There is no feeling that quite compares to the one that you get when you are standing on a beach and looking at the faded outline of another island on the other side, and knowing that your about to get on a plank of foam and fibreglass, and paddle 52 kilometres all the way over there with you bare hands.
The Molokai 2 Oahu dream began for me as frothing 14 year old nipper. My parents took me and my sister to watch Wes Bergs documentary 'One Touch' about his journey in completing the Molokai 2 Ohau crossing. I had never heard of the race until seeing this documentary, and all I remember thinking is, this is the coolest race ever. When I was 15 I was lucky enough to meet Mike Takahashi on a family holiday in Hawaii. He took our family down to sunset beach and let me paddle one of Jordan Mercers old race boards, I absolutely loved it. After that holiday I went home and started researching the event and when I could sign up. My parents wouldn't let me do it while I was in school, so this year became the year I could finally give it a go.
Training and preparing for this event has been one of the biggest adventures of my life. Each week of training was different to the previous, as I would have to plan out my paddles depending on what the wind and swells were doing. If you ever decide to try and do the Molokai 2 Oahu, wind and weather forecasting apps became a daily necessity. It was an exciting change to the repetitive structure of training I usually do in winter to train for the iron woman season. I was lucky enough to be able to train up and down the Eastern coast and go on some unforgettable paddles with heaps of different people. The journey is truly the reward when embarking on missions like this. It is an achievement in itself to make it to the beach at Molokai on Sunday morning with a boat and a board. It is a logistical nightmare. It is best to try and get organised early for this event as it gives you heaps of time for things to go wrong and to get re organised.
However, the thing that I have loved the most about this whole journey is the amazing people I have been lucky enough to meet along the way. Almost every person I approached for guidance and advice went out of their way to help me as much as they could, it was overwhelming how nice everyone was. Don’t take any of the people that you meet along the way for granted because they will probably help you in more ways than you think. Brad Gaul, Luke Horder and Jamie Mitchell are three stand out legends that helped me so much in getting to the finish, I cant thank them enough. My support boat crew of Aaron Napolean and Eric Levora were the best.
The actual race is indescribable. I felt as though each and every person who holds hands for the Pule at the begging of the race had a mutual respect for each other, as you know how much effort has been put into getting there and how hard it is to get to Oahu. And as much as it is a competition, it is still so exciting to see each person cross the line no matter where they came because they made it to the finish.
I am really happy to have finished 2nd in the unlimited prone division in a time of 5 hours and 25 minutes. This is the third fastest time ever for a female paddler.
I am extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to go on this incredible adventure, which could not have been possible without the help of Hawaiian Airlines and XO active who helped me get myself and my board to Hawaii all in one piece. I already cant wait until I get to do the whole thing again next year. Aloha.