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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, May 10, 2010

Molokai World Championship set for Sunday

Glenna Wong
Reader Submitted

The 2010 Molokai World Championships open ocean race will take place on Sunday, May 16, 2010. This race is recognized as the World Surfski Championship of long distance surfski racing and is the title that the most elite watermen and water women covet the most. The race will be starting from the west end of Molokai fronting Kepuhi Beach at Kaluakoi Hotel, across the volatile and famous Ka'iwi (Molokai) Channel. The 32 mile race finishes at Koko Marina Shopping Center in front of the Kona Brewing Company restaurant. This annual event will mark the 34th crossing from Molokai to Oahu.

The event starts at 11:00 a.m. on Molokai, with the first winners crossing the finish line on Oahu at approximately 2:30 p.m., depending upon race conditions. This event is a fundraiser; with a portion of the entry fees raised donated to Hawaii Canoe & Kayak, a locally-based non-profit organization.

Race Director, Geoff Graf said, "Worldwide popularity of the surfski sport continues to grow! Even with today's economic challenges, we are receiving a positive response from participating athletes as we expect over 60 paddlers, many of whom are from Australia, Japan, Canada, across the U.S., and Hawaii. We are committed to perpetuating the sport of open ocean surfski's and the 2010 Molokai World Championships is a great way for us to support our athletes."

"With the race's reputation being commended for bringing many elite surfski athletes to Hawaii, we estimate this race will bring in over $250,000 that will directly benefit our State's economy! From local air and barge transportation, lodging, meals, escort boats, surf ski rentals, and more that the athletes will spend during their stay, this event is a win-win for all involved," said Graf. Race entry fees are $325.00 per participant, and $425.00 for late entries after May 10th. Entry fees include surfski shipping to Molokai, race jersey, and the awards ceremony celebration.

The world-record time is 3:21:26, held by Dean Gardiner in 1997. The top contenders this year include Dean Gardiner, Clint Robinson, Tim Jacobs, Jeremy Cotter, and Martin Kenny. There are also two six female entrants thus far, including Hawaii's Maggie Twigg-Smith and Lauren Bartlett.

The 2010 Molokai World Championships will use only surf skis and each paddler is required to have an escort boat. The exciting approach to Oahu can be watched by land spectators from Sandy Beach, Blow Hole lookout, Portlock Point, Maunalua Bay near the marina entrance, and Koko Marina's dock area. The awards ceremony will take place at 4:00 p.m. with a festive presentation of trophies and entertainment.

For further information, please visit www.molokaiworldchampionships.org/, or you may contact race director Geoff Graf at (808) 351-9086.