Big Island, Hawaii
As a Kona native, Daniel is also a part of Red Bull Wa’a. He’s been spear fishing since he was 10 years old and also practiced the martial art of jiu-jitsu for many years. But once he was introduced to outrigger paddling, there was no turning back. Daniel loves being out there in the ocean and the elements. He says, “It’s always different out there, with the swells, the wind, the currents. You never know what you’re going to see.” When he is not paddling he is father to two children and serves as a beach captain.
Growing up in Hawaii Kai, Oahu and Kaihe started outrigger paddling when he was 8 at Hui Nalu, the local canoe club down the road. At 13, he joined the Hawaii Canoe and Kayak team and made it onto the Junior National Team, for Olympic flat water kayaking at 15, the same year he crossed the Molokai Channel on a Surfski. When he was 19 he really started to take up OC1, and his paddling career slowly started to build from there. The Maui to Molokai was the first major race that he won. That was in 2012 at 22 years old and he has been coming in top 4 every year since. That same year he came in 2nd in the Olukai, also placing in the top 4 every year. He has consistently placed in the top 10 for the past 4 years in the OC1 World Championships, but still haven’t managed to crack the top 5. Most recently he won the Kanaka Ikaika Molokai challenge, as well as, the M2O Standup Championship with teammate Danny Ching.
Leah grew up in a pool, racing since she was 5. She fell in love with paddling and has been with Lanakila in Redondo Beach since 2009. Since then she has competed in many channel crossing races including several Molokai solos placing top 10 and first in her age group, Molo relay, Na Wahine, Pa'a 'Eono, Pailolo, and Maui to Molokai. She loves competing in local SoCal races, ranking first in the state champs in 2014 & 2015. 2016 she took the year off to have a baby. Now back in the swing of things, she is balancing her life as a mom, registered nurse, and a training schedule to get ready for the Molo Solo again in May 2018.