HONOLULU, HI (July 29, 2018) — The 23rd annual Molokaʻi-2-Oʻahu Paddleboard World Championships (M2O), presented by Kona Brewing Company, saw the Kaʻiwi Channel at its best, with drama conditions delivering record shattering results.
Australia’s Matt Bevilacqua, who claimed his fifth M2O win, also broke his own world record arriving at the finish line at 4:20:50. Chasing Bevilacqua to a personal best saw Campbell Guthrie (20) with runner up time of 4:32:52 after a 5th place finish in 2018.
The rivalry between Australia’s Harriet Brown and Lizzie Welborn was in full swing as they raced the channel side by side right to the finish line, with less than a minute between their finish times. Brown crossed the finish line at 4:50:58 with Welborn behind at 4:51:46.
Both well under Harriet’s world record from 2017 at 5:14:15. “I looked in front of me and thought, how can I do this, everything hurt and Lizzie had a strong lead. But I made it, and I’m so proud of both myself and Lizzie. The channel takes everything and gives you everything back at the same time” Brown said.
In the stock division, Lachie Lansdown held the lead in what was a back and forth battle between fellow Australian and 2018 champion Stewart McLachlan. McLachlan was able to take the lead in the last leg coming in first at 4:43:23 and Lansdown second at 4:45:23. The previous world record crushed by both athletes from a bar set in 2017 by Stewart (5:02:43).
“This year was hard and it took a lot to get here. I can’t believe I stand here knowing that I have made another crossing and won with ideal conditions.” McLachlan said.
Maddie Spencer once again took first place with a finish time of 5:25:23 in the Prone Stock division. This beat Kanesa Duncan’s long-standing record from 2004. Maddie’s time was just under 30 minutes of the previous record 5:53:49. Many are comparing the conditions of this year’s race to those of 2004. In addition, the women’s prone category had a record number of entrants and the most for any of the women’s categories in 2019. Thanks to XO Active from Australia for supporting the prize purse for women’s stock prone again this year.
2019 Crowned a new Champion as James Casey crossed the line with a time of 4:03:20 in ideal conditions. “This year meant everything, it was emotional, and I cannot thank those around me enough,” Casey said.
Michael Booth (27) crossed second at 4:08:32 after an outstanding paddle.
In the women’s division, Terrene Black took first place at 4:34:09, which also broke Penelope Strickland’s world record from 2017. Sonja Honschied, who was the 2018 champion, arrived 2nd with a time of 4:55:38.
In the men’s division, Josh Riccio crossed the finish in first place at 4:12:08 followed by Kenny Kaneko at 4:19:50. Josh Riccio effort today placed him 3rd overall in the SUP division.
Country woman Mao Kamimura and Kiyomi Sheppard finished 1-2 in the SUP Stock division within a few minutes of each other at 7:08:31 and 7:11:00 respectively. Mao won the women’s stock prone division in 2018.
The Foil division, which debuted 2018, also saw a record-breaking year with Kai Lenny claiming another world record at 2:29:38, 24 minutes faster than his 2018 record finish. In second place, Hawaii’s 18-year-old Jefferey Spencer crossed the finish at 2:37:44 followed by New Calendonia’s Clement Colmas at 2:38:36.
Jeffrey lead the race into Portlock, just a few miles outside of the finish line when Kai caught Jeffrey and prevailed in the upwind charge to the finish.
The 2018 open female foil winner Annie Reickert (18) took two hours off her previous time of 5:20:06. “It is an honor to race alongside every person here and I am so proud to get to be a part of it all,” Reickert said.
M2O is proudly supported by Kona Brewing Company, Hawai’i Tourism Authority, Duke’s Waikiki, Oakley, Patagonia, Rogue, Blue Rush, Amavara, Greenlayer, Stand Up Paddle Magazine, Ocean Paddler, DotVison, Aqua Pro Fitness, XO Activewear, This Ocean Life, and Fin Film Company.