Meet the Adventurers of the Year: Paddler Jamie Mitchell
Each day we will feature one of the 2010 Adventures of the Year here on our blog. Get to know them all in our photo gallery, then vote for your favorite for the People's Choice award—every day. You can even vote for a new favorite each day, if you can't pick just one. Photograph by Jody MacDonald
Jaime Mitchell won his ninth race across Hawaii’s Molokai Channel, proving yet again he’s the best paddlerboarder on Earth.
There’s a reason the 32-mile marathon from Molokai to Oahu is considered the world championship of paddleboarding. It’s the superlative of races—the biggest swells, the least predictable seas, the fiercest competition. And yet 33-year-old Australian Jamie Mitchell is unbeatable here. But then, Mitchell is unbeatable almost everywhere. He’s hardly lost a race since 2002. The Queenslander is also—in his own, low-key way—representing a sport in the throes of a breakout moment. If you happened to be near a significant body of water this year (lakes and rivers included) chances are you saw some folks standing atop very large surfboards, paddle in hand. Mitchell’s been dominating and advocating SUP (stand up paddleboarding) for more than a decade, and runs a SUP school in his hometown. His real deal, though, is managing to navigate those windy, finicky waters off Molokai while kneeling—it’s faster than standing—on his 18-foot board, crossing the channel in not quite five hours. Here’s how Mitchell has managed it nine years in a row. —By Ryan Bradley
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