The 26-mile Pailolo Channel is one of the windiest but best courses in the state, according to its paddlers. Last Saturday, 70 teams assembled for the fifth annual six-person outrigger race from Maui to Molokai known as the Pailolo Challenge. Molokai’s Wa`akapaumua men completed the race in 4th place overall with a time of 2:59.48. The club also paddled a women’s crew, finishing 10th in the open women’s division.
Maui’s team Primo won the race with a time of 2:42.59. For Primo paddler Kekoa Cramer, the toughest part of the race is “leaving Molokai.”
Molokai’s Clint Labrador said the course held five to six foot swells on race day. “The finish was intense as we were battling with Hawaiian Canoe Club’s first crew from about One Alii Park for 3rd place,” he said. “They got us by a half canoe length at the very end, but we managed to give them a run for their money.”