Photo: Kenny Kaneko

Photo: Kenny Kaneko

This year’s Molokai2Oahu (M2O) race was one for the Aussies as they made a clean sweep through the Ka’iwi Channel, beating out local favorites and causing upsets. Travis Grant (unlimited) and Terrene Black (unlimited) took the solo SUP victories, with Jordan Mercer (unlimited) and Brad Gaul (unlimited) taking home titles for the solo Prone division, in the first M2O dominated by Australians.

Conditions were less than ideal at last weekend’s 17th annual M2O, making a tough race even tougher. The morning’s marginal winds never picked up and bumps were short, hardly giving the push competitors would expect out of the Ka’iwi. Travis Grant and Scott Gamble took the typical northern line, which proved to be the winning route, as two-time champ Connor Baxter was left on the longer southern line, battling it out with arch rival Kai Lenny. Pre-race favorite and this year’s M2O outrigger champ, Danny Ching, took a direct route, maintaining his placing and contention for the title, before a nagging shoulder injury forced him to pull out from the race.

Grant crossed the Hawaii Kai finish with a time of 4:50:17, ten minutes ahead of Gamble, and 11 minutes ahead of previous champ, Baxter, who edged out Lenny by five minutes. Travis Baptiste also had an impressive finish as the only American to take home a title, winning the stock division and finishing 7th overall ahead of many unlimited racers.

On the ladies’ side, Terrene Black took home her first M2O title with a big victory over the “Downwind Queen,” and pre-race favorite, Andrea Moller. After a strong third place finish at last year’s M2O, and 2012 champ Talia Gangini Decoite out of the competition, Black had her eye on Moller. With only a quick five miles left in the 32-mile crossing, the Aussie kicked it into gear, powering past local favorites Jenny Kalmbach and Moller. Black crossed the line over five minutes ahead of second place finisher, Kalmbach, with Sonni Honscheid and Moller finishing in third and fourth.

The green and gold victories crossed over to the prone race, with Brad Gaul and Jordan Mercer taking home titles ahead of stacked fields that included Cam Cole (Men’s second place) and Matt Poole (Men’s third place), as well as Leane Darling (Women’s second place) and Candice Appleby (Women’s third place). —SC

Click here for Solo SUP results.
Click here for Solo Prone results.
Click here for Team SUP results.
Click here for Team Prone results.

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