Maui Sports

Maui’s Baxter & Moller Take Top Titles in 7th Annual OluKai

May 4, 2015, 8:38 AM HST
* Updated May 4, 8:43 AM
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By Maui Now Staff

Maui’s Connor Baxter and Andrea Moller retained Stand Up Paddle titles in the 7th annual OluKai held over the weekend along Maui’s North Shore. More than 350 paddlers representing 12 countries registered for the elite stand up paddle competition with Baxter and Moller taking home the gender equal prize purse of $15,000 in the Maliko Downwind Run.

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The 20 year-old Baxter clocked an impressive 44-minute, 25-second finish for his fourth consecutive win in the Elite Men’s division.

“The conditions were nothing short of epic, with perfect wind direction, good speed and big swells. This meant it was an even playing field out there forcing me to work extra hard,” Baxter said.

“Nothing beats racing at home. I get to sleep in my own bed and I have the support of my family and friends around me. It’s an honor to represent Maui and be part of this awesome weekend that shares the aloha of Hawaiʻi,” said Baxter in an event press release.

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The Brazil born and raised Maui resident, Andrea Moller, took her seventh consecutive win with a time of 53-minutes and 19-seconds.

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“OluKai Hoʻolauleʻa started off as a local SUP race and today it’s internationally recognized as one of the premier downwind races in the world, making the competition a lot tougher. It has been an honor to be part of this race from the very beginning and be part of its exciting growth,” said Moller in a post event update.

Moller, also took first place in the elite OC1 division with a time of 53-minutes and 46-seconds.

“I felt a lot of pressure with yesterday’s race, but today I got out there and just had fun. With a line up of predominantly local paddlers, I felt like I was out paddling with friends,” Moller said of the OC1 race.

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Honolulu’s Jimmy Austin claimed first place in the men’s OC1 division with a time of 47-minutes and 5-seconds. Moller and Austin take home the gender equal prize purse of $15,000 in the OC1 division.

“There were 12 other guys out there that could have won today’s race, but conditions were in my favor given downwind surfing is my thing. When I saw the finish line in sight, I just went for it,” Austin said in an event press release.

Race organizers said conditions were prime for the race with east winds blowing at 15-20 knot winds and 3 to 5 foot swells offering “perfect downwind surfing.”

Maui-+s Connor Baxter wins OluKai Ho-+olaule-+a Mens Elite SUP photo credit to Spencer Sheehan

Maui’s Connor Baxter wins OluKai Ho’olaule’a Men’s Elite SUP. Photo credit to Spencer Sheehan.

OC 1 RACE OLUKAI HO'OLAULE'A BY ERIK AEDER3020

OC 1 race at the 2015 OluKai Ho’olaule’a. Photo by Erik Aeder.

OC 1 RACE OLUKAI HO'OLAULE'A BY ERIK AEDER3109

OC 1 race at the 2015 OluKai Ho’olaule’a. Photo by Erik Aeder.

OC 1 RACE OLUKAI HO'OLAULE'A BY ERIK AEDER3165

OC 1 race at the 2015 OluKai Ho’olaule’a. Photo by Erik Aeder.

OC 1 Race OluKai Ho'olaule'a Photo by Mark Kushimi

OC 1 Race OluKai Ho’olaule’a Photo by Mark Kushimi

OC1 Race OluKai Ho'olaule'a Getting Ready Photo by Mark Kushimi

OC1 Race OluKai Ho’olaule’a Getting Ready Photo by Mark Kushimi

OC1 Race OluKai Ho'olaule'a Battle for finish line. Photo by Mark Kushimi

OC1 Race OluKai Ho’olaule’a Battle for finish line. Photo by Mark Kushimi

OC 2 COMPETITORS OLUKAI HO'OLAULE'A BY ERIK AEDER3372

OC 2 competitors at the 2015 OluKai Ho’olaule’a. Photo by Erik Aeder.

OC 1 Race OluKai Ho'olaule'a Pre Race Pule Photo by Mark Kushimi

OC 1 Race OluKai Ho’olaule’a Pre Race Pule Photo by Mark Kushimi

OC1 Winner Jimmy Austin OluKai Ho'olaule'a

OC1 Winner Jimmy Austin OluKai Ho’olaule’a

OLUKAI BY ERIK AEDER1981

2015 OluKai. Photo by Erik Aeder.

OLUKAI BY ERIK AEDER2216

2015 OluKai. Photo by Erik Aeder.

OLUKAI CONN0R BY ERIK AEDER2385

Connor at the 2015 OluKai. Photo by Erik Aeder.

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Connor at the 2015 OluKai. Photo by Erik Aeder.

OLUKAI FUN RACE BY ERIK AEDER1720

2015 OluKai Fun Race. Photo by Erik Aeder.

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2015 OluKai Fun Race. Photo by Erik Aeder.

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2015 OluKai Fun Race. Photo by Erik Aeder.

OLUKAI CONNOR BY ERIK AEDER4752

Connor at the 2015 OluKai. Photo by Erik Aeder.

OluKai Ho'olaule'a 2015 Archie Kalepa ocean watching Photo by Mark Kushimi

OluKai Ho’olaule’a 2015 Archie Kalepa ocean watching Photo by Mark Kushimi

OluKai Ho'olaule'a 2015 elite SUP race. Photo by Mark Kushimi

OluKai Ho’olaule’a 2015 elite SUP race. Photo by Mark Kushimi

OluKai Ho'olaule'a 2015 Fun Paddle Photo by Mark Kushimi

OluKai Ho’olaule’a 2015 Fun Paddle Photo by Mark Kushimi

OluKai Ho'olaule'a 2015 Paddlers pre race Photo by Mark Kushimi

OluKai Ho’olaule’a 2015 Paddlers pre race Photo by Mark Kushimi

OluKai Ho'olaule'a 2015 Podium Photo by Mark Kushimi jpg

OluKai Ho’olaule’a 2015 Podium Photo by Mark Kushimi

OluKai Ho'olaule'a SUP Competitors 2015 Photo by Mark Kushimi

OluKai Ho’olaule’a SUP Competitors 2015 Photo by Mark Kushimi

OluKai Sailing 2 Photo by Mark Kushimi

OluKai Sailing 2 Photo by Mark Kushimi

OLUKAI SAILING BY ERIK AEDER2695

OLUKAI SAILING BY ERIK AEDER2695

OluKai Sailing Photo by Mark Kushimi

OluKai Sailing Photo by Mark Kushimi

OLUKAI TRAVIS BY ERIK AEDER2143

Travis at the 2015 OluKai. Photo by Erik Aeder.

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Travis at the 2015 OluKai. Photo by Erik Aeder.

Paddlers prepare for race OluKai Ho'olaule'a

Paddlers prepare for race OluKai Ho’olaule’a

Post Race Poduim. 1st and 2nd place men OluKai Ho-+olaule-+a photo credit to Spencer Sheehan

Post Race Poduim. 1st and 2nd place men OluKai Ho-+olaule-+a photo credit to Spencer Sheehan

Winner Jimmy Austin OluKai Ho'olaule'a OC1 Photo by Mark Kushimi

Winner Jimmy Austin OluKai Ho’olaule’a OC1 Photo by Mark Kushimi

Andrea Moller wind the OC1 at the 2015 OluKai Ho'olaule'a. Photo by Erik Aeder.

Andrea Moller wind the OC1 at the 2015 OluKai Ho’olaule’a. Photo by Erik Aeder.

4 person canoe, 2015 Olukai Ho'olaule'a. Photo by Erik Aeder.

4 person canoe, 2015 Olukai Ho’olaule’a. Photo by Erik Aeder.

Women's elite SUP podium OluKai Ho'olaule'a photo by Spencer Sheehan.

Women’s elite SUP podium OluKai Ho’olaule’a photo by Spencer Sheehan.

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