MOLOKAI - The World Cup of SUP (stand up paddle), a race from Maui to Molokai, was held on July 13.
M4M (Molokai 4 Molokai) was recently born with the idea of keeping paddlers over on Molokai for a race the next day.
With much discussion after the last Maui to Molokai race of the canoes in April, M4M became a new idea and was blessed to bring an event alive.
The SUP competitors begin the M4M (Molokai 4 Molokai) race.
With only a short time to throw something together for Sunday, July 14, while achieving goals of stimulating the local economy and inspiring youth, it almost felt like an impossible task.
Stand Up Paddle Association of Molokai and Youth in Motion made M4M a success. There was also a huge boost from sponsors who came in at the last minute, the organizers of the Maui to Molokai race, pledges from the racers and community, and local, state and international competitors who believed in the concept.
The 8.5-mile course was from Kamalo to Hotel Molokai. Two-thirds of the competitors who raced from Maui stayed over for Sunday's race.
The weather blessed this event, giving good trades, almost perfect conditions and a fun race.
The event had two different starting lines for the divisions of outrigger canoe (OC1/2) and SUP. Both SUP and OC1 divisions had prize money for the men and women's divisions from first through third place.
In the OC1 Division, Camie Kimball stormed to first overall, shortly followed by Crystal Egusa and Desiree Puhi. Jason Aiana took first place in the Men's Division, winning $100 and some cool prizes.
Stephanie Bush and Annette English won the OC2 Division.
In the SUP Overall and Open Division, Dave Kissane from Australia took first place, with Kaeo Abby from Oahu hot on his heels in second and Tomo Murabayashi from Japan in third place.
In the Men's 14-foot SUP Division, Maui boy Zane Schweitzer clinched first place over Matt Becker from California and Peter Peterson from South Africa. Jeff Chang from Oahu won the Men's 50-plus Division.
In the Women's Division, Oahu's Jennifer Lee took first place overall, followed by Lina Augaitis from Canada in second (winner of the 14-foot Division) and Brigette Van Aswegan from South Africa in third overall (second in the Women's 14-foot Division).
Sharon Look from Maui took second in the Women's Open Division, followed by Roz Selback in third. Peggy King from Maui won the Women's 50 Division.
For the Molokai racers, Todd Yamashita won the Men's 12'6" Division, Tabitha Puhi came in first in the Women's 12'6" Division (Boki Chung came in second), and young upstart Alex Mawae won the Youth Division.
Overall, this event was a huge success with some great vibes. Stand Up Paddle Association of Molokai brought together a truly international, high-caliber field among the locals while pushing the limits, enjoying the race, fundraising, achieving the original goals and making sure the racers enjoyed their time on Molokai with a memorable event.
Stay tuned for the announcement of the M4M date in 2014.