Starboard SUP Team Rider, World Champion, Ultimate Waterman and Ocean Activist, Zane Kekoa Schweitzer, has broken the Moloka’i Holokai 2019 Channel Crossing record on his on Starboard 5’0” Hyper Foil. The Moloka’i Holokai 2019 record is also Zane’s personal best time and average speed record to date.
Moloka’i Holokai is a 27mile Pailolo Downwind Channel Crossing, an Open Ocean Sup, Canoe, Paddleboard and Hydrofoil Championship from Fleming’s on West Maui to Kaunakakai, Moloka’i.
Preparing for his next SUP racing challenge, Zane shares his highlights from the Moloka’i Holokai race:
“Starting off the day I was grateful to see clouds on top of Moloka’i Island outside my front porch when waking, this is usually a good sign for trade winds! I was really excited and also a bit nervous for the race as I was testing out some new gear from Starboard Foils for the first time during the race after a few modifications I made with my dad just the night before race day. I knew the foil was working good, but was confident I could get a little extra speed with the modification ideas Tiesda, along with my dad and I came up with.
Starting the race we had three other foils on the start line including young Bobo Gallagher, Jeremy Stephenson Of New Zealand, Kody Kerbox and myself. Having a water start out in the wind line was really nice, to compensate for starting in the wind line we also pushed our start up-wind a good mile or two. When the horn blew and we were up off the water it was full speed and Kody and I were battling from the get go neck to neck.
As we continued our way deep into the Pailolo channel bumps got bigger, the wind got more direct on the back and the speeds got higher! Looking at my watch I was really surprised to be hitting top speeds that I have ever had Downwind foiling before! My top speeds were 22mph within the first 20 minutes of the race and I remember feeling super locked in and focused in the flow of the channel and bumps and feeling thankful for my board and foil that was allowing me to progress to the next swell in front with ease and as well carry momentum and speed greater than I have ever felt before and with such control! At this point I was starting to break away from Kody and as well catch up to and pass all the previous competitors that started 30 min before us.
Turning Kamalo buoy on the Moloka’i side of the channel, I was baffled on the time I had coming to this point and felt confident that we could break records if I kept this flow going. I asked my boat crew, Dylan Lehmann and Moku Dukelow, if they could track down my competitors, they told me I was miles ahead and that I could take a break, but I knew it wasn’t just about my personal win or result but also about the opportunity to break records on this run on this day. Sure enough a few minutes later my crew updated me that they are just gaining visual on Kody, and he was neck to neck with me a few miles outside of me deeper in the channel in between Lāna’i and Moloka’i.
From the start we were neck to neck in the middle for a good half hour we had no vision on each other and now again for the last 7 miles or so we were battling again! I change my course to match up with him a bit as I still had a position closer to the finish line and we pushed each other hard for that last 10 mile stretch from Kamalo buoy to Kaunakakai at the finish! Just about three football fields before the finish line it was starting to get pretty flat and I was really starting to feel the burn at this point starting to have to create my own energy and not rely on bumps.
My legs were cramping but I knew I had to keep pushing as Kody was just on my heels. Just then I looked behind me for a moment and Kody had fallen but I knew I had to take this opportunity to gain the lead and cross the finish line while he was still on the water and not flying. I gave it all I had to keep foiling through my cramps and had told myself to keep it up and going for a flying finish through the channel markers in first place. When I crossed the finish buoys I was so stoked to re-claim my title at this event and as well super grateful to hear that I broke the channel crossing record from the announcers with a time of 2 hours to the channel markers and 2:15 minutes through the Flats to the inside!
With hard work, training and support from an awesome team to develop the best boards and hydrofoils in the world, we conquered another!
Mahalo to the Team at Starboard HQ, my father & boat crew Dylan Lehman along with Moku Dukelow and my brother Matty filming. Last mahalo to Clair Seager Mawae for putting this amazing event together every year for over a decade!
Congrats to Kody on finishing 2nd with a smoking time, and as well congrats to all the other competitors especially young Bobo Gallagher the InZane Super Grom for finishing on the foil at 10 years old!”
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