Paddling: NE14 Kayaks?

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside magazine, September 1994

Paddling: NE14 Kayaks?
By Todd Balf (with Martin Dugard and John Alderman)

The Bankoh Kayak Challenge, the 32-mile open-water paddle from Molokai to Oahu, can't be called a kayak race. Of the 81 entrants last May, all but four chose surf skis, wave-shredding, bomb-proof, cockpitless per-formance craft. Leading the pack early on was defending champion Dean Gardiner, a 29-year-old Australian waterman who aggressively set the pace amid six- to eight-foot swells and a 20-knot tailwind. The waves flattened out midchannel, and Gardiner and 21-year-old fellow Australian Clint Robinson were both on record pace a quarter-mile from the finish. Alas, Robinson flinched first--actually, his stomach and shoulder muscles cramped--and Gardiner pulled away, winning by three minutes. His time, 3:24:08, bettered the ten-year-old course record by three minutes and 23 seconds.

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