The Mighty Molokai – World Championships
Anyone involved in the world of water like us Mermaids know of the Hawaiian Molokai to Oahu World Paddleboard Championships. It is one of the toughest paddle challenges in the world, 55 kilometres of paddling solo or in a team of 2 or 3 over what is known as the “Channel of Bones”, the Ka’iwi Channel connecting the two islands. Depths of the channel plummet to over 700 metres deep and the currents move around in swirling motions, distorting even the best of watermen/women’s sense of direction.
The passage has been travelled hundreds of thousands of times and has not always been successful. Many traditional Hawaiian outriggers were not sturdy enough to withstand harsh weather and choppy seas during crossings of the channel. The most famous incident involved the legendary Eddie Aikau who set out with a crew. 30 foot swells and cyclonic winds brought his ship down and in courageous effort he took his paddle board and left to seek help for his cremates. Eddie’s body and board were never found.
Yet each year since 1997 athletes register and complete the paddle. Each gaining the ultimate in personal satisfaction and achievement knowing they have taken a journey that is spiritually and emotionally gigantic. Although the conditions are still an extreme challenge the event is moderated based on forecasted conditions and all competitors are supported by hundreds of boats and support craft during their journey across the channel.
Going for her 4th consecutive title Jordie said recently in an interview with us about the race, “each year I may be a fitter, faster, stronger and smarter athlete compared to my previous crossing but when it comes to battling the conditions that the ocean and the Ka’iwi channel throw your way it is easy to feel well out of your comfort zone, lost, exhausted and unable to push on and make it any further. It is an emotional roller coaster! A lot can happen to your body and mind over 6 plus hours battling the elements, Mother Nature and the best female paddle boarders in the world while crossing the unpredictable and treacherous body of water from Molokai to Oahu.”
The 2014 race takes place this Sunday 27th July and The Mermaid Society have 2 friends entering. 3 times Women’s solo champion Jordie Mercer from Noosa and first time competitor Mary Graham from Sydney. We will post updates on their journey through and post race and send them all the success and support as they take on this year’s event.
Hashtag # your support for our mermaids with #gojordie and #gomary on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook
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