Clint Robinson takes third Molokai Challenge

Monday, 20 May 2013 07:19 | Written by  Gameplan Media
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Oscar Chalupsky with Race President Jennifer Lowe and Race Director Shelley Oates-Wilding Oscar Chalupsky with Race President Jennifer Lowe and Race Director Shelley Oates-Wilding

Oscar Chalupsky's bid to claim the iconic Molokai Challenge surfski ultra marathon title in the year that the turned 50 ended with a ninth place finish in desperately tough windless conditions in Hawaii, with South African champion Sean Rice coming within a whisker of winning the race on debut.

Rice lead with less than two kilometres to go in the brutal 52km crossing of the Kaiwi Channel, also known as the Channel of Bones, but was beaten to the finish at the Hawaii Kai Town Centre by Australian Olympic gold medallist Clint Robinson, who took the laurels in just less than four hours.

Clint Robinson

Clint Robinson in mid-channel.  Conditions were brutal - hot, flat and with a side-on chop.

"Congratulations to Clint (Robinson) for the win today," said Chalupsky. "It was very tough for me today, but the ninth was all I could expect in the headwind conditions."

Toughest Molokai

"I started really well but as the headwind wore on the younger guys started to come through - you can see that in the results. I was probably the toughest Molokai I have done. My average speed was 11,5km/h, when we usually average around 16km/h on a typical Molokai."

Chalupsky lead a bunch of contenders including Robinson and Rice on a northerly line from the start, staying on the rum line, while Martin Kenny spearheaded a group that went slightly further south.

Racing on flat seas in extreme heat and just a very slight northerly wind from the side, the race turned into a relentless grind with no downwind runs available to the paddlers.

Robinson gradually took the race by the scruff of the neck, sticking close to the rhum line, and an hour and a half into the race the field had strung out with Robinson leading Sam Norton, Sean Rice, Dane Sloss and Chalupsky in fifth.

Two-horse Race

As they approached Portlock Point, The race had become a two-horse affair, with Rice taking the lead over Robison, the duo well clear of the rest of the contenders.

By the time the leades approached the legendary China Wall, where the surf was breaking in a ten foot wall on the inside line close to the cliffs, Robinson was back in front, and caught a wave into the finish at Pillars and the town centre.

Sean Rice Clint Robinson

Sean Rice (SA) and winner Clint Robinson (Aus)

"Conditions were really tough, but the wind from the right cooled things down a bit," said Robinson. "It was a long haul!"

Pat Dolan Ski

Pat Dolan's ski was smashed by the surf at China Wall

Local star Pat Dolan had clung tenaciously to third but got caught by the massive surf at China Wall and was dumped, smashing his ski into three pieces.

Women's Race

Australian Miranda Davis won the women's race, with a 25th place finish overall.

The race has committed to holding the event in a four-day window period in the future to take advantage of optimal downwind racing conditions.

"It is an international event, there are a handful of local Hawaiians and everyone else has flown in, so holding it over a window period is the way to go," said Chalupsky.

Molokai Challenge


1 Clint Robinson AUSTRALIA M-MASTER 40-49 SURFSKI 03:55:24
2 Sean Rice SOUTH AFRICA M-18-29 SURFSKI 04:00:43
3 Cory Hill AUSTRALIA M-18-29 SURFSKI 04:06:04
4 Sam Norton AUSTRALIA M-18-29 SURFSKI 04:12:43
5 Bruce Taylor AUSTRALIA MENS RELAY 2 PERSON 04:13:46
7 Chris Maynard AUSTRALIA MENS RELAY 2 PERSON 04:18:48
8 Craig Flanagan SOUTH AFRICA M-18-29 SURFSKI 04:21:07
9 Martin Kenny AUSTRALIA M-MASTER 40-49 SURFSKI 04:21:19
10 Mike Walker NEW ZEALAND M-30-39 SURFSKI 04:21:44
11 Ben Chalmers AUSTRALIA MENS RELAY 2 PERSON 04:22:12
12 Dane Sloss AUSTRALIA M-30-39 SURFSKI 04:26:50
13 Oscar Chalupsky SOUTH AFRICA M-SR. MASTER 50-59 SURFSKI 04:28:24
14 Michael Beyer USA M-MASTER 40-49 SURFSKI 04:28:27
15 Zsolt Szadovszki HUNGRY M-30-39 SURFSKI 04:28:41
16 Grant Kenny AUSTRALIA M-MASTER 40-49 SURFSKI 04:29:37
17 Simon Longdill NEW ZEALAND M-30-39 SURFSKI 04:30:02
18 Matt O'Garey AUSTRALIA M-MASTER 40-49 SURFSKI 04:31:48
19 Jeff Lemarseny AUSTRALIA M-MASTER 40-49 SURFSKI 04:32:50
20 Danny Topfer AUSTRALIA M-MASTER 40-49 SURFSKI 04:36:09
21 Nick Wagner AUSTRALIA M-18-29 SURFSKI 04:36:53
22 Gilles Guedikian FRENCH POLY MEN-SURFSKI DOUBLES 04:41:52
23 Creagh Bouttell AUSTRALIA M-MASTER 40-49 SURFSKI 04:50:43
25 Rene Appel HONG KONG M-MASTER 40-49 SURFSKI 04:53:55
26 Peter McEwen AUSTRALIA M-MASTER 40-49 SURFSKI 04:56:49
27 Rod Taylor AUSTRALIA M-KAPUNA 60+ SURFSKI 05:02:36
28 Neil Taylor NEW ZEALAND M-SR. MASTER 50-59 SURFSKI 05:07:31
29 Tanner Gillespie USA JUNIOR MEN RELAY 3 PERSON 05:08:25
30 Eric Mims USA M-30-39 SURFSKI 05:09:47
31 John Huijsen AUSTRALIA M-MASTER 40-49 SURFSKI 05:16:39
32 John Clark AUSTRALIA M-SR. MASTER 50-59 SURFSKI 05:17:18
33 Miranda Davies AUSTRALIA F-OPEN SURFSKI 05:18:08
34 Wade Burnham AUSTRALIA M-MASTER 40-49 SURFSKI 05:22:35
35 Peter Dallimore NEW ZEALAND M-SR. MASTER 50-59 SURFSKI 05:25:42
36 John Lagrassa USA M-SR. MASTER 50-59 SURFSKI 05:26:50
37 Craig Vipond AUSTRALIA M-SR. MASTER 50-59 SURFSKI 05:30:32
38 Uli Gwinner GERMANY M-MASTER 40-49 SURFSKI 05:34:09
39 Christopher Pearce AUSTRALIA M-MASTER 40-49 SURFSKI 05:42:01
40 Anna Mathisen USA F-OPEN SURFSKI 05:46:22
41 Angus Miller SINGAPORE M-MASTER 40-49 SURFSKI 05:50:54
42 Cory Laskoskie USA M-MASTER 40-49 SURFSKI 05:51:22
43 Marcelo Magnanini BRAZIL M-30-39 SURFSKI 05:57:09
44 Francisco Urena USA M-30-39 SURFSKI 05:58:16
45 Christopher Smith NEW ZEALAND M-30-39 SURFSKI 05:58:42
47 Kentaro Hamaji JAPAN M-30-39 SURFSKI 06:25:12
48 Kuroiwa Daisuke JAPAN M-30-39 SURFSKI 06:27:36
49 Richard Germain CANADA M-MASTER 40-49 SURFSKI 06:39:33
50 Justin Nichols USA M-JR. UP TO 17 YRS SURFSKI 06:43:07

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