Familiar Face Wins Paddle Race

Karel Tresnak Junior
Karel Tresnak Junior
Van Gieson
Van Gieson

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- It was a three-peat at one of the most grueling events in Hawaii -- two people, one canoe, across the Kaiwi Channel.

With a final push, Karel Tresnak Junior, along with Al Van Gieson, win the 18th Kaiwi Channel relay world championship.

"It's pretty unreal," said Tresnak.

"Feel pretty great," said Van Gieson. "Have a great partner."

Great partner -- an understatement. Tresnak wins the race for the 5th time, including a third in a row -- all with different partners.

"What can I say, he's a freak of nature man," said Van Gieson.

Tresnak says it's all about experience. He paddled hours a day, every day, growing up, so he knows how to surf the waves -- which helps, especially during the 40-plus mile journey from Molokai to Oahu.

"It helps a little bit when you can save a bit more energy than the other guys," said Tresnak. "It really pays off towards the end."

And it definitely paid off in this win.

"We kinda took a northern route," said Van Gieson. "Stayed on top of everybody."

"We did about four changes every five minutes, four minutes across Waikiki just to stay fresh," said Tresnak. "Managed to hold those horses behind us, so wasn't bad."

The second place team finishes about 30-seconds later.

Does this get old?

"No, never," said Tresnak. "It's just getting harder and harder every year. It's not like it was three years ago, everybody's learning everything now. so, it's cool."

The winning time -- 4-hours, 30-minutes, and 27 seconds, just one second off the record.

The women's winners -- the team of Cherisse Agorastos and Lauren Bartlett -- did set a record. They finished in 5-hours, 16-minutes, 21 seconds.