Jamie Mitchell isn’t like the rest of us. He’s got both the endurance and adrenaline side of ocean sports dialed. Tow him into a monster wave? No worries. Paddle in at Waimea? He’s an Eddie alternate. Battle of the Paddle Winner? 2009, Dana Point. The Molokai Channel, one of the toughest races in all of ocean paddlesports? How’s ten in a row?
Mitchell wrapped up his “Decade of Dominance” on Sunday, winning his 10th consecutive, Molokai-to-Oahu Paddleboard Race eight minutes faster than his previous record time in 2007 , finishing the 32-mile course from Kaluakoi to Maunalua Bay in 4 hours, 40 minutes and 31 seconds.
“I feel like the weight of the entire Hawaiian Island chain has lifted from me,” the 34-year-old Australian told the Maui News.
Competitors faced tough conditions in their journey across the Kaiwi Channel, with cross-diagonal swells of up to 6 feet and relatively weak tradewinds. But an incoming tide made for fast times.
Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Connor Baxter, a phenominal open ocean SUP racer from Maui won the overall men’s title at 4:26:10, besting Dave Kalama’s 4:54:15 set last year, becoming the youngest champion ever. Honolulu’s Scott Gamble was second in 4:30:10.
Andrea Moller improved upon her 2010 record of 6:00:00 by more than a half-hour, finishing in 5:26:51.
It was a triumph for Mitchell, who had many of his friends from the competitive paddling world there to support him. “I just want to be in the channel when he wins,” Candice Appleby told SUPthemag.com this summer. Mitchell hinted he was ready to get back to paddling SUP full time in a release earlier today.
“It’s my fastest time, but it didn’t feel like it,” Mitchell said referring to the varying winds and currents. “It feels great to set the record. I’m not looking too far ahead, but this may be my last world championship on a traditional paddleboard. This is a great way to move on to a new challenge, but I just want to enjoy this feeling for a while.”