Kanesa Duncan-Seraphin Claims 8th Molokai to Oahu World Paddleboard Championship
Xcel’s Kanesa Duncan-Seraphin won her eighth Molokai to Oahu World Paddleboard Championship title this past weekend, making the famed 32-mile crossing in 6 hours, 2 minutes, 45 seconds. Duncan-Seraphin’s time was less than 10 minutes off her own world record set in 2004, and over an hour ahead of the runner-up women’s paddleboard finisher, Joanna Bilancieri. Duncan-Seraphin has now won 8 of the 10 total Molokai to Oahu races she has completed.
“It was a fairly fast course, but it was technical,” Duncan-Seraphin said of the day’s race conditions. “The bumps were very close together, and you really had to stay focused.”
A disorganized swell plus rough wind and surface conditions tested competitors in both traditional paddleboard and stand-up paddleboard (SUP) divisions. Eight of the 150 athletes that began the crossing did not officially finish. The Ka’iwi Channel between Molokai and Oahu is regarded as one of the world’s most treacherous bodies of water. Over 2,300 feet at its deepest point, an average day is marked by strong tradewinds and open-ocean swells of 8 to 15 feet.
“Congratulations to everyone who finished the race,” Duncan-Seraphin told Xcel. “Once again, the Ka’iwi Channel proved to be a worthy challenge.” The Molokai to Oahu is considered the world championship of paddleboard racing. In the men’s traditional paddleboard division, Australia’s Jamie Mitchell claimed his 9th World Paddleboard title in 4:52:45. Like Duncan-Seraphin, his time was just outside of the world record that he set in 2007.
“The level of paddling and surfing open ocean waves has gotten so good in the past few years,” continued Duncan-Seraphin. “I’m proud to have represented Hawaii well, and to have paddled across the channel for the 10th time on my paddleboard.”