How Valid is the title 'WORLD CHAMPION'?

First off-
Nothing personal against Jr. This post is not intended to insult or undermine his (many) accomplishments in any way, but rather to start a dialogue for ideas on how the system could be more accurate, not saying that it isn't fine the way it is now.

The Molo Solo has long been billed as the 'World Championship' of OC1 racing. But think about it: It is one race on a certain platform that favors certain aptitudes of OC1 paddling and the local paddlers. You can rebut this statement all you want, but that is not the purpose of the forum, the purpose is for ideas to change this format, if it even needs to be changed.

Think about it: Jr. has won 7 YEARS. He is a truly remarkable OC1 paddler, probably the greatest in it's short history, not to mention with his OC6 steering (and paddling) prowess, arguably the best OC paddler in the world. But all the years he has won the Molo Solo are in HIS conditions: the Surf. Jr. is the best OC1 surfer in the world, hands down. You could probably start him 10 minutes behind everyone else in the Molo Solo and he'd still win. But flat water? Come on, Kai, Danny, Greg Long, Maui, Manny, all these guys can pretty consistently beat him, not to mention a probable long list of Tahitian, Australian, and other great flatwater paddlers us here in our 'Hawaii is King' mindset never even heard of. Upwind? The list grows even larger. Look at last year's Molo Solo. So, with Karel winning a race catered to his style, does it really validate the title 'OC1 World Champion'? What if the so-called 'World Championship' race was held in SoCal. We all know who would win, would Danny be World Champion then? What about a mixed conditions race in Australia, and Greg Long won? Yeah, go ahead, bring up Kai and Karel's 1-2 finish at Hamilton last year, again, i'm not looking for a rebuttal, just trying to evoke some thought. Basically, if the race format was anything other than what it is, the race would be more 'up-for-grabs', agreed?

What about the fact that the race is just that: ONE RACE. People get sick, bugs, have half-assed races, make uncharacteristic mistakes, and other things may come up.

I've ran through all the typical logistic reasons: Hawaii is the OC1 epicenter; all the top OC1 paddlers are (arguably) from Hawaii, so it should be in Hawaii; travel would make it difficult to do an official trans-pacific race series; and so on and so forth.

Should the format be re-vamped? Should it be left alone? What are possible alternatives? What could solicitation for more financial backing provide? Maybe a 3-race series in each of the aforementioned locations, with point totals a la surfing's WCT? With financial backing, each race could have purses like Pa`a Hawaii's Molo Solo and make travelling for the paddlers worth the trip, not to mention a more complete format for determining the World Champion.

Too much money/logistics? How bout instead of Molokai-Oahu, how bout a 3-day race around Oahu? The first day could be an upwind course, maybe along Northeast Oahu. The second day, flatwater along leeward oahu. The last Day, surfing run like Makai Pier to Sand Island. Oahu paddlers would still have the advantage of local knowledge, but it would be a start. It could basically be an expanded version of Pa`a's Koa Nui.

I apologize, I can see this being a divisive and unpopular thread, but it is what it is.


Submitted by hiwahiwa on Wed, 05/07/2008 - 1:00pm

Australia decided to hold a "World Sprint Titles" some years ago but either forgot to invite the rest of the world or no one paid any attention. Anyway, very few international paddlers attended.

We've got a club near here where one lady only had one other competitor in her age division. She won and now considers herself a "world champion" - has even been called such in the local newspaper! What a joke!

Concentrate on making it a world sport before worrying about "world championships".

#1 Wed, 05/07/2008 - 1:17pm

How about Inter-Island run, Hawaii to Molokai to Oahu or Molokai to Oahu to Kauai.

#2 Wed, 05/07/2008 - 1:38pm

Still a surfing run, but a good idea for a race no less, a la Super Aito. Not too sure about racing the Alenuihaha, that's a pretty treacherous channel, not to mention a huge distance, even at it's closest point-to-point. I also belive Oahu-Kauai is 70+/- miles. A couple friends and I tossed around the idea of suggesting that Paa and MCKC could co-host a weekend race:

Saturday: Maui to Molokai
Sunday: Molokai to Oahu

Pretty brutal, but what better way to crown a champ then by testing his endurance over two races?

or even 3 days!

Friday: Keanae to Napili (38 miles)
Saturday: Napili to Kaunakakai (26 miles)
Sunday: Kaluakoi to Hawaii Kai (32 miles)

Killer race, but if you want to truly be recognized as the best...You could even do Keanae-Napili-Kaunakakai one weekend, Molokai the following, and either point total for places or cumulative times. If the money's there, why not?

#3 Wed, 05/07/2008 - 1:50pm

hmm, interesting topic. World Sprints in Australia? IVF? THat's tricky too, but those are V1 sprints, and run to include as much nations as possible. It's somewhere different every two years also. I see your point though Capnron. I can answer no further without getting in too deep.

#4 Wed, 05/07/2008 - 2:39pm

Actually at the World sprints in Townsville it was the Aussies that didn't bother to turn up in their own back yard ! .. the IVF may be the world peak body, but no one can ever accuse them of being proactive in promoting the sport ! ......The Harv

#5 Wed, 05/07/2008 - 3:04pm

how about a culmination of points based on the the premier races in Australia, California, Hawai'i, and Tahiti?

#6 Wed, 05/07/2008 - 4:36pm

I think does a world surfski ranking based on the top races around the world. Makes sense if the top paddlers were willing to travel on a circuit of races.

#7 Wed, 05/07/2008 - 5:08pm

As we've seen the globalization increasing in the Va'a world mostly in the last 2 years with the top Tahitians competing in Hawaii and vice-versa, I reckon that it's only a matter of time for the same process to happen with V1s and OC1s.

Even tough Tahitians claim that paddling with an OC1 it's like 'riding a bicycle with wheels', I'm sure in the near future we'll be seeing paddlers like George Crosteadt, Karyl Maoni, Taaroa Dubois, Lewis Laughlin, and all the top Tahitian paddlers paddling OC1s in the Kaiwi channel as well as Karel Tresnak Jr, Kai, Danny, etc. paddling V1s at the Super Aito.

And it'll also be a matter of time for large corporations to realize that this sport it's extremely markeatable, and associate their brands with the sport. Examples: Gatorade, Red Bull, Kellog's. The media will cover the sport, a World Circuit will be created, and a true professionalism will be seen. The industry will grow with DVDs being made, equipment being sold on online shops, etc.

Let's make it faster!
Aloha & Mauruuru

#8 Wed, 05/07/2008 - 5:26pm

What if all of the canoe builders, paddle makers, and clothing brands were committed to supporting one association. That association could easily raise $50,000 from those who directly benefit from the growth of outrigger canoeing. And with that $50,000 in seed money, the association could find a large title sponsor from outside the canoeing world (Expedia or something similiar) to match the $50,000. And with $100,000 in capital the association holds a five race series to determine the "OC-1 World Champion." The first race could be in April on Kaua'i (which would be named after a title sponsor, maybe like the Kialoa Outrigger Connection Kaua'i Challenge", the second on O'ahu in May (Kai Wa'a Kiakaha O'ahu Championship), the third on Maui in June, the 4th on the Big Island in July and the last one would be Maui to Moloka'i, and Moloka'i to O'ahu in two days.
From these 5 races a ranking system could be developed, with something like the top ten finishers over the five race series getting a payout. If the pot were big enough it would encourage something like the top 20 paddlers in the U.S. (19 Hawai'i paddlers and one from California) to do the series. It would also make the season a whole lot more exciting if there were five races where all of the top guys raced each other in somewhat of peak form, instead of just one race a year that means anything.
I know that this would make it near impossible for any international competitors to enter all 5 races, and therefore would take away from the "World Championship" title. But, maybe the Hawai'i format would only be the beginning. Maybe even after like two years of it, there would be enough interest and enough buzz to have it be something like one race in Australia, one in New Zealand, one in Tahiti, one in California, and the culminating race still be Maui to Moloka'i, and Moloka'i to O'ahu. But still spread out over a period of 5 months.
Maybe this idea, sucks, but I think there has to be something along those lines to generate interest. We have one big OC-1 race a year. It's kind of hard to stay interested for a whole season when a lot of the top guys are only looking at the one race.

As far as rudderless and OC-1s.... Neither Hawai'i nor Tahiti will ever fully convert to a similiar canoe, but both should start supporting the opposing types of canoe. So there should be two distinct seasons. One for OC-1s, and one for V-1s. Both disciplines could have the same 5 race format for it's season. And i'm not saying to get rid of the rest of the races either. Every island has it's own unique association, and all of those should stay and continue as they are. And each islands association should play a huge role in hosting it's islands large race, so that they are actually the ones running it, and it only comes under the governing state-wide association.

anyways... probably just a dream.

#9 Wed, 05/07/2008 - 6:08pm

Luke it's a fantastic dream, and if enough people want it to happen and the right person follows through with it, no reason why it should not become reality. Certainly more feasible than entry into the Olympics.

This is a huge task and it would mean everyone pulling together towards the main goal and not sweating the small stuff. If something like this is not on the agenda soon, we risk loosing the limelight to Surf ski, which is fine and i have no problem with SS, but we need our own identity.

Could PA'A be a vehicle to launch this?


#10 Wed, 05/07/2008 - 7:02pm

Luke - good post... I think you get to the heart of the matter, and that is that Hawaii MUST get more organised, and firstly bring all the islands under one umbrella organisation - I believe that might be the intention behind PAA, an association by paddlers for paddlers. Then, you are in a much better position to leverage the sport for bigger sponsorship, with which you can organise an integrated, shared calendar across all islands - with each one having a BIG EVENT to help promote and develop the sport on each island. Tahiti already does this to great effect.
Now, with regard to the so called Molokai World Championship, I believe I have expressed an opinion about this before - but I think really the name is just good marketing for the event. So I think Hiwahiwa makes a good point about this.
As Luke says, Hawaiians and Tahitians will never abandon their canoes (think about loss of revenue for shapers whose designs suddenly became redundant etc), but I definately think there could be some crossover to establish an Outrigger Canoe Champion - or even a Triple Crown, such as Molokai, Hammo, and a race in Tahiti or NZ (such as King of the Harbour). But until people involved with the sport in Hawaii are all moving in the same direction, caoeing will never attract to corporate sponsorship dollars needed to promote itself successfully, and this issue will continue to be moot.

#11 Wed, 05/07/2008 - 7:49pm

Great idea luke. Tried to edit and erased most of my post damn, cant remember. Anyway, maybe its not the money its just the prestege and tradition of it being in hawaii. And there is world champions in different countries and olympic champs. Pistons didnt play Argentina, so maybe both have earned the right to call themselves world champs. right now oc1 paddling champs should be the Molo Solo, not because of the money, but because of the prestge of it being in the Molokai Channel. If california takes over, only time will tell.

#12 Wed, 05/07/2008 - 9:22pm

Thanks guys, great posts. I hope guys like Manny K and the different people that contribute to running the different associations get a chance to read these. I especially like Luke's ideas, that exactly (though not limited to) the kind of dialogue I was hoping to start up. Sounds like we need to get on one page with each other. If we could get financial backing along the lines of what Luke outlined, we could be headed in a good direction. What could happen is while all the international guys are here for the Molokai Hoe, maybe a bunch of the guys spearheading the different efforts around the Pacific could get together and have a sit-down to see if there is a way to get something like this going, like in the movie 'Analyze This' with all the different mobs.
And yes, Westside, I am not arguing that the Molo Solo is what it is right now, I'm just trying to encourage discussion to see if it can be made more non-partial. Yes, you're right that you never know the Kaiwi's conditions til race day and that it's up for grabs, but come on, even you must concede that 9 days out of 10 Molokai-Oahu is essentially a surfing run. Kai even conceded in the newspaper following Jr's and Al's win in the Kaiwi Relay that Karel probably could've won the race by himself. Does that sound like a non-partial race, or one person really excelling (on a phenomenal level, given) in one condition? I agree that OC1 racing, like any sport, needs a champion, that is, after all the result of a sport and competition, and yes, again, right now that is the Molo Solo.
You also say that the Solo is the race to win for OC1's. Here's an example: Let's say a wealthy business owner in Southern California decides to put up a $30,000 purse for a Catalina OC1 race. This race now attracts better competition than the Molo Solo. Does this race, now the 'race to win for OC1's', become the world championship?

And with regards to your reference of American Sports Champions calling themselves World Champions: The Miami Heat might've been the 2006 NBA 'World Champions', but it was SPAIN who beat GREECE to win the FIBA World Championship. USA was third. And when the Pistons won the NBA title in '04? ARGENTINA won the Olympic title. Boston Red Sox, MLB World Champions? Any appreciator of baseball knows USA is unfortunately not the strongest baseball playing country. Just one point to look at.

One more thing: when I was a kid, I remember reading about this surf-ski endurance race that was over a month long, something like 740 miles (20-40 everyday) with one day's rest every six or so, winner decided by cumulative times. Greg Barton won by 1 1/2 hours in front of second place. Can you guess who was second? 9-time Molokai winner Dean Gardiner. There was one stage that was downwind that Dean made something like over half an hour of his time back. Can you see the point? Not being a jerk, just trying to encourage growth and development.

#13 Wed, 05/07/2008 - 9:27pm

I agree with you in my heart about the tradition and prestige of the Molokai race. I'm half hawaiian, grew up in a paddling family, my grandfather won the Molokai Race in an OC6 8 times, so personally..I'm sold. Completely buying what you're selling. Despite what I say, I am 'hawaii-centric'. But think about it: Why would you wanna call a race something it's not? I'll admit, it's not easy for even myself to wrap noodle around this, but paddling is bigger than Hawaii. The best all-around OC1 paddler in the world will not necessarily win the Molo Solo. And It's not just about the money. Money is just a tool. Pro B-Ballers make 6-7 figures, but don't you think they also absolutely love the sport?

#14 Wed, 05/07/2008 - 9:52pm

This topic has bigger ramifications than just OC1 paddling. Under a unified Hawaii association, for example, our schedule and season could be changed or set differently to accomadate OC6 paddling, which also could ultimately improve our OC6 training and get our local clubs back on track for the Molokai Hoe! There are many positive benefits of what could happen. One example is shorten the one-man season, start beginning January and Finish all racing by mid-april, move up the regatta season two or three weeks, move up states by a month, and have more distance time to train for the Molokai Hoe. Everything could be done more effectively.

#15 Wed, 05/07/2008 - 9:59pm

shorten 1 man season?

#16 Wed, 05/07/2008 - 11:00pm

What about this?

Even though this event is about as international as it gets for oc-1 racing, what if we simply took away the word "World" from the title and called it "The Solo" or "The Moloka'i Solo" - which is how we refer to this race anyway when talking amongst ourselves.

Similar to "The Boston Marathon", "Tour de France", or even "The Olympics", the prestige and the legitimacy is still there for the race without any mention of the word "World" in the title.

And if we wanted to become even more technical about the title, then we could also delete the word "championships" since that suggests some kind of qualification in order to participate - unless we actually do end up having some qualifying races for it.

The winner would simply be called "The Moloka'i Solo Champion" or "His Excellency!" Which ever you'd prefer.

#17 Wed, 05/07/2008 - 11:36pm

Agree w/ Peter. Anyone can call their event the "World Championship". If you leave those words out, does it really detract from the event itself? Most people, as peter noted, don't refer to Molos as the world championship anyway, but most paddlers in the world would agree that it's the biggest race for oc1s. What's in a name?

#18 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 6:13am

Or, we could just get all crazy and call every race the World Championship, just to mess w/ the people who want some unified title from an int'l umbrella organization.

#19 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 6:16am

I know that we (oc paddlers) don't like to follow someone else, but it seems to me that the surfskiers in South Africa and Oz really have a together series and ranking system. Some of their races pull 400-500 paddlers. No need to reinvent the wheel. Look at what they are doing, take what we feel are the good points, drop what we feel doesn't work or apply to us.
And if we're talking "world Championships", places like S. Africa, and Oz have to be included with Hawaii and Tahiti. The water may not be as warm, but check out the downwind run courses they paddle in S. Africa. Some totally wild conditions that rival anywhere.
Nice to see a post stay on topic and stay serious (not that there's anything wrong with our usual posts).

#20 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 6:30am

I can only speak for myself, but it seems that most cali paddlers view Hawaii as the Meca of paddling. Not so sure the Tahitians see it that way. I think that all locales have to take a back seat to the paddler and the paddler has to prove him/herself as the best at each location. In other words, the places have to be of equal value in the "points" system, and its the paddler with the most points who becomes "World Champion".

#21 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 6:31am

I agree with alot of what Luke said.

I don't like a point system.

The Molokai is the championship-The Holy Grail-Come and win it if you can. If you can't outsurf Jr. Learn to outsurf Jr.

One place one day it is all on the line. The other races are nice but this is it.

A point system favors those who can travel and have the time.

In terms of World stage. Hawaii, California, and maybe Australia right now are the only places that have the boats available for the top racers. When I say boats I mean their boats. Right now Surf Ski racers are going nuts trying to get their skis to Molokai

Luke is right about money driving it. You offer $75,000 purse for 20 mile race in North Carolina Coast and it will be on. In fact if that were the case I bet Jr would design a boat with his father for the flater conditions.

The race schedules need to be cleaned up and changed. In many cases races dropped or eliminated.

#22 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 7:10am

Well Kona J

"If you can't outsurf Jr. Learn to outsurf Jr... A point system favors those who can travel and have the time." I have to travel to Hawaii to learn how to surf and I got my Ass handed to me in a lot of races this season.

Well Ill let you in on a little secret. One race in Hawaii only favors you Hawaiians. We have to do the traveling to come and race you. We want something that wont be putting all the balls on your side of the court. Paddling has more aspects than just surfing, given it is the best part, you have to train hard to be fast and a WORLD Championship should show all aspects of the Sport, not just I can outsurf you so I'll see you at the finish.

Life is simple, Eat, Sleep, Paddle!!!

#23 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 9:24am

How about a system similar to golf? I'm not a golfer so I don't know how it actually works, but as a casual observer of golf, I understand that there are a ton of tournement, but only 4 or 5 really important ones with the "Masters" being the pinnicle of golfing events. No one is crowned world champion, but the one winning the most prestigious tournements is acknowledged as the best.
So maybe there could be a Race in Hawaii, CA, Tahititi, Australia, S. Africa and ????. The paddler winning the most of these events would be the unspoken king of the ocean.

The major benefit to this arrangement is that if no paddler is actually crowned Champion, we can discuss it endlessly here in the forums. That way I could spend my days arguing the relative strengths and weaknesses of Kai vs jr and never actually get any thing done here a work.

#24 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 9:43am

I love this dialog. Who knows where this is going? I think all the ideas are great. It is starting to sound like an Olympic event. Has any one thought about using standardized equipment. I have always felt that to find out who the best paddler is they should all use the same canoe. I know this is radical thinking but it would eliminate the controversy about is it the equipment or the person. I want to throw that out there. Call me crazy. Just a thought.

#25 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 9:44am

Your kidding right, well since you seem to have just started posting on this sight we'll give you a break because it is almost absolute never ever in a million years with all the different conditions that you can ever race in going to be the Paddler, Its always the boat. I mean there are so many different aspects to the boat design that could affect a persons speed way more so than if he, or she, goes out and paddles more than his, or her, competition. Training has nothing to do with speed, I mean its the same with running the reason the best runners in the world are the best is because the have better shoes and better sponsors.

Train more than your competition and get more race experience and race knowledge and have a Base level that is so far off the scales that it doesn't matter even if your competition has a motor on his boat and your ama snaps and fills up with water and you lose your paddle to the twenty- five foot Great White chasing you. You still beat the second place guy by so much that your boat is on your car with your girl friend driving you home because your drunk from the twelve pack that you pounded down with your six course meal.

You will have no weaknesses if your strengths over power them by so much.

Life is simple, Eat, Sleep, Paddle

#26 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 10:09am

As far as I'm concerned nobody can be called world champion if the top Tahitians are not racing, no matter what kind of canoe is being used.

I agree with pkonohia when he suggests that maybe the championship should take off the word 'World'. But that would only maintain the status quo of a sport with big cultural differences that doesn't even have a global name (Va'a, or Wa'a, or Waka Ama, or OC).

On the other hand, the process of globalization is only gonna increase, no matter if we want it or not. Therefore, the sport will really grow and professionalism will take place once a world circuit will be created attracting investments, media and public.

In my opinion, if there's one association that should be organising and promoting the sport on a global basis it should be the IVF. It'd be a matter of expanding their role to more races than just the World Sprints every two years, and creating a world circuit with V6 + V1 races in Tahiti and New Zealand, and OC6 + OC1 races in Hawaii, California, Brazil and Australia. Therefore it'd be easier to capture investments.

Aloha & Iaorana

#27 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 10:23am

My fear would be that we fall into a system that is like surfing. Is Kelly Slater the best surfer? Or the best Shortboard surfer? If surfing was based upon the entire spectrum of conditions and equipment who'd be the best? Outrigger is a small enough sport that you could include all types of equipment and conditions....and thus determine who is truly the Champion of paddling. But then when I actually say it, I think to myself: 'do I even care whose the all around best paddler?'
I think it was Tom Morey who once answered the question "who is the best surfer in the world?". He said "the one having the most fun":-)

#28 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 11:24am

Aquafiend brings up a good point. Right now we are a very small, tight community. Bring in large sums of money and we gain in numbers, gain in exposure, but maybe lose some of the ohana of the sport.
There's definately something cool about being part of a niche sport. Maybe we should just enjoy what we have. If paddling explodes in popularity, we'll be the ones saying, "I paddled back when..."

#29 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 11:47am

i agree with aquafiend and jibofo 95% of us on this forum will not be the best in the world ever (except for luke and kelly and manny). when paddling gets huge how are we supposed to compete? instead of paddlers we will just be fans watching at home on espn. at least now we have a shot at winning a small kanaka ikaika race here and there (short course probably lol). but i would love to see the sport grow and be huge. all it takes is unification but its easier said than done.

#30 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 12:03pm

Professional surfers have:

WCT = World Circuit tour
WQS = World Qualifying tour

Paddlers could do something very similar. Almost like running the short course and Long course! Basically even if the sport grows, it doesn't mean that we don't give the little guys a shot at trying and getting into the 'CT!! Everybody can try and be like LUKE, KELLY, and MANNY!!

#31 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 12:56pm

I am not sure how difficult it would be to unify the Hawaiian islands... King Kamehameha did it - probably you will have to push a few overly officious administrators off a nearby cliff, but hey that's a small price to pay to end up with a much more practical marketable paddling calendar!

#32 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 1:17pm

With regards to Aquafiend and Jibofo, I agree with you, but the sport is growing and will continue to. That's a given, out of our control. We can either be old fogies about it and grumble about why things can't stay the same while we lose control of the sport, or we can be responsible and help shape it so it grows properly! We don't want OC1's to become the infection that is SUP!

I think OC1 can have a world title without Tahitians. The Tahitians are welcome to train and race in an OC1 and compete as readily as the want to, but they choose their V1's. Neither is right or wrong, they're just different from each other. There can be two different distinctions, no problem. In car racing, you have Formula One and NASCAR. Two different cars, two different leagues, two different champs.

As far as boat design, they all have their little nuances, but someone in't going to win or lose because of their boat. If you're the fastest, you'll win. Put Karel in a Fuze or Stingray. Those boats might be outdated, but I bet he'll still win a surfing run...

Tyson has good points, exactly the sentiment why I think hiwahiwa wants guys here to discuss other possible formats...

Also, a difficulty will be balancing those who want to be one-man athletes exclusively versus those who still see one-mans for their original intention: to train for six man. Like I was saying, condense the one-man season, more time for six-man, bring the Molokai Hoe title back to Hawaii! But this shortchanges one-man paddlers...

#33 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 2:35pm

Condensing the season for one-man effectively eliminates paddlers from northern areas from whatever you are using as a world championship. How can you prepare to race against everybody when you only get on the water in mid March at the earliest. This would put paddlers from the northeast, Canada, Europe at a bigger disadvantage then they already have. There are some pretty serious paddlers in these areas and that is only going to grow. Give these guys a race in June and it is an entirely different story than in April. They may not be Tahitians but in time the level will rise and, if a guy from California can be one of the top guys there is no reason a guy from New Jersey can't. Getting these guys out would add more creedance to the title of world championships. As for six-man, I have to think if more six-man paddlers were training and racing one-man seriously the quality of the six-man teams would improve. And, there is nothing wrong with training both boats concurrently.

I like Luke's idea of a bunch of different races at different times. It would be awesome if there were prize money for some of them. As for one race being called the world championships, I am okay with that. Olympic athletes have only one chance every 4 years to be champion and cope with that. I say the winner of the worlds in our sport should be the guy who puts it all together in one race on one day. That should be enough to earn the title. Having other big (and potentially money) races through the season would mean that there would be lots of opportunity for others to take a run at the champ in a given year.

#34 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 4:38pm

Great points, but you can come up with many different scenerios and you will never find an answer to your question. Molo solo is the race to win for now. As long as Catalina is a relay, it will never be the one to win. A relay is a team championship. Molo solo is the race everyone wants to win. That should make it the championship until there is another format. You only get one shot in many sports, that is the way it is. The New York Giants upset the Patriots and became world champs and no one can say anything till next year. Karel beat kai, so he is the man this year. Is there a better race that should be the big one to win? Paddling is bigger than hawaii and everyone is free to compete in the solo to claim the title. Anyway Hawaiian, your grandfather is the man.

#35 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 6:23pm

I don't see the necessity of calling something the "world championship," when we all know what it really is already, it's almost redundant. Even the top guys will concede this; they all know who is the best and that it all that matters.

We are lucky here in Hawai`i to have great runs; that is why the rest of the world wants to come here. Why does someone like Oscar or Lewis come here to race; it's because they respect our waters, just like every person who crosses the Kaiwi or any other channel here.

I'm going to Magoo's right now, and I'm drunk. Shit, i think they call it Varsity now, hate those rounds tables.

There should be a beer drinking contest after each race to separate the best.

#36 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 7:33pm

Once the dreaded S-word is running to all islands this dream will become more of a reality. That's right I said it!!!!! The Superferry will make such competition a possibility.

#37 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 8:21pm

just my two cents, and i think every body puts in a valid piece to organizing something that someday we can call "world champion", but if we all look a series of races to determine a champion, regardless where it's held, the person with the most points combined would be champion right? ok, now going with just what happened, if you look at the last four races of the oc1 season, didn't jr. win all races so far? he won oahu's, states, molo solo, and last the relay. i think thats a huge feat. and i think the fields in these races were pretty top notch. and i know what you all saying it's mostly all hawaii guys with few if any international paddlers. but the point i'm trying to make is, in our season for oc1, the biggest races of the season, jr won. and i think every race is important to racing a point series, but we all know, states, oahu's, and molo solo is the biggest races of the year regardless of conditions. we all train to peak at the right time, and i think jr peaked at the right time. in the begining of the year, manny was at the top, in the middle it was kai winning the pa'a weekend race, and now at the end jr's winning. so like westside said, last year was kai's run and he won, now this year is jr's time and he won.

#38 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 8:53pm

This is one of the stupidest threads I`ve ever seen on OCPaddler.... Every one man outrigger racer who calls themself a racer would aspire to win the Molokai World Championship OC1 race. Molokai Solo each year is the focal point of one person outrigger racing in the world.

In my most humble opinion whoever wins it is totally deserving of the right to call themself "World Champion".

#39 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 1:53am

For now thing are as they are any noting seems to change in near future but none of the mentioned races has the right to call it self with world championship or cup .

If there is any real interst in having a 'real' world cup or championship ,the covering body ither an Oc or Va'a federation has to endorse it and the organiser has to prepare the event to meet certain standards ,mostly about participants ,number of nations and continents present etc.

If you dont have a wide representation you can call and regard it a world championship but from the standpoint of curent participation it qualifes for a national cup/championship at best with some guest paddlers from abroad,also one of the things that go some way to make things fair is that the venues need to change all the time no to favor the locals.

It seems that the Surfski scene is much more developed in that sense and it would be stupid no to learn something from them .

#40 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 2:28am


Canoemaker's point is valid, and in my opinion the Molo Solo is the focal point in particular of OC1s racing.

If you ask the best in the world (the Tahitians) of V6/OC6, the focal point of one man canoe racing would be the Super Aito. Therefore, how can somebody be considered the best canoe paddler in the world if the best are not competing?

Aloha & Mauruuru

#41 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 2:46am

If you dont show up at the world championships there s no way you`re ever going to win the distinction of being world champion.

I dont care how good certain paddlers think they are, if they dont show up they can`t win and by default they give up what might have been thiers if only they made it to the race.

shoulda , coulda , woulda doesn`t make it , If you want to be World OC1 Champion , you have to win Molokai solo.

Lance Armstrong didnt sit on his ass at home and tell the world he could have won the tour 7 times, He saddled up , took on the world and came out on top . Thats the only way winning happens , you show up , face the competition and win.....

#42 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 3:14am

Lance didnt win a world championship ,he won tour de france which makes him tour winer not a world champion.Like molokai ,tour has a reputation of its own but no one claims it is a world championship,as almost every nation has its tour,giro,circo or whatever .

And to say that who didnt show can't complain is only one side of the mater the other being that the race it self is obviusly not that important to the rest that dont bother taking part in it ,they probably regard some other race their 'world championshp'

Think about it what would you think,if lets say we would to organise a race lets say in greece and the hawainas wouldnt show up which i am almost certain that they wouldnt ,and call it a world championship just becuse it is difficoult or because we have paddlers from 3-4 nations competing.

World championships/cups by themself don't represent the difficoulty or importance of the race or anything else in that direction ,but rather universal standard of organisation,rules, practice, fairnes etc.has been achieved and agreed upon by whatever sport covering bodies involved.

#43 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 3:54am

You're right Fuzerider. Against facts there are no arguments.

That's why the Tahitians had the initiative to postpone the Hawaiki Nui Va'a and paddle the Molokai Hoe to prove that they're the best in the world. And congratulations to the top Hawaiians to who've been doing the same thing in Tahiti not only at the Hawaiki Nui, but also the ones who were humble enough to compete at the Super Aito.

There's no point in extending this issue much longer, but at the same time if you want to be the World 'One Man Canoe' Champion, you have to win the Super Aito, the World Sprints, etc.

Let's see the facts in the future. Maybe Karel Jr. will compete at the World Sprints and the Super Aito this year, maybe Lewis Laughlin (+George Cronst., Karyl Maoni, etc.) will decide to cross the Kaiwi Channel with an OC1 instead of a sufski. It'll only make the sport more entertaining....

Aloha, Kia Ora & Mauruuru

#44 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 4:08am

Polynesians and Hawaiians gave us this sport , it`s fitting that paddlers everywhere honor thier gift to us by showing up to race the World Championships on thier turf.

Bikers go to France .

Muslims go to Mecca


Paddlers go to Molokai

Plain and simple .....

#45 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 4:14am

Well said, McFuzington. But you must admit, like canoemaker said, a race in the Greek Isles would be pretty cool. Bring your own banana hammock!

#46 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 4:35am

Just to be fair, Lance did win a world championship before his cancer. But the point Fuze was making is that like Molos, the Tour is the biggest race for its sport.

#47 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 4:38am

Gotta agree with Fuzerider. Even if you have a series and crown an overall champion, you will still say "Who won the Solo".

Bikers go to France .

Muslims go to Mecca


Paddlers go to Molokai

Plain and simple …..

I like that. Have to remember this one..

#48 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 5:03am

Well , I`d like to see the Tahitians get over thier aversion to using rudders on OC1s .

It is possible you know to maintain your manhood and have a rudder on your boat at the same time.

#49 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 5:07am

"Well , I`d like to see the Tahitians get over thier aversion to using rudders on OC1s ."

Thats the funny thing.......My understanding is that rudderless canoes actually require quite a bit more skill and fundamentally good technique, therefore, he who paddles rudderless the best is technically the "best" paddler.

#50 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 7:02am

Why does Lance Armstrong always come up in a paddling discussion??

#51 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 7:17am

Rudderless canoes are no fun. Don`t believe me? Go paddle one in a strong cross wind sometime....

#52 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 7:43am

"What's in a name? That which we call THE MOLO
By any other name would smell as sweet."

#53 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 8:09am

I have looked into my crystal paddle and can see the future. Rudderless canoes shall remain junk until the day Outrigger Connection builds and sells them. On that day, they will magically transform into the best watercraft anyone can own. Anyone without one will be a lesser man or woman and ridiculed endlessly on this forum (and others). Until that day though, you should only paddle canoes available from OC.

#54 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 9:13am

correction: luke kelly manny and alfred are the ones on this forum with a shot at world champ. sorry al didnt know u were on here... al is a badass! the same way nascar has a stock car and a truck series we can have a oc-1 and a v1 series.

#55 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 9:40am

Maybe I should have said rudderless canoes are fun but, not so fun in a big crosswind.

#56 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 9:54am

Im not sure of how well the Tahitians do in the Molo except for in the oc6, in which case, they kick there is a small measure of what they can do in Hawaiian waters/canoes. The question is can Jr and the boys do as well in Tahitian waters/canoes?

#57 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 10:28am

to add to my list: peter for sure. if we call it a world champion then it should be over time like a point series and in different places around the world. but who has the money for that? i sure cant afford it. even the "short course" series... i can barely afford the kanaka ikaika series lol

#58 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 10:33am

oh and of course danny... duh.

#59 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 10:39am

"different places around the world. but who has the money for that?"

Good point JULZ87
I think it will ultimatley happen when the paddling product manufacturers can pay for the travel of thier sponsered athletes. I guess thats why we dont see the Hawaii oc1 paddlers racing in market for the hawaiian style oc1.......and vise versa.

#60 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 2:32pm

The idea of a multi race series using some of the financial numbers thrown out by Luke seems to be the the way to go. I think it was PAA that ran a race this year on Oahu's waters which had three races in one weekend. (A sprint, and a short course on the first day, a long course the second day). This type of racing format could be used to generate "points" towards a champion of the "series"(ala Fed-Ex Cup in golf). These could be scheduled using a format similar to each islands racing series. (A race about every second weekend, with race distances growing, ultimately pointing to THE event. The Molo Solo). there would be individual champions of each race and a prize pool distributed based on the accumulated points earned during the entire series. Logistically there would have to be reps of the race based on each Island to handle the race director chores. These reps would belong to one organization designed to promote this race series.

Have Fun...Kicbacmaui!

#61 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 5:14pm

"If you dont show up at the world championships there s no way you`re ever going to win the distinction of being world champion."
Fuzerider, my only question is who decided that it was a world champ ? Is it an agreement betwen associations from many countries ? Or is it just the race organisers ? OK that makes 3 questions.

"I dont care how good certain paddlers think they are, if they dont show up they cant win and by default they give up what might have been thiers if only they made it to the race.
shoulda , coulda , woulda doesn
t make it , If you want to be World OC1 Champion , you have to win Molokai solo."
Did you happen to think that some paddler might want to come to Molokai but just don't have to money for it ? Plane ticket from Tahiti + hotel + escort boat + buy or rent an OC1 + etc. = plenty of $... Maybe you are offering to sponsor them. Tell us if it's the case, I will let them know.

#62 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 5:45pm

I don't care if a young Smokin' Joe Frazier shows up. Nobody, and I mean nobody, beats Jr. in the surf.

#63 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 6:06pm

Why is it called the “Molokai Solo World Championship”? Because this is America…Manny can call it whatever he wants.

If that upsets you……make your own race….call it what you want.

It doesn’t matter anyway, as soon as the money hungry leeches can figure out a plan to suck enough profit out of a multi-race oc1 event to “LEGITIMIZE” the title, they will buy or swindle the rights to the words “world champion” and that will be that.

Enjoy the sport for what it is NOW…for soon it will be another over commercialized, money making tool for the rich and exploitatious (is that a word? )…making it impossible for the regular joe to take part in the enjoyment of competition with the best.

Fuzerider, I love that comment, “Paddlers go to Molokai”

Tpoppler, next year email me and I’ll set you up with a pair of fins and give you some tips on managing your way around local shorebreak so Danny can get his canoe in one piece. :)

Nah….jus’ playing. :)

A Hui Hou!

#64 Fri, 05/09/2008 - 11:36pm

Hiro C.

Did you happen to think that some paddler might want to come to Molokai but just don’t have the money for it ."

I know all about those kinds of paddlers because I`m one of them .

But , you are right , it would be nice if the worlds top paddlers could get the kind of sponsorship they need to get to the important competitions.
God knows I like to sponsor top riders and it brings me joy and satisfaction to see them succeed. You must understand that I live in Maine and outrigger is still in it`s infancy here. As more people get into the sport and popularity grows, the manufacturers and dealers will be better able to give back to that which gave to them, ie, the sport of outrigger.

Nothing I`d like better than the top Tahitian racer to tell me my boat is the one for them and they want to race on it. Sponsoring top paddlers is good for the sport. And not only that but, sponsoring influential paddlers is good too if they are influential in a positive way.

Eastern Outriggerssponsoring direction at the present time is multi faceted. Thats why we decided to sponsor Margo Pellegrino . ( We believe that good stewardship of the worlds oceans is a very positive thing .

The other thing we do to promote outrigger is through public awareness by getting into magazines , news papers and television as much as possible. If folks can see it , they will become interested and maybe a few will become participants.
I`m on the road alot doing boat demos too, many thousands of miles .

And then there`s racing . We love racing, so , we sponsor who we can where we can. We host races and we help to promote other hosts races

If / when we ever start seeing some money coming in, rest assured it will be reinvested in the paddling community and in the work of the man who walked on the water.

You people over at New Hope probably know who I`m talking about. :)


#65 Sat, 05/10/2008 - 2:41am

Paddling profits to promote a particular religious view? That's a super idea, McFuze. I'm going to use the profits from our next race to help spread the word of the Mighty Thor!

#66 Sat, 05/10/2008 - 6:16am

Mighty Thor Huh , sounds like team rider material ....

#67 Sat, 05/10/2008 - 7:21am

What would you think if we just decided to change the name of Super Aito race in SUPER AITO UNIVERSE CHAMPIONSHIP. Then we would have a Champion of the Universe ! He would probably be a Tahitian 9 times out of 10... And we could post tread about hawaians, californians, australians, etc. wannabes who didn't showed up for the race !
Molokai is a great race, and we all dream to race it once. But it's no World Champ.

Canoemaker wrote "If there is any real interst in having a ‘real’ world cup or championship ,the covering body ither an Oc or Va’a federation has to endorse it (...) If you dont have a wide representation you can call and regard it a world championship but from the standpoint of curent participation it qualifes for a national cup/championship (...) also one of the things that go some way to make things fair is that the venues need to change all the time no to favor the locals. It seems that the Surfski scene is much more developed in that sense and it would be stupid no to learn something from them ."
This make sense. Check this link about Surfski World Series.

#68 Sat, 05/10/2008 - 10:57am

I just dont see why its so hard for you Tahitians to just go to Hawaii and race the solo . It`s right in your back yard for crying out loud..... You all seem to make it up there for Molokai Hoe no problem.

The surfski schedule looks pretty good as a paddling world cup series . I still think Molokai Solo has the most gravitas among OC1 races and is deserving of world championship status .

Then again , who am I to even comment on the subject . After all I`m just a pastey white haole , internet tough guy , shivering from hypothermia , hiding behind my keyboard, up here on the frigid coast of Maine....

I think I`ll host a race and call it " The Monhegan Solo" hypothermia classic.

#69 Sat, 05/10/2008 - 12:16pm

For once I agree with the Fuze. Tahiti has such great team sponsors like Shell and the Post Office who really lay out dough for them. You'd think there would be some interest to sponsor some individuals to represent Tahiti in the "Solo". ??

#70 Sat, 05/10/2008 - 12:33pm

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