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Maui to Moloka‘i paddle.

April 19, 2012
Stacie Thorlakson , The Maui Weekly

Mark your calendars for Maui to Moloka'i (M2M), the Maui Canoe and Kayak Club's (MCKC) signature paddle race, on Saturday, April 28. Paddlers travel from near and far to compete in this 26-mile stretch of the Pailolo Channel for what is undoubtedly one of the best down-winders on Earth!

Spectators may see a surge of OC-1s, OC-2s, surf skis, standup paddleboards (SUP) and/or prone boards along with a fleet of escort boats on the West Side. This is a sight to see, with over 200 paddlers on the water!

The race starts at D.T. Fleming Beach Park on Maui and finishes at Kaunakakai Harbor on Moloka'i. Paddlers can compete against their teammates in a relay division, while others may want to test their endurance on the iron course.

Article Photos

Anticipation builds as paddlers prepare for the race start at D.T. Fleming Beach at last year’s Maui to Moloka‘i race.

The festivities begin on Friday, April 27, when paddlers are invited to the Pre-Race Pizza Party at Hawaiian Canoe Club from 4 to- 6:30 p.m., sponsored by Outrigger Pizza Company. Along with tasty pizza and beverages, pick up your race packet--and gift bags for the first 250 paddlers who register--and reunite with new and old friends for a fabulous evening!

Should elite paddlers need a trial run before the big event, join us for our North Shore Challenge Epic Kayak/Aloha Remodeling race on Saturday, April 21. The long course is from Keanea to Kahului Harbor and the short course is from Maliko Bay to Kahului Harbor.

The award ceremony on Saturday will be held at the Moloka'i Yacht Club. Food will be provided by the Wa'akapaemua Canoe Club.

With a variety of skill levels on the water, ocean endurance is very important--but often overlooked--among paddlers. Paddlers must know their skill level and be aware of water conditions prior to entering the ocean. We all need to know our limitations--a great paddle is a safe journey!

MCKC is a community-based organization dedicated to keeping the sport of paddling alive. The club has held the M2M event for over 10 years, and the momentum continues to build with paddlers from international waters to the Pacific Ocean participating in this epic race. It is wonderful to see the sport of paddling continue to grow, as it is our aim to encourage and promote environmental awareness and physical fitness through competitive ocean sports. MCKC not only perpetuates a healthy outdoor lifestyle, but also encourages people of all ages to get involved in the camaraderie and positive social interaction associated with competitive paddle sports.

The word from Maui is "makani" or "wind, wind and more wind!" With La Nia conditions in full swing, the Valley Isle's downwind runs have been nothing short of epic. May the trend continue on race day!

The club wishes to express a big mahalo to all of the volunteers, business contributions and paddlers who make this race series so much fun--and to the people of Moloka'i for their ho'okipa!

To learn more about the club or race details, visit

Stacie Thorlakson is the MCKC board president. For more information, call her at 250-3999 or email



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