Kjeldsen, Kulukulualani top Challenge

The team of Maui Kjeldsen and Manny Kulukulualani topped the Kaua‘i World Challenge which ended Sunday with the running of a special OC6 race from Kalapaki Beach.

Kjeldsen and Kulukulualani were the first overall finishers of the Challenge’s main event Saturday, a 34-mile relay race from Wailua Beach ending at Salt Pond with changes being done at Hanama‘ulu Beach, Kalapaki Beach and Marriott Waiohai Beach Club in Koloa, and ending at Salt Pond Beach Park.

The winning pair, also topping the OC1 Open Men division, finished first overall on a crossing of 3.36:29.

This was better than a five-minute improvement over the same course in 2007 when the team of Kai Bartlett and Kea Paiaina took the event on a 3.41:46 paddle.

In that race, Kjeldsen and Kulukulualani finished third overall and second in the OC1 division with a paddle of 3.42:37.

Paiaina teamed with Aaron Napoleon for the 2008 version of the Challenge to finish second overall and second in the OC1 Open Men on the team’s paddle of 3.43:13, almost 7 minutes back of the pace.

Danny Ching and Steve Sinkus followed in third overall and third in the OC1 Open Men with a 3.50:40 paddle.

The team of CJ Day, Donovan Leandro, Kekama Akana and Hayden Ramier topped the OC2 Men division with their fourth overall finish at 3.51:59.

Mike and Gail Mills-Thom and Mark and Gayle Forbes teamed up for the top finish in the OC2 Mixed division, finishing 17th overall on a 4.07:08 paddle. They were followed about two minutes later by the team of Cindy Grover, Jeff Weiss, Erin Struxness and Bill Pratt (4.09:51) for runner-up

honors in the OC2 Mixed.

Glenn Orchard and Grant Billen, finishing 19th overall (4.09:51), topped the Surfski Men’s division.

The team of Alana Goo and Noe Auger, first out of the Hanama‘ulu transition according to some witnesses, had relinquished its lead to an Australian paddler by the Kalapaki transition, but regained its lead to finish first in the OC1 Open Women’s division on a 4.33:13 run, 43rd overall.

Andrea Messer and Kelsa Teeters finished 46th overall on a 4.36:39 paddle for the second place in the OC1 Open Women’s class.

In the Sunday OC6 races, the team of Sweet Okole/Goodyear topped the Mixed Open division on a 55:37 paddle and the Niumalu 1 team in “Alapai” topping the Open Women’s race on a 1.02:06 paddle, fourth overall. The Niumalu Masters in “Makani” topped the Women Masters division followed by Moku Uhane taking the Mixed Masters on paddles of 1.12:01 and 1.24:31, respectively.

CC & Diet Coke in “Bradley Lightning” topped the Men’s Open division on a 41:57 paddle with Carbon Culture Australia taking the Men Masters division on a 46:18 run.

Napoleon topped the OC1 Men’s race during the Friday warm up race from Wailua to Kalapaki on a 56:47 paddle. Billen (1.00:56) topped the Surfski Men and the team of Lance Roozendahl and Tina Leone (1.08:50) topped the OC2 Mixed. Annett Happich (1.25:59) topped the OC1 Women in that race.

The 6th annual Kaua‘i World Challenge featured a $20,000 purse and was sponsored by Bud Light, the YMCA of Kaua‘i, the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau and Starbucks Coffee.

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