Australian native Matt Belivacqua won the 19th annual Molokai 2 Oahu Paddle World Championship.
The Molokai 2 Oahu is a 32-miles race across the Ka'iwi Channel,which stretches 26 miles and has been known to have some of the world's most treacherous waters.
Belivacqua captured the title in just over a time of 5 hours, 20 minutes on his first attempt.
He finished just ahead of his two fellow countrymen as they claimed the top three spots.
“That was pretty awesome, I think the adrenaline really kick in when I crossed the line – I’ve never felt anything like that before,” said Bevilacqua. “It’s always been something in my mind to do. Then, to too finally get here and finally do it – and then to win it, it’s too much.”
The men’s stock paddleboard race also saw a new champion who today experienced his first crossing of the Molokai Channel. Kendrick Louis of Australia, 25, was part of a competitive stock race, featuring former champions of Jack Bark and Zeb Walsh. Louis bested Bark by just over a minute in today’s competition, finishing in 5:52:08.
“Mentally, this is one of the hardest things I ever put myself through and I learned a lot about myself along the way,” said Kendrick. “Having never done it before, whether I won or lost was irrelevant, but crossing the line with everyone cheering for you just gave me goose bumps.”
Colleen Tessler, 36, from Honolulu won the women’s stock paddleboard race in a time of 7:11:20.
Australian Travis Grant, 32, won his second stand up paddleboard (SUP) championship at M2O in a time of 4:59:38. Grant appears to excel in harder conditions. His previous victory in 2013 was just nine minutes faster in a year when conditions in the Molokai Channel also made the athletes work harder for the finish.
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