Who is the best steersman of all time ?

Im going with my heros Jim and John Foti . Those two have switched off steers duties on there way to a resume not many can touch .Having those guys is a great asset for Lanikai and Kailua .Jim and Jon should be first vote Hall of Famers and they probably played a major role in the development of Karel Jr as a teenager .Ultimately Karel wiil go down as the best of all time although Tahiti might beg to differ ? Lewis Laughlin Is another that I would speak of in that context . Show some love for your all time seat six !!!!

Submitted by paddlepimp on Tue, 05/29/2007 - 10:25am

Uncle Nappy....Nuff Said

#1 Tue, 05/29/2007 - 10:47am

I would have to put Nainoa Thompson, into the mix, JIM and JON have won Molokai and I respect them very much, but to watch Uncle Nainoa steer is a work of art.

Paddle with Strength, PONO and ALOHA

#2 Tue, 05/29/2007 - 11:35am

Kisi Haine!!! She is truly amazing and no doubt one of the reasons that OCC women have been in the top 5 every year in the channel.

#3 Tue, 05/29/2007 - 2:37pm

How about: Tom Conner who maybe has the most Molokai wins, Kala Kukea, or Nappy,

#4 Tue, 05/29/2007 - 2:51pm

Mindy Clark is my pick. Mindy has steered Offshore Canoe Club to 10 wins in the Molokai Channel, more than anyone else, man or woman. She not only has the physical steering skills needed to get the job done, but anyone who has paddled in a canoe captained by her should be able to attest to the awesome way that she has about her... She motivates her crews and pushes in a way that you want to get things done for her.

On top of all that, she is humble in her accomplishments and most willing to teach others what she knows.

#5 Tue, 05/29/2007 - 3:28pm

There's an article about Tom Connor in Rambo's Locker, among many other informative pieces. He must have been the oldest victorious Molo steersman when he steered Fa'a'a (To The Top) those times. Lewis Laughlin was also on those crews, I think. The '94 crew set a then course record, which remains one of the fastest times evah.

#6 Tue, 05/29/2007 - 4:18pm

Jr. for the guys, Mindy Clark for the girls.

#7 Tue, 05/29/2007 - 8:58pm

What do you mean ? Most successful in Molokai Hoe, most experienced, best technique, best water knowledge, best all around, etc.etc.

There are a lot of paddlers that are highly respected and successful, some also as steersmen.
Actually everybody that does paddle belongs to this group.

There is no such thing as "best of all times".

#8 Tue, 05/29/2007 - 11:24pm

That sound like the lamest" we all win" answer of all time .Well , why dont we just say no winners anymore we all win .No , there are "all time greats" and only if you just started paddling you would come up with the "we all win" and we are all equal in the water BS . AHKAMON !!!!! Go out on a limb and state your case , none of this" we all are the best" talk give someone some props eckhart !Equal on land yes on the water no ......

#9 Wed, 05/30/2007 - 12:20pm

Scotty "Duke" Freitas.

#10 Wed, 05/30/2007 - 2:45pm

Kimo Makua, Alika Apo, Nicky Beck, Sword Murakami, Uncle Blue, Dukie Kuahulu, Nappy. In their day, these guys never had the advantages we have today with the canoes we race and the technical inovations (weather bouys and meteorologist). These guys could read the ocean and knew how to get the most out of their crews. Unfortunately most of you never had the opportunity to paddle with or against these guys let alone know who they were. They were all outstanding watermen first, steersman second but most of all they shared their love for our sport with several generations of paddlers.

#11 Wed, 05/30/2007 - 6:51pm

Leighton Look ...of course I'm biased :-P

#12 Wed, 05/30/2007 - 6:57pm


Again I say Jr. he reads the swell better than anyone Period, and Mindy Clark as well (Offshore Cali, 10 wins in Molokai).

#13 Wed, 05/30/2007 - 8:47pm

All right, PP,

it's Tommy Connors. Without any doubt or question. :)!

#14 Wed, 05/30/2007 - 11:43pm

Kisi Haines and Noe Sawyer for the gals.

#15 Thu, 05/31/2007 - 4:01pm

News from the Hamilton Island regatta in Australia - Kai Bartlett won the 16km OC1 race convincingly followed by Karel, then Greg Long of Australia. The race was 8km into 20 knots of wind then surfing back with it to the finish.

Also trying to track down Alfred VG just to say a big thanks for your hospitality on Molokai. My wife and I really appreciated it. If you ever come down under drop me a line. By the way, that solo race was a killer!


Adrian Hybner

#16 Thu, 05/31/2007 - 9:06pm

I vote for Todd Bradley. He's the best there ever was. EVER!

#17 Sun, 07/08/2007 - 10:00am

How come no one said Todd Bradley? He even wrote a book how to steer...

#18 Sat, 07/07/2007 - 6:57pm

'cause he's now the greatest SUP surfer of all time...

#19 Sat, 07/07/2007 - 10:04pm

So he thinks... Hee hee!

#20 Sun, 07/08/2007 - 9:32am

Jim's Top Five Molos History
1. Tommy Connor
2. Nappy
3.Jim Foti
5.Scotty "Duke" Freitas

#21 Sun, 07/08/2007 - 1:15pm

Mindy Clark (Offshore) for women

#22 Sun, 07/08/2007 - 3:55pm

how bout bruce ayau? bruddah ispretty good i think

#23 Sun, 07/08/2007 - 5:20pm

Dat wuz jus' Jim's top five...

#24 Sun, 07/08/2007 - 8:37pm

Get Scotty "Duke" Freitas off your list!

#25 Tue, 09/11/2007 - 4:37pm

Master Steersman Nainoa Thompson

#26 Tue, 09/11/2007 - 8:11pm

Edward John Smith, 1907, Captain of the RMS Titanic

#27 Tue, 09/11/2007 - 9:43pm

One thing I like is great performance over time. That's why I wouldn't rank a young steersman as high as someone who has done it successfully for 40 - 50 years. That's hard to beat.

Best actively competing steersmen: Jim Foti.
Best overall record: Tommy Connors.

#28 Wed, 09/12/2007 - 10:14am

Jr will go down as the best steersman and paddler of all time.

#29 Wed, 09/12/2007 - 2:27pm

Jr. will go down as one of the best if not the best steersman of all time yes, one of the best paddlers though, no. I think there are a lot better paddlers out there. Jr. just owns everyone and there mom in the surf. Flat water there are a bunch of guys who can and do beat him.

#30 Wed, 09/12/2007 - 3:25pm

jr won the solo when he was 18 years old and then won it another 5 times after that with all the competition there. point taken, he is unreal in the surf but i dont completely rule him out in the flats - he's won before and is generally in the top bunch.
i would be interested to hear who you think is one of the best paddlers of all time? im having trouble thinking of someone who has the track record jr does but i would genuinely love to learn more and hear other opinions.....

#31 Wed, 09/12/2007 - 3:39pm

How many times has Jr. steered a crew to a Molokai hoe victory?

#32 Wed, 09/12/2007 - 3:59pm

not too sure on that one. Is it three times?

#33 Wed, 09/12/2007 - 4:03pm

At least two... Don´t think he steered the 2000 crew but I dont know for certain. If so Jim Foti plus Jr. would make for the top 6 tandom of all times.

#34 Wed, 09/12/2007 - 4:35pm

Kai Bartlett is the best all-around paddler of the oc-1 era. Surf, flats, and pure six-man power,Kai has it all. At Lanikai back in the day, we'd have a "tractor pull", one paddler plus one non-paddling steersman in the six. Usually, a huge guy would win, one of the 6'6" 225 lb. types. Kai's novice B year, he outpowered all the big boys, incredible power for an average size guy.

#35 Wed, 09/12/2007 - 4:38pm

Ray Shipman... most of you might not know who he is but hes been around for longer than Ive been alive and has crossed the molokai channel at least 25 times solo and an equal number times steering first and second crews for lanakila california... a true legend in the sport!!

#36 Wed, 09/12/2007 - 5:13pm

Jr. won as steersman in 2001 and 2003. 2000, he steered some for Jim, I think.

#37 Wed, 09/12/2007 - 6:03pm

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