Sunday, August 19, 2012

2012 Molokai to Oahu race coaching bootcamp by Robert Stehlik

If you ask anyone who has raced in the Molokai to Oahu race what the hardest part of the race was, the answer will most likely be: the last few miles.   Being prepared and training for this last part is key to having a good race, so for the last couple of years, I offered to coach some racers on race strategy, picking a good line and doing a run from Sandy Beach to Hawaii Kai to prepare for the Molokai race. 

This year, Jeff Chang and I joined together to offer a Molokai race training workshop the Wednesday before the race and we had a great group of nine first time Molokai racers sign up.  Although all the participants were experienced racers and have spent a lot of time training and preparing for this race, everyone said they learned a lot.  

The M2O race is considered the ultimate challenge in SUP and when I first got into SUP racing, completing the M2O race became a big goal of mine.  I often hear from new SUP racers that completing this race is on their bucket list.  I have talked to several paddlers doing this race for the first time that say they enjoyed my race recaps and videos on this blog and that it helped them prepare for the race as there is not much information out there.
I decided to put together this post and the narrated video to put out more information for anyone planning to participate in this race.  

Here is a video of the workshop:

We are planning to hold this workshop again next year, so if you are interested check back with us a few weeks before the race as we limit it to 10 participants.

Here is a recap of our workshop.

Molokai to Oahu race coaching workshop

Stand Up Paddle race technique workshop, presented by Blue Planet Surf and Wet Feet, open only to racers signed up for the M2O race.

Coached by:  Robert Stehlik and Jeff Chang

Date: Thursday July 26th, meet at the dirt parking lot close to the finish line of the Molokai race, look for the trailer.

8 am - load boards on the trailer, go over race strategy, explain objectives. Set finish of race as waypoint on GPS for navigating.

8:15 to 9:00 - drive to China Wall (Portlock point)- go over reef areas and talk about options and strategy depending on conditions on race day.

9:15 to 12:00- drive to Sandy Beach, launch through break and paddle downwind along coast, past Hanauma Bay, along Portlock to finish through rough waters to prepare for last few miles of Molokai race.  Faster paddlers will paddle past China Walls several times, exploring several lines.  Debrief on beach, Q&A

M2O bootcamp course- this map shows the course we paddled as well as the straight "rum line" from the start to the finish and the recommended line for the Molokai race.
This map shows the whole M2O race course, with the straight "rum line" and the recommended line: going a little north of the "rum line" at first and ending up along the wall at Portlock point.

I did the race as part of a 3 man team this year, partnering with Jeff Chang and Doug Lock, sponsored by Bluerush Boardsports in Sausalito, CA.  Some of the screenshots in the video show the actual course we took during the race. Here is the complete GPS data from our race:

Below is a gopro video of the start and first leg of the Molokai race:

Aloha, Robert Stehlik

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