My 1st Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard World Championships

Competitors join hands in a prayer circle immediately before the start of the Molokai to Oahu, World Championships of Paddleboarding on the island of Molokai, Hawaii on July 31, 2011. (Photo by Donald Miralle)

Well I guess it’s one more thing to check off the bucket list.  Paddling across the Ka’iwi Channel or the “channel of bones”, the 32-mile expanse of deep rough water between in islands of Molokai and Oahu in the Hawaiian archipelago, was truly a humbling experience. Not because it was my first time or because we were paddling besides some of the greatest watermen on the planet including 10x champ Jamie Mitchell, but rather just the energy and “mana” of the place. A massive, living, turbulent expanse of deep water (sometimes over 1km deep at points) that has an aura of a place that has taken the lives of many men, including the legendary northshore lifeguard and waterman Eddie Aikau. My teammate Deon Lourens and I had a blast crossing the channel and soaking it all in literally, en route to placing 2nd in the Men’s Team Classic Paddleboard Stock 80-99 Division, despite partially tearing my brachialis the week before. The Australian team of Blair Thorndike and David Ward beat us by 10 minutes over the 6 hour race, further solidifying the Australian domination of the event with records by countrymen and women Mitchell and newcomer 17 year-old Jordan Mercer who crushed the women’s course record by over a half hour! Special thanks to our boat captain Allan and Ryan for the safe crossing, Shannon and crew for putting on a great event, and Deon for splitting the mileage and handling all the logistics of our race.  Together with the Catalina Classic later this month (body-willing), I am paddling for the American Cancer Society and have raised over $6k for cancer research and prevention. You can learn more or make a donation by going to my sponsor page here. Please enjoy the short video below of our POV of the crossing, thanks for looking!

Please Help! Molokai and Catalina Channels for ACS

The first Catalina Classic race was held in 1955 (Photo by Kerwin)

Dear Family, Friends and Collegues,

Being a native of Southern California, the ocean has always been a special place for me. A couple years back, a friend introduced me to paddleboarding and I immediately fell in love with it. It’s a traditional waterman sport that allows you to be out in the ocean, exploring the beautiful coastline, and also getting a hell of a workout along the way. I found like-minded people who I now call friends who challenge themselves with with marathon distance paddles across the Catalina and Molokai channel every year. For those of you who know me, I don’t feel like I am living unless I have a challenge in my life.

This year alone an estimated 1.368 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer and will embark on the biggest challenge of their lives. There’s a good chance that some of them will be people we know and love. I lost my father Don Miralle Sr. to brain cancer in 2004 and my father-in-law Daniel Inskeep II to melanoma in 2007. I have chosen to fight back against this disease and help make a difference by supporting the American Cancer Society’s mission to eliminate cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering through research, education, advocacy, and service. Last year, through your donations, we raised nearly $5,000 for the American Cancer Society with my paddle in the Catalina Classic. This year I hope to double our efforts, so next week I am paddling in the Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard World Championships and the Catalina Classic again and hope you can help me reach my goal. I hope for every mile I paddle you can donate something to help the fight against cancer and that will serve as my motivation to keep my arms moving across two 32-mile channels of open ocean.

If you are reading this you have probably made a difference in my life and I hope you can make a difference for those people diagnosed with cancer. Please feel free to forward this link 
along via email, facebook or twitter to anyone you may know who is interested in donating to cancer research. I know times are tight for everyone but please take a moment out of your busy day to support my effort by clicking on one of the buttons above and making a donation that will go directly towards saving lives.

Thank you for your continued support,


Paddleboard Season is Well Under Way…

Photo by Jonathan Moore

As the water gets warmer and the waves gets smaller that means paddleboard season kicks into full throttle. Nowadays, when I tell someone I paddleboard, they usually say “Oh, I see those guys sweeping the water with the paddles all the time. That looks so cool, but they get all the waves!” Which usually means I have to correct them and give them a quick lesson on endurance paddling and the difference between classic prone paddleboards, and more popular SUP (Stand Up Paddle) which has seemingly exploded overnight. Although I like to do both, I primarily race the classic paddleboards – where you spend half the time pulling water in a freestyle motion as your face is splashed by salt water until your eyes feel like they’re going to fall out; or the other more painful but faster option to with both arms simultaneously on your knees until your back and kneck cramp and your toes and knees are raw from the board. Usually I get the response “That doesn’t seem very fun, why do you do it?” And they’re right, the longer races (some up to 32-miles long) are nothing short of excruciating. But there is an undescribeable feeling of freedom that comes with being out in the middle of the ocean with nothing around you but water, kelp and the occasional seal, dolphin or whale. And it gets you in shape and there’s a great family atmosphere and sense of community as well.

Best part of getting to finish line is Luke and Micah there to greet me (Photo by Britta Brewer)

It’s a fun season so far, and have been paddling alot with the NCP/Cardiff crew which has helped me out greatly en route to a first place finish at the Encinitas Sports Festival Paddleboard Race, 2nd place at the infamous Coronado Loop, and recently a 2nd place overall finish at the Waterman Challenge, Swamis to Windansea Race . Starting to get pumped for my first Molokai to Oahu crossing at the Paddleboard World Championships in July and the Catalina Classic in August. I plan to paddle for the American Cancer Society again and my goal is to make more than the $10k raised last year.

If you haven’t tried standup or classic paddling yet get out there, you’ll love it!

Battling it to the finish line at the 2011 Loop Race with 4x Catalina Champ Tom Duryea (fyi he’s on a 14 foot board!) Photo by Wind And Sea.