Congratulations on your Kaiwi Solo Molokai World Championship How was it?
We were blessed with great conditions for the Molokai Solo. Strong east winds made for a quick straight shot race.
How did you feel going into the race?
I felt good going into the race. After the OluKai race the weekend before, I took a few days off of work and cut a lot of volume from my training sessions to recover and be prepared for the channel.
What were the conditions like out in the channel?
The conditions were ideal for a fun crossing. The wind was strong the entire race, and the tide was with us for the first two hours, which made it a race to potluck before the current could change directions.
What moment stands out the most?
The moment that stands out the most is when Kevin and I converged at China Walls. I had been in very similar circumstances in past crossings and ended up getting passed. In order to avoid that happening again, I did a lot more psychological preparation to help me stay positive and break through any mental barriers if it came down to a race to the finish. I will always remember sprinting through that last section and looking back before the bridge and realizing that winning could become a reality.
How did you prepare for the race?
I made a list of goals in the beginning of the year that I thought at the time would give me a chance at being competitive throughout the season. My goals included changing my diet, executing a volume and intensity packed training program, racing a lot, and strengthening my mind-set. I am also fortunate enough to race the top equipment, and the Kai Wa’a Ares canoe has made racing and training so much fun. I think Kai really has something special with the Ares, it is an amazing surfing boat but also moves in the flat.
Is there a race on your bucket list, or an event you’re looking forward to competing in?
I am looking forward to racing at the first World Distance race in Tahiti. It is something new, so I think it will be interesting to see how the event runs.
Tell us about the people and businesses supporting you in this race.
There have been so many people that have supported me throughout my journey, starting with my family who has always been my rock throughout my sprint kayak racing career and OC1 endeavors. Kai Bartlett got me started on this journey, and I am so fortunate to have such a great mentor and friend. The Foti brothers and the Lanikai upper men’s program took me under their wing when I was 15 years old and taught me how to paddle, but most importantly how to race hard. Like the proverb ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’ I believe our paddling community has made me the paddler I am today. I am so grateful to be able to use the best paddling equipment in the world, from my Kai Waa Ares to Makana Alii paddles, Oiwi Ocean Gear and Maui Jim sunglasses. Thank you all for the support!