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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, May 22, 2006

Tresnak sets record in 6th victory

Molokai Challenge photo gallery
 •  First attempt is huge success

By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer

Karel Tresnak Jr. of Kailua won the one-person canoe race for the sixth time in eight years, but he's ready for a break. "I might call it quits for a while," he said. "It's just too much work."

DEBORAH BOOKER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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The Tresnak dynasty got back to its winning ways yesterday.

Karel Tresnak Jr. of Kailua won the one-person canoe division of the Kona Brewing Co. Moloka'i Challenge World Championships for a record sixth time yesterday.

He did it in record time, completing the 32-mile course from Kaluako'i Beach, Moloka'i, to Koko Marina, O'ahu, in 3 hours, 42 minutes, 24 seconds. It beat the previous record by 13 seconds.

"I wanted to try and get ahead after the second hour, but about the first hour, I had a really good run and ended up putting about 200 to 300 yards on everybody," he said. "I kind of hung with that and slowly made it more and more."

Tresnak is 25, and has won the men's one-person canoe division six times in the last eight years. He was forced to withdraw from last year's race after his canoe cracked while surfing on a wave.

"I still went for the big (waves) like I did last year," he said. "I just ended up getting the right waves. I don't know how, but I surfed on the right swells."

It helped that all the top contenders were on a similar north course.

"We just kind of started getting sucked up there, and there was nothing we could really do about it," Tresnak said.

After the victory, Tresnak said he may take a break from future Moloka'i-to-O'ahu races.

"I might call it quits for a while," he said. "It's just too much work."

Maui's Kai Bartlett placed second in 3:45:44. He said Tresnak was within sight across the channel, although he could never close the gap.

"It was frustrating in that I didn't have any pizzazz in my paddling today," said Bartlett, who won last year's race. "But at least we had fun. At least we had surf."

Danny Ching of California was third in 3:47:51, and Maryknoll School senior Patrick Dolan was fourth in 3:51:00.

Maui's Dane Ward capped a successful season by winning the women's one-person canoe division with a time of 4:49:15. She won several races this season, including the O'ahu Championships, Maui Championships, and Moloka'i-to-O'ahu relay championship.

Yesterday was her first Moloka'i Challenge championship.

"This one is huge," said Ward, 40. "It's a hard race and it's super-challenging mentally and physically."

Among the female paddlers who did not enter yesterday were defending champ Lisa Curry-Kenny of Australia, and three-time former champ Lauren Bartlett (who is competing in kayak races in Europe).

"Lauren is so strong; I paddle with her all the time, so I know if she was here she would definitely have won," Ward said. "I just took the opportunity."

Manny Kulukulualani placed sixth in the men's division, but had the story of the day. He said a 15-foot tiger shark came straight for his canoe, then darted away, leaving a trail of blood.

"I actually braced myself for the hit, that's how close it was," he said. "And then I saw the big red cloud, so I knew it got something. It was the scariest thing I've ever seen."



1, Karel Tresnak Jr., 3:42:24. 2, Kai Bartlett, 3:45:44. 3, Danny Ching, 3:47:51. 4, Patrick Dolan, 3:51:00. 5, Aaron Creps, 3:51:44. 6, Manny Kulukulualani, 3:56:40. 7, Michael Murray, 3:58:09. 8, Travis Grant, 4:00:21. 9, Greg Long, 4:00:42. 10, Peter Konohia, 4:01:02. 11, Kelly Foster, 4:08:54. 12, Luke Evslin, 4:09:25. 13, Mael Carey, 4:10:10. 14, Mark Frazier, 4:10:20. 15, Keola Wright, 4:13:35. 16, Carl Helm, 4:14:01. 17, Felipe Gomes, 4:15:05. 18, Tapa Worthington, 4:15:36. 19, Jason Ignacio, 4:15:45. 20, Alfred Van Gieson, 4:16:23. 21, Ian Forester, 4:16:23. 22, Kekoa Cramer, 4:17:00. 23, John Guard, 4:18:22. 24, Wes Jefery, 4:20:48. 25, Mike Hangai, 4:23:13. 26, Ikaika Hauanio, 4:23:39. 27, Akeo Cuban, 4:23:43. 28, Tyson Kubo, 4:24:47. 29, Norm Bradley, 4:26:44. 30, Taku Araki, 4:28:04. 31, Keanu Kuna, 4:28:56. 32, Jay Griffin, 4:31:03. 33, Alex Aurio, 4:33:22. 34, Tyson Poppler, 4:37:27. 35, Pinati Leao, 4:38:43. 36, Zachery Payne, 4:38:54. 37, Michael Delima, 4:39:36. 38, Kafoa Halalatu, 4:45:04. 39, Josh Crayton, 4:51:36. 40, Justin Banfield, 5:01:56. 41, Mark Pollard, 5:03:37. 42, Hiroaki Takahashi, 5:12:43. 43, Jesse Cracknell, 5:25:41. 44, Bobby Hastings, 5:38:15. 45, Thane Lyu, 5:48:38.


40-older: 1, Steve Blyth, 4:10:41. 2, Tim Twigg-Smith, 4:31:19. 3, Mark Miller, 4:37:11. 4, John Wacker, 4:58:01. 5, Scott McPhail, 5:07:30. 6, David Spitzer, 5:50:35. 50-older: 1, Grant Hughes, 4:42:57. 2, Ron Barron, 5:04:14. 3, Nappy Napoleon, 5:12:12. 4, Ray Shipman, 5:14:25. 5, Gaylord Wilcox, 5:22:16.


1, Dane Ward, 4:49:15. 2, Alana Goo, 4:52:31. 3, Andrea Moller, 4:57:37. 4, Arlene Holzman, 4:59:26. 5, Kelsa Teeters, 5:02:41. 6, Andrea Messer, 5:35:20. 7, Spring Clegg, 5:56:32.


1, Margie Kawaiaea, 4:53:19.


1, Gurn/Kalama, 4:10:11. 2, Grover/Weiss, 4:44:57.

Reach Dayton Morinaga at dmorinaga@honoluluadvertiser.com.