Ching becomes first non-Hawaii resident to win Molokai-Oahu solo paddling title
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
Danny Ching of California paddled to an historic victory in the Steinlager Kaiwi Channel Solo OC1 World Championship today.
Ching became the first non-Hawaii paddler to win the 32-mile race from Moloka'i to O'ahu.
Ching completed the course from Kaluako'i to Koko Marina in 3 hours, 38 minutes, 51 seconds. It was the second-fastest time in the 18-year history of the race, and just 48 seconds off the course record.
The race is considered the world championship of long-distance paddling for one-person canoes (also known as OC-1).
"The last couple years I've been getting closer and closer," said Ching, who placed second last year. "A lot of people were saying this could be my year, but I tried not to pay attention to it. This is incredible."
Jimmy Austin of Honolulu placed a close second in 3:39:23, and Manny Kulukulualani of Honolulu was third in 3:42:14.
Maui's Kai Bartlett, who won the race last year, placed fourth in 3:44:38. Bartlett was not expected to race due to a shoulder injury, but he said he entered at the last minute due to the favorable conditions.
Lauren Bartlett, who is Kai's wife, won the women's division in a record time of 4:13:43. It shattered the previous record (which she set in 2008) by more than seven minutes.
It was Lauren Bartlett's record seventh women's title, including the last