The Shell Va’a paddling team proved it can dominate the Kaiwi Channel under any conditions. Without trade wind help on Sunday, the Tahitian paddlers won their seventh straight Molokai Hoe race in a time of 5 hours, 15 minutes, 49 seconds.
Last year, Shell Va’a set a record of 4:30:54 in the annual world championship of open ocean outrigger canoe racing. Also for the second straight year, the Edt Va’a team placed second only a minute behind Shell Va’a in 5:16:50.
The Tahitians completed the sweep with Shell Va’a 2 team finishing third in 5:33:42.
The Livestrong/Ocean Pursuits team was the top Hawaii team, placing fourth in a time of 5:36:58 across the 41-mile course from Hale O Lono Harbor to Waikiki.
The Molokai team representing the Wa’akapaemua Canoe Club placed 16th in 6:02:30. This betters the 18th place finish from last year.
In its 60th year, the Molokai Hoe has become one of the longest running annual team sporting events in Hawaii, second only to football. The Molokai Hoe perpetuates one of Hawaii’s and Polynesia’s most important and historic cultural traditions, while honoring outrigger canoe paddlers around the world. The Molokai Hoe tests the limits of physical and mental strength and endurance, courage determination and teamwork, and paddlers must also battle nature’s most extreme elements.