Kite Surfers Rip Waves and Ride Wind
Hawaiian Kite Crossing Team stops on Molokai on quest from Maui to Oahu.
Paul Franco shows off his skill as he flies 30 feet above Hotel Molokai. Franco and the rest of the Hawaiian Kite Crossing Team make history as the first kite boarders to surf the hundred mile distance from Maui to Oahu.
By Andres Madueno
Family, friends, spectators, and journalists alike kept their eyes to the sky as they waited for the first glimpse of a kite in the air. The first kite surfer from the Hawaiian Kite Crossing Team was seen in the late afternoon last Saturday, just off the beach at Hotel Molokai. Eight other surfers followed from the east to meet at the halfway point of their 100-mile adventure from Maui to Oahu.
This is the first year the event will stretch to Oahu.
“This is my fourth trip from Maui to Molokai. But it’s going to be the first time for all of us to go from Maui all the way to Oahu,” said Paul Franco, a team member since 2000. He moved all the way from Brazil to be able to kite surf here in beautiful Hawaii.
Along with Franco his sister Raquel Lima will be the first woman ever to complete the crossing from Maui to Oahu. “I’m stoked to be the first girl ever to do it,” Lima said. She has been kite boarding since 2002, and this is her second time crossing over to Molokai.
Teammates range from those who have been kite boarding for more than a decade to those who are considered novices.
“Our average speed was 13.4 mph. Our max speed was about 24 mph and we covered 60 miles in 4.2 hours,” said Curt Scott, who has been kite boarding since 2000.
Although kite boarding is not very popular on Molokai the conditions seem to be perfect for the sport according to enthusiasts. Lots of wind, nice waves, and a sparse lineup make for ideal conditions.
Good luck to the team on their continuing journey from Molokai to Oahu.