The conditions were overcast skies, which helped, and Northeast winds, side action bumps and out-going tide, which created some confusion and frustration for some. For the old school folks, it was just part of the process.
The World Champions
Men’s – Kevin Jerusalemi
Women’s – Monica Kazlsky Esquivel
Junior's – Harrison Deisroth
Here’s my take:
Congratulations to the Support Crew: Organizers, coaches, escort boats, boat builders, parents that support and families that sacrifice. Thanks for creating this movement. The sport and the competition are creating some real excitement.
The Power of Flow: In an extreme challenge like the MOLO OC1 Race, the “flow” comes to those that are able to operate at acceptance. In these moments, the full body harmony of push and pull is a joy to watch. These exceptional athletes know what’s expected and they want and welcome the challenge. They have the mindset and the energy to get the job done and be competitive. And, they can battle with the conditions and the competition and give their best effort. Throughout the race they are able to make the needed adjustments: Paddle hard, catch a bump, straighten out, get back on line, clear their minds, reaffirm their ability, maintain contact, step up the tempo, stay ahead of the nutrition, stay hydrated and finish strong.
Hail to Tahiti: Their athletes have a repetition for dominating the individual and team events. Catching them and matching up with their work ethic, fitness and full-time devotion are the goals. In athletics, the pendulum that swings between the have’s and have not’s tends to even out over time. Perhaps that’s what we are seeing now. Stay tuned. That's the winner, Kevin Jerusalemi, below.
Old School: The legends of the sport that have won and that still compete. The group that finished together third through seventh (Kai Bartlett, Danny Ching, Daniel Chun, Manny Kulukululalani, and Travis Grant. You inspire everyone with your devotion to the sport. (That's Travis, below, in a photo from 2016)
The New Young Lions: This is an incredible group of young athletes. They are knocking the doors off their hinges. They have been presented the opportunity to train in the best possible environment and, are moving up the charts. Pictured are three notables, (left to right, Harrison Deisroth, Riley Kawananakoa, Hunter Pflueger.
The Women: To Monica Kazlausky Esquivel (below), Ami Lawson and Alana Goo-Frazier and the rest of the woman that have taken the love for the sport to a whole new level: It’s been said that this is the largest and most talented field of women paddlers ever. You have demonstrated all of the qualities that allow you to be competitive as individuals and as teams in World Championships. It’s inspiring to see how hard you train, how much you care and how eager you are to take on challenges like the MOLO!