2009 Rainbow Sandals Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard Race

Congratulations to Starboard team rider, Ekolu Kalama, for winning the SUP division at the 32-mile Rainbow Sandals Molokai to Oahu Race held July 26…

Ekolu Kalama (white) led the SUP field out from the start and never looked back. Photo: Bernie Baker.

Ekolu posted his first solo win in the record time of 5:02:06…
He was 20 minutes in front of the next solo standup paddler, the legendary Guy Pere…

The 32-mile Rainbow Sandals Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard Race, presented by Honolua, C4 Waterman, Duke’s Waikiki and Maui Jim, is the unofficial world title of the sport and is considered the most brutal physical and mental challenge in the world for the waterman. The race includes divisions for traditional paddleboarding, standup paddleboarding. Both solo and team in each division.

Results here

In the SUP division, favorite Ekolu Kalama did not disappoint, posting his first solo win in the record time of five hours two minutes and six seconds. Kalama was emotional about his victory. “My grandfather was smiling down from heaven on me today. Words can’t explain how I feel.”

Australian Jamie Mitchell won the paddle board division. The toughest tidal conditions in years kept Mitchell from breaking the record he set in 2007, coming in 10 minutes slower today at 4:58:25.

Jamie Mitchell conquers crazy conditions off the cliffs of Oahu as he heads home for a win. Photo: Bernie Baker.

“It felt like six hours today,” said Mitchell, who couldn’t believe he came in under five hours. “The first two thirds was good, but that last third… it took forever to get close, then the current, then the backwash. It was definitely the toughest (race) of the last three or four years for me.

While Ekolu didn’t complete the course in a faster time than Mitchell, Kalama sounded like he had more fun on the channel:

“That was like a five-and-a-half hour surf session. I’m not going to have to surf for a while.. I’m good for about a week.”

Kalama and Mitchell were rewarded equal prize money for the first time today, thanks to Rainbow Sandals, each receiving $3,000.

The first solo woman SUP-er was Jenny Kalmbach (6:18:31) from the Big Island…she received $750 for her 1st place effort…as did Kanesa Duncan (6:29:29) for 1st place women’s unlimited prone…

WARDOG2009 Rainbow Sandals Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard Race

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