With just a few days to go until the 2015 edition of the #M2O15 race we caught up with Women’s defending champion Sonni Hoenscheid as she prepares to go to war in the channel between Molokai and Oahu.
Why did you decide to participate in the #M2O15?
I guess it´s the thrill of the feeling crossing that channel!! After winning the Molokai to Oahu last year 2014 (as first European to win) a long time dream came true. Just being able to take part in this race is an amazing opportunity, an experience of a lifetime! On the course you have those moments out there when you think “WHY am I doing this? I could be in Waikiki right now, surfing some nice waves and having cocktails on the beach!“ I don´t know, something is about that crossing… There are many factors which have to line up to be able to win this race. I have an amazing escort crew, amazing equipment and I´m feeling really good – I will give my best and see what comes out 🙂
You have been on Maui a lot this summer, how have you prepared specifically for the race?
Paddling downwind Maliko runs, sometimes I paddle some upwind too! But having been traveling on the Eurotour I have paddling a lot so far this summer! In coming to Maui early I also wanted to rest a bit, go surfing and work on my paintings 🙂
How have you innovated and tuned your equipment and how will each element help you during the race?
I am paddling the same board shape as last year, the SIC Bullet 17 V1 but this year my board is much lighter and that really helps.
What would be your favorite race conditions and why?
I think my strength is in paddling in hard conditions… the harder it is the better it will suit my style on the water.
Who are your top picks for the Male and Female podium?
It´s hard for me to say, as I haven´t really paid too much attention lately to what others are doing, I have just focused on my own paddling (and painting). I think from the Men’s fleet Connor Baxter, Travis Grant and Kai Lenny will be very strong. In the Women’s I think that any one of the girls could win or make the podium, it´s a loooong race and anything can and will happen 🙂
What advice would you give to a paddler thinking about competing in this and other Hawaiian based races?
When you paddle back home, try to go out every day in all kind of conditions. If you have good downwind conditions – perfect! paddle downwind as you can, but also do some updwinders in between, some paddling in rough conditions as well as some flatwater too… you need to be prepared for everything! If you have the chance go to Hawaii a couple of weeks before the races, to get used to the climate, conditions, jet lag, etc.
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Anything else to add?
I would like to thank my sponsors, my family and my boyfriend!!!