The Tahitian outrigger canoe paddling powerhouse Shell Va‘a reclaimed the prestigious Hawaiian Airlines Molokai Hoe title today, crossing the finish line in 4 hours, 35 minutes and 16 seconds.
Shell Va‘a has now won the sport’s “Super Bowl” an unprecedented 11 times over the last 13 years.
Defending champion Red Bull Wa‘a crossed the line nine minutes and five seconds after Shell Va‘a, while Outrigger Canoe Club (4:44:55) finished third. Hui Nalu Canoe Club (4:52:38), Talifit Bora Bora (4:55:47) and Toa Amok Bora Bora (4:56:47) rounded out the top six.
Lanikai (4:57:03) finished seventh overall and was the top crew composed entirely of local paddlers for the second consecutive year.
Paddlers made the 41-mlie trek from Molokai’s Hale O Lono Beach to Duke Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki to complete the 66th edition of the Molokai Hoe. The field featured 98 crews included squads from Hawaii and teams from California, Connecticut, Washington, Australia, Canada, France, Singapore and Tahiti.
The winning crew included Damas Ami, Paiateuira Tamaititahio, Iorama Teahu, James Mairau, Isidore Tevaearai, Narai Atger, Charles Teinauri and Ta‘aroa Dubois.