A long flight across the Pacific Ocean to land on a couple of stones named the Hawaiian Islands. With my preparations mostly fulfilled at home I was ready to cross some of the most treacherous bodies of ocean known as The Channel of Bones.

The channel crossing certainly lives up to its name, beginning on the Island of Molokai to arrive on Oahu 5 hours and 10 minutes later. 53km of pure ocean brutality leaves you consumed by emotion and depleted of strength. It’s a place where you must find your centre through the ups and downs and embrace all of the challenges thrown your way.

Downwind paddling can be some of the most fun conditions you will come across; to an experienced paddler you are able to catch the ocean wind chop and link together “runners” from bump to bump.

Back at home, preparing me for this crossing I would regularly paddle in a southerly buster from Seal Rocks back into Cape Hawke, this was a big day on the water. Being on the water for that time gives you reflection on the unmatched beauty the Australian coastline holds, (yes this may be a little Bias), but definitely unforgettable.

It really was a tough day on the water with the currents heading north almost everything was against us. At times, it felt like I was paddling and going nowhere. Once I turned the corner around China Walls I was hit with a super strong head wind, this is a wind I didn’t need. I could however see the finish line which gave me some inspiration knowing the end was under 2km away. What seemed an eternity I could hear my name being called and encouragement yelled and just like that…. another year done. I finished with a 6th place this time which is an improvement from last year. My goal is to one year grab a podium finish, and who knows maybe even a win – something that definitely won’t come easy.

Ty Judson