How fast do you think you could paddle 32 miles? Could you do it in four and half hours? Probably not ... but don't fret, seems there's only one person capable of cutting a wake like that: 34-year-old Australian Jamie Mitchell.
Yesterday in Hawaii Mitchell won the iconic Molokai to Oahu paddle race. Making history, it was the tenth time he's won the race -- a record that nobody will come close to touching for some years. Completing it in four hours, 40 minutes, 41 seconds, he shattered his 2007 course record by more than eight minutes. Not bad, especially considering the mid-channel condition were on the wild and woolly side.
"I feel like the weight of the entire Hawaiian Island chain has been lifted from me. It's done," said Mitchell when it was over.
"It's time for a new challenge," he added, leaving no question about his racing future. "I've worked hard to get this. Ten years is a long time. It's time to chase something new."
And speaking of chasing titles, 10-time world champ Kelly Slater noted, "Jamie has set a bar that few, if any, athletes have set in their careers," said Slater. "Ten straight years of doing anything is impressive. To beat the world's best paddlers time and again in treacherous, unpredictable conditions is inspiring and unbelievable."
On his record-setting pace Mitchell remarked, "I can't believe it was that fast. Conditions weren't that great, but the current was good. Sometimes the wind felt like it was barely blowing at all. It was pretty hard, you had to work for the (wave) runs. Even though the wind wasn't that great, thankfully it never got really ugly like it can get. I actually got some of my longest glides in that last six miles, which is usually the worst. I didn't realize how fast it was until they told me the time."
After a long overdue honeymoon with his new wife, Mitchell will be serving as water patrol at the Quiksilver Pro New York ... give him a pat on the back if you see him, he's earned it.