Corporate partnerships increase for 16th annual 32-mile open-ocean race.
Rob Machado and Joel Parkinson set to compete in SUP and prone divisions as top athletes in the surfing world continue to test their abilities in the Channel of Bones.
(Honolulu, HI) - Organizers of the annual Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships (M2O), presented by Kona Longboard Island Lager announce today that race registration has closed early. Having sold out for five consecutive years, the 2012 event experienced the fastest registration pace in its 16-year history. Interested athletes can still be added to the wait-list by contacting the registration team at Molokai2Oahu.com.
On July 29, 2012, the world's best standup paddleboarders (SUP) and prone paddlers from 15 countries will compete in a 32-mile race across the infamous Ka'iwi channel, also known as the Channel of Bones, between the islands of Molokai and Oahu. To purchase the official 2011 race movie, download here.
Combined with M2O's reputation as the sport's ultimate challenge and the increasing global popularity of paddleboarding, most recently in SUP, an event best was established this year for corporate partnerships.
Returning partners include presenting sponsor Kona Longboard Island Lager, Dukes, Maui Jim, Garmin, Rogue SUP, Patagonia, Watermen's Applied Science and Sambazon. New to M2O this year are the Hawai'i Tourism Authority, GoPro and Teva.
"The Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championship is an amazing race that draws elite athletes from around the world to Hawaii every year, allowing us to share the beauty and culture of the islands with the competitors, their families and the international media," said Michael Story of the Hawai'i Tourism Authority. "We are thrilled to be a part of this year's race and look forward to showcasing all that the islands have to offer."
"We are grateful to all of our sponsors who help create this unique race experience for the athletes, their support teams and paddleboarding fans around the world," said Rob Farrow of the M2O Group. "M2O is the sport's most iconic race. It's as much about the experience as it is competing for the championship. Anytime you complete a crossing of the Ka'iwi Channel, a feat that is both physically and mentally demanding, it is a victory."
The popularity of paddleboarding and the challenge of the channel is also attracting world-class athletes from outside the paddling elite. One of surfing's most respected athletes Rob Machado will take his wave riding skills to the start line on Molokai in the team SUP category in his first attempt at crossing the channel.
"I'm stoked to be a part of this year's race. I've been paddling for a number of years and watched many friends train for the Molokai race, so you could say it's been on my bucket list for a while now," said Rob Machado.
"The whole idea of paddling from island to island is kind of intimidating, but exciting at the same time. I'm looking forward to having a really good time."
Top ranked professional surfer and current ASP world tour world title contender Joel "Parko" Parkinson is partnering with his trainer, paddleboarding veteran and fellow Australian Wes Berg in the two-man stock paddleboard category.
"The Molokai-2-Oahu race has been on my radar for a while now. Thanks to a break in our tour schedule, I will be able to compete in it for the first time and experience all that the race is known for," said Parkinson. " I've been training for this for quite some time and can't wait for race day."
Parkinson's teammate, Berg, is one of Australia's top Ironmen. Last year, he completed the M2O in a time of 4 hours, 59 minutes, 54 seconds to finish fourth in what was an Australian dominated leader board in the unlimited paddleboard race. Berg recently produced a documentary titled One Touch about his journey to Molokai. He defines M2O as the paddle race to end all paddle races. A trailer for the documentary is currently in cinematic release and can be viewed by clicking here.
Duke's Waikiki continues it's long-time support of the event by hosting athlete packet pick-up on July 26. The awards ceremony is held at the famous Outrigger Canoe Club. The race starts on Sunday, July 29 at 7:30 a.m. from the west shores of Molokai, finishing on the beaches of Oahu at Muanalua Bay.
For more info, visit: Molokai2Oahu.com