By Dave Meacham
Photos courtesy of Tahiti Presse
Tahiti’s defending champion Shell Va’a team dominated the Bud Light Molokai Hoe yesterday, winning the unofficial outrigger world championship for the fifth straight year. The Tahitians set a new Molokai record, finishing the 41-mile course 15 seconds faster than their 2008 record, in 4 hours, 38 minutes, 50 seconds.
Hawaii’s Team Primo was the first non-Tahitian team across the finish line Sunday, in fifth place.
Almost 120 boats and 1,200 paddlers competed in the event. The top ten finishing teams included six from Tahiti, three from Hawaii and one from Australia.
The race was streamed live for the first time ever this year, from cameras mounted on helicopters and boats. Viewers could watch paddlers’ ocean substitutions and boat capsizes, crossing the Molokai Channel from Hale O Lono Harbor, Molokai, to Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Waikiki.
Watch a rebroadcast here: http://www.livestream.com/oceanpaddlertv