by: Dave Parmenter
Now that stand-up paddleboard racers are crossing the Molokai Channel with times that were once the sole province of OC1s, it is tempting to focus all the media attention on the SUPermen up in the front.
- KK, passing Koko head and the sea cliffs.-
But every contestant that enters the Molokai-to-Oahu has a helluva story---------no matter whether they finished in four-and-a-half hours or eight----------- to tell when they finally sit down on the grassy shoreline at Hawaii Kai with a cold beer and start confabulating.
So we at C4 Waterman want to give a shout-out to one of those innumerable stories from this year’s M2O, focusing on a paddler not up in the hollow-carbon-and-sponsor ranks but back in the blue-collar crowd.
Kelly Khrone, better known as ‘K.K.”, did the Channel ‘solo’, and he did it on…..hang on, I’m a little verklempt…..he did it on a 14-foot stock production board. Using the ‘V1’, C4’s production molded epoxy raceboard, K.K. managed to finish the 32-mile course in 7 hours and 1 minute, subsisting only on 4 12-ounce bottles of water, two Clif bars, and a sour PowerGel. No carbon, no electrolytes, no rudder, no clue……Just a proven, speedy hull design that is the cousin of the original C4 Vortice XP.
The 44-year-old K.K. is Captain of District IV Ocean Safety on the Waianae coast, and attributes his successful crossing to the harsh training conditions on the west side. “All summer I paddled into the wind. You know how Makaha is--------10 different wind directions in a mile-and-a-half. No matter what you do or where you go, the wind is in your face or on your rail. Shoots, plenty times I paddled 18 miles in seabreeze slop and never got a single scoot. After Waianae, the channel is a piece of cake!”
So C4 Waterman salutes you K.K., the Mad Irishman of District IV. Imagine what you could do if you ate breakfast before the race!