By Clare Seeger Mawae
The weather forecast called for light winds Saturday at the start of race three in the Makani Ikaika O Molokai Stand Up Paddle series. Lucky for the competitors the forecast was wrong, as the trade winds kicked in at a good 15-20 knots.
Race three brought a good turnout considering that the Stand Up Paddle Association of Molokai is still in the early days of organizing events. Three mainland visitors — Rommel De Leon from Aloha, Oregon, Clay Feeter from Standup Journal Magazine and his new bride Joyce Bilodeau — participated in this event.
Perhaps the best part of the race series is the turnout of Molokai youth, bringing out their confidence levels in windy conditions. The kids, ranging from 8 to 11 year-olds, really did shine while showing how they can handle and navigate the windy conditions on the ocean.
Keala Freeman once again dominated with a time of 1:43.10 from the start at Kamalo to the finish at Hotel Molokai. Raleigh Poepoe took second place with a time of 1:46.03. Jesseca Oswald switched to the long course, taking first place for the women and third overall with a credible time of 1:49.09.
In the short course division, Kekai Adachi and Slater Oswald battled it out for first place with Kekai taking the victory by three seconds in a time of 51.40. Khaylie Adachi improved on her last race position by taking third overall and first in the girls division by four seconds with a time of 52.54 over Kaydence Oswald.
All the kids that participated performed extremely well, improving in their effort from the prior races.
Our thanks go to their families for encouraging and supporting these kids, perhaps our future champions in the SUP world.
Next race is Saturday, April 16. For more information and for registering, go to supmolokai.org or contact Clare Seeger Mawae 808-336-0946.