2020 Featured Artist 3 X Molokai 2 Oahu World Champion Sonni Hönscheid creates a piece that resonates with her experience in the Channel and the Beauty it Elicits.

Tell us more about your art.  What inspired you?

I was absolutely honored to create the art for this year’s edition of the M2O. The channel means so much to me and it was fun to interpret some of the

key elements of the Hawaiian Islands into the art. The woman represents the goddess creator of the Hawaiian Islands and is wearing a Lei made of the white kukui blossom and the yellow Pua ‘ilima.  The official flowers of Moloka’i and O’ahu respectively, bonding the two islands with the Ka’iwi channel.

The flying fish are very present in the channel, they fly in front of you, over your board and continuing to inspire making it look seamless connecting water and wind.   The compass with the heart stands for navigating in the right direction, taking the right line, the sacrifice, endless hours of training, tears, and pure heart it takes to paddle from the island of Moloka’i to the island of O’ahu.

What is the feeling mid channel for paddlers?  Can you explain?

Paddling in this deep blue water, surrounded by the elements, you become one with the channel.  Paddling the Ka’iwi channel is the biggest sensation of freedom I have ever experienced.

What was your best memory of the race?

I have so many memorable moments I will never forget but my first channel crossing and winning my first title stands out over and above.  It is this same feeling that keeps me coming back year after year.  When the surreal global COVID crisis affected the M2O this year I was certainly disappointed but with the enthusiasm and the added reach and excitement for the virtual paddle over the same weekend is exciting.   I hope the art and the opportunity to paddle globally inspires new paddlers to connect with the freedom of being in the water.

What advice do you have for new paddlers joining in on the Virtual Edition?

This is a great event to challenge yourself, have fun and share this unique experience with the paddling community around the world. Be ready and embrace the challenge. You can also opt to participate and share the 16miles with a relay partner, best friend, … Push yourself, give YOUR best and enjoy that moment!

About Sonni Hönscheid

Sonni Hönscheid was born into a family that was centered around water.   Born on the little island of Sylt in the North Sea close to Denmark,   her dad’s windsurfing career landed them in the Canary Islands and Hawaii.  She traveled extensively with her sister bitsy, Mother Ute and Dad Jürgen and once her dad retried from the professional circuit in 1986 Sonni started surfing and windsurfing on the beaches of Fuerteventura.    She soon found herself winning the first surfing events in Southern France and representing the German National team all through Europe, Brazil, Portugal, and South Africa. In 2004, With her great style in and out of the water, Sonni also produced with MTV engaging Photo Trips for the European Audience.  Her life, centered around water, led to German titles in the new sport of StandUp Paddling and the opportunity to spend extensive time on Maui training and racing and picking up again her first love, painting.   Inspired through all the travelling experiences discovering exotic places, and different cultures Sonni’s art brought her impressions of the stunning nature of Hawaii, the animating rough North Sea of Sylt and Fuerteventura onto canvas.  Her technique with special acrylic pens allows great detail and use of color.  Sonni’s designs can be seen on her boards, fabrics with manufacture Chiemsee, beverage brand Caprisonne with her colorful labels, and Starboard and Jucker Hawaii.  For more details visit https://www.sonni-honscheid.com/