Tahitians once again dominate Molokai Hoe race

| October 14, 2013 | 5 Comments

Spectators watch the outrigger boats cross the starting line outside Hale O Lono Harbor.

Spectators watch the outrigger boats cross the starting line outside Hale O Lono Harbor.


Does any country dominate a single sport the way Tahiti rules open ocean paddle racing? With Shell Va’a’s eighth straight Molokai Hoe victory on Sunday — and a repeat Tahitian sweep of the top three spots — it seems unlikely that any other country can challenge Tahiti in the world championship race across the Kaiwi Channel.
The Shell Va'a team from Tahiti, center, makes boat adjustments in the water prior to the start of the Molokai Hoe.

The Shell Va’a team from Tahiti, center, makes boat adjustments in the water prior to the start of the Molokai Hoe.


In its 61st year, the Molokai Hoe attracts the top paddling teams from around the world. While a majority of the 99 participating teams hailed from Hawaii, also represented were teams from Canada, France, Japan and Australia. Over 1,000 paddlers and their escort boats crowded into Hale O Lono Harbor on the southwest shore of Molokai Sunday morning.

The conditions for the 41-mile race to Waikiki were calm and did not allow Shell Va’a to challenge its record-setting time. This year’s winning time was 4 hours, 54 minutes, 35 seconds, nowhere near the 4:30:54 the team paddled in 2011.

Less than a minutes behind Shell Va’a was competitor EDT Va‘a (4:54:11). Taha‘a Nui Va‘a (5:07:54), Mellow Johnny’s from the Big Island (5:09:31) and Team Primo from Maui (5:16:56) rounded out the top five.

Last year, Molokai was represented by the Wa’akapaemua Canoe Club, which finished in 16th place. This year no Molokai team was entered.

Boats enter the water in Hale O Lono Harbor before the start of Sunday's race.

Boats enter the water in Hale O Lono Harbor before the start of Sunday’s race.

The crews from all 99 participating boats took time to pule for a safe journey across the Kaiwi Channel before the start of the Molokai Hoe.

The crews from all 99 participating boats took time to pule for a safe journey across the Kaiwi Channel before the start of the Molokai Hoe.

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  1. kalaniua ritte says:

    another year of raiding by the escort boats….but if they neva then somebody from here would

    • steve says:

      i love watching the sport, but (as is sung so beautifully in the song molokai slide “don’t understand the words, but in time i think i could”) what is “raiding”?

      thanks
      steve (aka somedumbhaole)

  2. steve says:

    david-

    those are some kickin’ pix, braddah!

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