HONOLULU, July 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Unpredictability. It's a term that can best describe the conditions of any given race day at the Moloka'i-2-O'ahu Paddleboard World Championships (M2O). The goal is clear. Paddlers must navigate the fastest line from the island of Moloka'i to the island of O'ahu, but the channel of water they must cross to reach that goal is constantly changing. At times, it offers a welcomed push of swell that carries racers atop swells that provide the opportunity to surf in the middle of the ocean. And, in the same breadth, the currents shift to push back, demanding each competitor grind for every mile they earn toward the finish of what is considered the apex of paddle culture.
A new video is now available depicting the challenge and triumph of pushing toward the finish line, where every paddler experiences an individual championship.
What has been predictable is the crowning of the women's traditional (prone) paddleboard champion Jordan Mercer. For the 21st edition of M2O, the 23-year-old Australian is back to add to her streak of six consecutive victories in the unlimited paddleboard category. A victory for her this year would place her closer to matching or beating the decade of dominance established by her male counterpart Jamie Mitchell who compiled 10 straight wins at M2O before retiring from the race in 2011.
In addition to holding the record for most consecutive wins at M20, Mercer also holds the women's course record in her division of 5 hours, 22 minutes, 31 seconds, which she set on her inaugural crossing of the Ka'iwi Channel in 2011.
Mercer will likely be fighting off attacks from a trio of talented women who will test the Ka'iwi Channel for the first time in their bid for the championship.
Harriet Brown, 27, is the reigning Australian Nutri-Grain Ironwoman champion and a skilled paddleboard specialist. Lizzie Welborn, 18, is one of the youngest athletes to qualify for the Nutri-Grain pro series and arrives with a wealth of experience at the age when Mercer claimed her first M2O title. Danielle McKenzie, 22, hails from New Zealand and holds top finishing times at distance races in Fiji and has an endurance sports background that plays to her advantage.
On the men's side, it is an Australian assault on this year's unlimited prone race, driven by Matt Bevilacqua, 25, who is eyeing his third consecutive win after setting a course record of 4:29:32 last year, crushing countryman Jamie Mitchell's record set in 2011 (4:40:31).
SOURCE Moloka’i-2-O’ahu Paddleboard World Championships