BLUESMITHS' Ambassador Sonni Hönscheid Wins The 2014 Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championship Race

We’ve been working with Sonni Hönscheid since before Bluesmiths launched. During that time, Sonni has had winning The Molokai 2 Oahu Championships in her sights. She has been training hard and waiting patiently for this moment. On Sunday, July 27th 2014, the years of effort finally paid off when she was crowned the 2014 Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Champion!

Photo Courtesy: Mike Jucker / StandUpMagazin

The Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard Race, known as “The Molokai”, is a 32-mile grueling open-ocean crossing where the world’s top paddlers and ocean adventurers race from Molokai to Oahu in a bid to crown the world champion. As even the finest and most resilient ocean athletes are aware, the achievement of simply completing the crossing cannot be understated. For even the best, this crossing is not a given.

Known as the “Channel of Bones”, The Kaiwi Channel is one of the most treacherous and notorious channels in the world. It has claimed many ocean crafts and many lives over the years. Relentless trade winds combine with strong currents and huge open-ocean swells to create the perfect challenge for the downwind paddler. Throw in some active deep-water marine life and one can be sure that no two Molokai crossings are ever the same.


This was Sonni’s third Molokai. In 2012 she paddled in the three person relay with Bluesmiths' Founder John Smalley. According John to, who got badly seasick on the crossing, “Sonni carried more than her fair share of my paddle. After that race, our crew had no doubt that Sonni had the ability to win this outright.” Fast forward to 2013 and her first solo crossing where Sonni finished third, setting the scene for 2014. 

Photo Courtesy: Mike Jucker / StandUpMagazin

In 2014, Sonni entered the competition confident but knowing she had her work cut out. She’s one of the politest, most respectful and most understated athletes there is. She openly aware and respectful about just how potent her fellow competitors are. Knowing this, one might be forgiven for being surprised to hear of her win. But that would not do her justice.

Sonni is a twelve times German surf champion, a two times SUP world champion and she hails from a pedigree of ocean pioneering: Sonni’s father was extremely instrumental in early windsurfing developments in Hawaii and Europe and her entire family is immersed in surfing, SUP and windsurfing.

On Sunday, Sonni took a different line during the race. It was a calculated gamble. She paddled alone for much of the race (something which admittedly concerned her), but the move paid off as the paddlers converged near the end of the course at China Walls.

After a great finishing battle with Jenny Kalmbach, an incredible athlete from Big Island, Sonni crossed the line first.

Photo: Bluesmiths

Photo Courtesy: Chris Parker / SUP Racer

Photo: Bluesmiths

This is what Sonni had to say:

"Since my first Maliko Run on a stand-up board where I saw Mark [Raaphorst] and Livio [Menelau] gliding fast down the coast, I wanted to paddle the Molokai channel. For me, winning The Molokai 2 Oahu  is like a dream come true. I can't quite believe it" 

We’re so blessed to have Sonni as a friend and as a key member of the Bluesmiths development crew.

Photo Courtesy: Mike Jucker / StandUpMagazin

Huge congratulations to Sonni Hönscheid: 2014 Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Champion. Congratulations also to the rest of the Bluesmiths Crew and to Jimmy Spithill, Oracle Team USA Skipper, whose crossing we will be reporting on very soon.




Learn what Sonni helped build: The Kanaha Hydrophobic Sun Protective Shirt


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