Team Naish Finishes Top Three on 14 Foot Javelins at the 2015 Maui to Molokai Race

July 21, 2015

July 20, 2015, Maui, Hawaii—It was a great Sunday for the 85 contestants paddling across the Pailolo channel from Maui to Molokai this weekend and Team Naish walked away with some big wins all on new Naish Javelin Maliko racing boards! In the 14 foot class, Kody Kerbox took first and Ethan Koopmans took third place, while Naish’s youngest new team rider, Annie Reickert, took first place in the three-person relay.

This long distance downwind race is 27 grueling miles across the middle of the ocean. All athletes paddled pretty close together at the start of the race until they reached the channel, where strong currents eventually spread racers out, forcing them to take different lines across the ocean.

For 18-year-old Ethan Koopmans, this was his first channel crossing and the longest race he’s ever done. As Ethan explains, “Once I reached Molokai, the wind and waves lined up perfectly, letting me catch glide after glide for a good 45 minutes.” Meanwhile, Kody was on the heels of another contestant, who was riding a 17-foot board. Suddenly, the 17-footer was caught in the wind, casting its rider to the ocean and flying past Kody. Acting quickly, Kody managed to turn upwind, grab the rogue board, paddle it back downwind to his competitor and keep the lead for himself.

After an extremely windy channel crossing, with three to four miles left in the race, the wind completely died, making for a grueling, flatwater paddle to the finish line. In the end, after the final results were given, racers exchanged stories of wildlife they saw along the way—including dolphins, flying fish, and mantarays—and Kody shared his story of how he was almost taken out by a 17-foot board. Congrats to Kody, Ethan, and Annie! Stay tuned for the Molokai to Oahu race next weekend.

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Kody Kerbox:
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Ethan Koopmans:
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Annie Reickert:
Instagram: @annie__starr