Big challenge ahead for Daniel Cairns

16th June 2018


Red Beach lifeguard Daniel Cairns is always up for a challenge. He heads to Hawaii in July with the goal of winning the Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard World Championships for 2018.
The endurance race is the premier event for the sport, annually crowning world champions in the traditional (prone) and stand-up paddleboarding.
In the event on Sunday 29 July, Daniel will be competing in the Stock class using the 12’ board on which he trains. He’ll take the board with him to Hawaii.

Around 180 men and women from 17 countries will face powerful currents and surf for hundreds of metres atop swells that can reach more than 3.65 metres in an attempt to cross 51.5km (32 miles) of treacherous open ocean known as the Ka’iwi Channel, or the Channel of Bones. The fastest athletes complete the crossing in under five hours.
The race, held each July to take advantage of the trade winds, begins on the island of Molokai and finishes on Oahu Island.

Pictured above and below ... paddlers cross the channel during the 2017 event.

Two other Red Beach lifeguards have previously taken part in the event; Alistair ‘AJ’ Maney in 2013 and Louise Aitken in 2016. 
AJ has been providing Daniel with some valuable tips, having achieved a top ten finish in 2013 and paddling into second place in the 20-29 age group, behind Maroochydore’s Cam Cole.

In the leadup to the event, Daniel has been upping his weekly training regime which, on four mornings each week, comprises of pool swimming, road running and gym sessions. On four afternoons – Monday to Thursday – he clocks up 10-15km of board paddling in the regions of Stanmore Bay, Army Bay and Hadfields Beach.  “I generally follow the winds,” said Daniel.
His days off – the ‘recovery days’ – are Friday and Sunday.

Each Saturday is the day for a much longer paddle to meet a schedule of 12 weeks’ duration.  He started with a 20km paddle and has been steadily building up to a 40km paddle of around four hours duration. Accompanying him on the longer paddles in a club IRB have been AJ Maney, club coach Jack Gavin and his dad Ian Cairns.
“I’m finding that my fitness levels have greatly increased and I can hold the higher intensity for longer,” he added.
Daniel, 22, an electrician by trade, will head to Hawaii on 20 July and fit in 9-10 days of normal training before the event.

For Daniel, the Molokai challenge comes at a cost, about $10,000 in total. Half this amount is self-funded and he’s already raised $2,500.  He needs a further $2,500 to cover his travel and race expenses and would be keen to hear from any possible sponsors.
You can contact Daniel on 021 175 8906.  Or, click here for further details on sponsorship ... molokai1