilveredition Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard Race is considered the world championship for long distance paddlers.

From the 7:30am race start on Molokai, Mitchell’s superb physical conditioning was evident as he opened up an immediate lead over his closest rivals Bruce Taylor (Australia) and Brian Rocheleau (Hawaii).

While Taylor did the best job of keeping Mitchell in his sights, any hopes of a win vanished into the distance with Mitchell. As Mitchell surged along with the swells in rhythm with his waterproof iPod, Taylor rode the rollercoaster of mental highs and lows as the battle became one with himself. The two were singing very different songs by the completion of the race.

Mitchell stepped to shore in record time, breathing easily and looking as if he could jump back on board and make a return paddle to Molokai. No other competitor touched down on Oahu today looking as relaxed and pain-free. “I felt the best I’ve ever felt in that race,” said Mitchell. “I didn’t feel fatigued at all. I don’t feel fatigued now. I trained the hardest I’ve ever trained the past three to four months for this race, so it’s real satisfying to know that the hard work paid off. Conditions and fitness played a big part. I thought it was fast but I didn’t know how fast until I heard it over the PA at the finish,” said Mitchell.

“I don’t think it was quite as windy as we thought it was going to be, but there was plenty of movement and plenty of bumps to be had, I mean, it must have been good to break a record. There were the typical Molokai flat, ugly spots out there, but nowhere near as much as previous years. I had a couple of good glides where I’d probably go a hundred yards or so and connect to another, so it was a lot more fun than the usual channel crossing.

“I heard a crack on my board at one stage. I don’t know if something hit my fin or what – that worried me a little bit. I wasn’t sure if something had broken, but everything was pretty good – pretty much a mistake free race for me.” Second-place Taylor made his first solo crossing of the channel today, having competed two years ago in a team. It’s a totally different race, a totally different channel when you’re on your own out there the whole way. I’ve got to admit it was terrible. The best part was that end bit. Just the fulfillment of a personal goal. Mentally, the ups and downs… just trying to get through those bad bits – it’s such a rollercoaster ride. I came all the way from Australia for this and I’m not going to go home without finishing it – that’s all I said to myself, a thousand times over.

“I came over here to win, to give Jamie a shake-up. But he was too strong today. At the half way mark I realized that. Jamie’s been doing this for so long now, he does it professionally. He’s got so many miles and races under his belt. He’s just too strong. I’m an electrician back in Queensland, so this was a one-time deal for me.”

The top Hawaiian solo finisher for the men today was third-placed Brian Rocheleau with a time of 5:19:52. “I saw Jamie and Bruce go out and I kind of fell in behind them,” said Rocheleau, 31. “I didn’t see them. I couldn’t go at their pace. I started to make ground on Bruce the last quarter, but he was going too fast.

“The beginning was real easy, but it just got worse and worse. I could see (Jamie’s escort) boat – that was the carrot. He’s definitely got the gift out there. He’s raising the bar. Everyone’s trying to chase him. I’ll try to get him but I don’t know if it’s going to happen.”

Rookie Shakira Westdorp, was perhaps the most impressive today, keeping her cool on a maiden voyage across the Molokai Channel that included a broken rudder that she fixed mid-crossing. Westdorp finished ahead of five-time and defending champion Kanesa Duncan (Oahu). Duncan finished a little more than five minutes behind Westdorp with a time of 6:05:05.

Once the relief of reaching Oahu subsided, tears turned to jubilation as the young Queenslander vowed to do the race “forever. It was a lot of fun, I got a lot of runners, but I never felt like I was going to get there – never-ending,” said Westdorp. “It’s way rougher, way more runners, way bigger swell – everything magnified by about 10 (compared to Australia).

“The furthest I’ve paddled in training was about five and a half hours. I was prepared for the worst and it wasn’t as bad as everyone said it was going to be. It was so much fun. “I knew Kanesa would be tough. I know she comes home hard. I knew it would be close. To beat someone on Kanesa’s level… I’m so stoked.”

The C4 Waterman stand-up division turned out to be an incredibly close race – just 13 seconds the difference between winner Kevin Horgan and second-placed Vitor Marcal (Oahu). Having lead almost 31 miles of the 32 mile race, Marcal was overtaken on the home turn into Maunaloa Bay as the pair hit the infamous home-stretch headwind. It was in that final mile that Horgan accelerated to pass his disbelieving rival.

“It was like trying to run up a sand hill,” Horgan said of the home stretch. “But that’s where my endurance really kicked in. Earlier this summer I did a four-day, 175-mile paddle from New York City to Newport Rhode Island. That was the perfect training for today.”

Two years ago, Horgan was the only solo stand-up paddler in this race and unofficially finished first and last after 10 hours of paddling; unofficial as he was outside the eight-hour official cut-off time. “I just chopped off four hours!” said Horgan. “Waterman can, that’s my motto. That finish was unbelievable. It was so fun. I rode so many waves, it was a blast. Vitor paddled an amazing race. I think I was just better in the headwind.”

The first of the two-person teams entered in today’s race was the stand-up team of Dave and Ekolu Kalama (Maui). Despite a 30-minute delayed start for the stand-up competitors, starting out from Molokai at 8 a.m., the Kalamas steamed through the course to be second across the line behind Mitchell in a time of 4:36:55.

Like Mitchell, Oahu’s Keoni Watson found the conditions totally to his liking and was ecstatic with the fact that he had blazed by a slew of open class paddlers riding boards at least five feet longer than his, and with the advantage of a rudder system. This was his second consecutive stock win.

“I felt good,” said Watson. “I kept passing all these open (class) guys. The runs were unreal. Last year I felt pretty worthless at the finish. I feel good this time. That was so much fun on the stockboard.”

Results

Men’s Solo Paddleboard Overall

1. Jamie Mitchell, Australia – 4:48:23

2. Bruce Taylor, Australia – 5:15:00

3. Brian Rocheleau, Oahu, Hawaii – 5:19:52

Women’s Solo Paddleboard Overall

1. Shakira Westdorp, Australia – 5:59:52

2. Kanesa Duncan, Oahu, Hawaii – 6:05:05

Men’s Stockboard Overall

1. Keoni Watson, Oahu, Hawaii – 5:39:48

2. Kiva Rivers, Hawaii – 5:52:15

C4 Waterman Unlimited Teams

1. Dave Kalama/Ekolu Kalama, Maui, Hawaii – 4:36:55

Unlimited Solo Men’s 29 & Under

1. Justin Mitchell, Australia – 5:42:20

2. Marc Rocheleau, Hawaii – 5:54:27

3. Sean Campbell, Australia – 6:02:45

Men’s 30-39

1. Ludovic Dulou, France – 5:36:18

2. George Loren, Redondo Beach, CA – 5:58:57

3. Nathan Shore, Redondo Beach, CA – 6:01:29

Men’s 40-49

1. Mick Dibetta, Australia – 5:37:15

2. Chris Owens, Oahu, Hawaii – 5:55:05

3. Dawson Jones, Oahu, Hawaii – 5:58:31

Men’s 50-59

1. Matt Barnett, Oahu, Hawaii – 5:45:41

Men’s 60+

1. Buddy Sheppard, Oahu, Hawaii – 6:44:28

Women’s Unlimited

1. Shakira Westdorp, Australia – 5:59:52

2. Kanesa Duncan, Oahu, Hawaii – 6:05:05

3. Kiyomi Sheppard, Oahu, Hawaii

Elite

1. Keoni Watson, Oahu, Hawaii – 5:39:48

2. Kiva Rivers, Maui

3. Mikey Cote, Oahu, Hawaii – 6:02:37

Men’s 29 & Under

1. Mike Murphy, Redondo Beach, CA – 6:32:40

Men’s 30-39

1. Kai Hall, Oahu, Hawaii – 6:04:00

2. Victor Hemmy III, Oahu, Hawaii- 6:16:09

3. Matt Sack, Oahu, Hawaii – 6:22:35

Men’s 40-49

1. Jeff Kozlovich, Oahu, Hawaii – 8:07:22

2. Kyoji Fukuda, Japan, 8:29:34

Men’s 50+

1. George Ramos Jr., Oahu, Hawaii – 6:18:16

2. Dave Yester, Oahu, Hawaii – 7:33:03

3. Bruce Stine, Kauai, Hawaii – 7:38:07

Women’s Stockboard

1. Heidi Gutgessell, Oahu, Hawaii – 7:35:08

C4 Waterman Standup Paddle Division Men’s Solo

1. Kevin Horgan, Kauai, Hawaii – 5:54:59

2. Vitor Marcal, Oahu, Hawaii – 5:55:12

3. Riel Custodio, Oahu, Hawaii – 6:42:41

Solo No-Rudder

1. Jack Gillen, Big Island, Hawaii – 7:36:50

Team with Rudder

1. Dave Kalama/Ekolu Kalama, Maui, Hawaii – 4:36:55

2. Alan Cadiz/Scott Trudon, Maui, Hawaii – 5:01:21

3. Jeremy Riggs/Nabil Vogele, Maui, Hawaii – 5:16:27

Team No Rudder

1. Aaron Napoleon/Kamaki Worthington, Oahu, Hawaii – 5:22:48

2. Todd Bradley/Brian Keaulana, Oahu, Hawaii – 5:38:56

3. Kaya Piburn/Izaak Tyrrell, Maui, Hawaii – 6:08:14

Women’s With Rudder

1. Jennifer Konohia/Andrea Moller, Maui, Hawaii – 6:03:35

Stockboard Team Men’s 59 & Under

1. Mason Alford/Shaun Jappe , CA – 5:49:12

2. Kyle Power/Ben Vail, CA – 6:00:14

3. Kai Lenny/Michi Schweiger, Maui, Hawaii – 6:24:38

Men’s 60-79

1. Brad Gaul/Michael Porra, Australia – 5:24:18

2. Jimmy Austin/Mike Murray, Oahu, Hawaii – 5:42:01

3. Kyle Daniels/Matt Walls, CA – 5:46:04

Men’s 80-99

1. Dave Daly/John Gangini, Maui, Hawaii – 5:42:45

2. Matt Friedman/Brian Szymanski, CA – 6:02:52

3. Peter Burton/Tom DuryeaCA – 6:16:12

Men’s 100+

1. Jack Dysson/Blair Thorndike, Maui, Hawaii – 6:28:22

2. Chris McGuckin/Grahame Tate, Australia – 6:38:56

Mixed

1. Shannon Delaney/Tom Hinds, CA – 6:17:08

2. Becky Sox/Dan Van Dyck, CA – 6:43:48

3. Sara Miles/Kohl Christensen, Oahu, Hawaii – 7:42:05

Women

1. Talia Gangini/Jocelyn Kempe, Maui – 6:33:12

2. Joanne Ambrosi/Theresa Connelly, HI/Aus – 7:11:23

www.quiksilveredition.com

X

Next up in Events

CJ Hobgood Crowned Honda US Open of Surfing Champ