Moloka‘i Hoe 2016

What are the theories? Here's some food for thought. I was talking to someone yesterday about the potential for Hawai‘i to get back in the mix for bringing the Moloka‘i trophy back. My buddy told me "you should make a chart that shows the fastest Tahitian times vs the fastest Hawaiian time." Then we talked about some way to illustrate the gap between Tahiti and the second fastest region of Hawai‘i. So I did that too. Remember you have to log in to see the PDF.

Yes, I'm a dork. But I wanted to see what Hawai‘i has to do to become competitive again. Not insurmountable, but it's certainly a big task. One thing to note, this doesn't differentiate between crews, only the two nations discussed above. So Hawai‘i had several crews used in this sample whereas Tahiti had Shell and EDT. Take note of the second page. The "Average" line is the average margin of victory from all the years shown in the chart.

Molo Differences.pdf67.89 KB

Submitted by jc9_0 on Mon, 09/12/2016 - 7:00pm


Wind, tide, course (rum, north, or south), and time would be interesting to plot also. Though... now it's getting a little complex.

#1 Tue, 09/13/2016 - 11:14am

The gaps are pretty wide, but there was indication that there was gap shrinkage in the 2008 and 2009 races, However, the 2010 race cancelled out any possible trend in narrowing the gap. But Hawaii came back in 2011 to narrow the gap again. Then Tahiti rallied in 2012 to widen gap, which Hawaii responded in 2013 by shrinking the gap even further than it ever did. Unfortunately, Tahiti responded with wide gaps for the 2014 - 2015 races. This is not good, for there should be a consistent downward trend, each year by Hawaii, showing improvement (without deviation) of steady progress being made of shrinking the time gap between it and Tahiti.

I'm hoping that remedial action is being taken to shrink the gap to under 5 minutes or better yet win...

#2 Tue, 09/13/2016 - 3:02pm

For what it's worth. The two closest years were the result of a gathering of talent (and hard work) on Maui (Primo) and Hawai‘i island (livestrong). It seems redbull is the youngest and best funded team yet. Mayhap they'll be the difference maker. Till then we all watch and hold our collective breath.

#3 Wed, 09/14/2016 - 6:23am

A similar thread was brought up 5 or 6 years ago.

My comments are the same.

1) The Tahitians are going to get faster and faster too. So even if we get teams together in Hawaii, they need to have a large jump in improvement and not focus on the previous times of tahtiians to win, but a time even faster than that.

2) The approach and in some ways "culture" in Hawaii is the number one limiting factor. Copying Tahiti's approach to races and planning is key. They do not have 11 weeks of regattas/sprints that take away valuable training time. In fact recent world sprints shows it is not the driving factor. Their goal is number one win Hawaika Nui Goal Number 2 Win Molokai. They have developed more long distance/change races in Tahiti throughout the year that support those goals. Hawaii has not done that in a formal way.

3) As many have noted paddling is everything in Tahiti. Want the respect of your community and elders, money, jobs and girls in Tahiti, win padding races. In Hawaii sadly 6 newspaper articles a year. No true large scale corporate sponsorship. Red Bull might change the tide, but not enough to allow paddlers to not work.

4) If you took the 30 strongest 18-24 years olds in Hawaii and paid them to paddle and train full time, It may take 4 to 5 years to be close and you would need to adopt an aggressive/objective and in many ways cut throat approach to coaching and team development.

#4 Sun, 09/18/2016 - 9:17am

Does anyone wanna try and guess a top ten this year? The predictor game? Who's coming to town? Who's not? I've heard three Tahitian crews are coming, a few top Aussie crews, Herbert's on tour, and others are arriving...

#5 Tue, 10/04/2016 - 6:10pm

Shell va'a have 2 team.Edt 1 team

#6 Tue, 10/04/2016 - 8:29pm


#7 Wed, 10/05/2016 - 7:02pm

Prediction Time:

1Shell 1


3 Shell 2

4 Red Bull Vaa

5 Hui Nalu

6 Primo

7 Na Molokama

8 Outrigger

9 Lanikai

Of course probably totally wrong. Good Luck to all. Conditions forecasted to be bigger than last year.

#8 Thu, 10/06/2016 - 7:43am

Where's mellow Johnny ?

#9 Thu, 10/06/2016 - 8:18pm

Mellow Johnny's now sponsored by Red Bull Vaa

#10 Fri, 10/07/2016 - 5:45am

The steersman redbull is from tahiti(Léon tehaamatai).

#11 Fri, 10/07/2016 - 3:59pm

Agree- jc9_0 you're a dork.

But good on you to put the numbers out there. If you want to make a change with something, measure it.

#12 Fri, 10/07/2016 - 6:05pm

Two paddler from tahiti with team redbull.tehotu Dubois ans Léon tehamatai.tahiti again.good jod tahitian boy.

#13 Sat, 10/08/2016 - 7:22pm

updated, log in to see attachment

#14 Sun, 10/09/2016 - 2:33pm

I think having a strong competitive environment built around V1 is one of the biggest advantages Tahiti has.

Time on V1 > time on OC1 in terms of making you a better paddler. Not just in terms of exertion, but there's another dimension to a V1 in term of feel on the water that translate directly to a V6.

They have multiple Super Aito winners sitting on their 6-man crews...that's gonna be really tough to beat.

#15 Sun, 10/09/2016 - 2:56pm

thank you for the graph Jeremy

#16 Sun, 10/09/2016 - 3:03pm

Not sure what the average age of the team primo paddler was but it has to be close to high 30's. Amazing accomplishment for a group of guys working all week but paddling together for years.

#17 Mon, 10/10/2016 - 9:57am

Thank you for this interesting graphic. It pretty well sums up the futility of chasing down the Tahitians and how little, if any, progress has been made in doing so. Something has to change or we'll permanently personify insanity.........doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

#18 Mon, 10/10/2016 - 10:33am

Makes you wonder how they'd do against each other in unlimited canoes

#19 Wed, 10/12/2016 - 5:38am

Hui Nalu Junior's 19th place was amazing. This could be the future but in reality, it won't be. Once the kids graduate, they go off to the mainland for college. If they stay on island, they can't paddle with the same crew because of the rules for juniors and junior crews. I think the rules need to be opened up for juniors a little bit. They should be able to paddle with open crews. We had a good 16-year old that was in our open crew but missed out on Molokai experience because of the rules. The rules are lose-lose. Also, I think juniors should be able to have open steersman for safety if nothing else.

#20 Thu, 10/13/2016 - 9:54am

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