Kai Bartlett set a new bar on the Elite SUP course at the third annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a standup paddle race with a time of 49:02 while Livio Menela finished second at 49:19 and Ekolu Kalama was third at 51:39 in the men’s division.
Defending champion Andrea Moller of Brazil took advantage of the fast conditions also finishing this year’s elite downwind race on Maui’s classic 8-mile Maliko run in record time winning the women division.
This year’s SUP race, that ended at the Lae “Ula O Kai Canoe Club at Kanaha Beach Park, nearly doubled in size with over 200 paddlers and hundreds of spectators, friends, and family members. The men’s and women’s elite finalist shared a gender equal prize purse of $7,500.
Also in Hawaii, in one of the most competitive finishes ever, Australian Travis Grant edged out Danny Ching in a hotly contested final lap to with the 2011 Gerry Lopez Rainbow Sandals Battle of the Paddle, Hawaii.
On the women side, Candice Appleby beat Jenny Kalmbach, Rachel Bruntsch and Morgan Hoesterey to capture her second Battle of the Paddle, Hawaii and her third title in two years.
The elite course earned the unofficial title of being the most brutal in the four-year history of the Battle of the Paddle. It traversed through flat water, took paddlers in and out of the surf around a maze of buoys, with beach runs thrown in between laps.
Check out SUP Magazine for a full recap of the weekend action in Hawaii.