LAHAINA — By 7 a.m. on Saturday, Hanakao‘o Beach Park was already a hive of activity as Maui’s nine canoe hales prepared for their third race-day of the season. Tents in team colors were put up, wa‘a were rigged and parking spaces became more and more elusive to find.
Napili Canoe Club was the day’s hosts and, for the West Side clubs, it was another opportunity to race at our home beach and to build on our performances from the previous two weeks.
Napili’s regatta honors one of the club’s founders, the late Dougie Tihada, whose sons Nori and Joey, nephew Mike and brother Eugene run the club today. It was fitting then, that the team in black and yellow enjoyed such a successful day on the water.
The keiki division began with second place and silver medals for Napili’s Girls 12B crew, with Lahaina Canoe Club finishing a close third. Lahaina’s Boys 12B (Ren Kitaichi, Jacob “Jake” Kuiper, Chris Salunga-Kahaialii, Anis Bel, Agustin Lara and Kainoa Reponte) continued their good run with their third first-place finish in as many weeks.
The first of Napili’s keiki gold medals was soon to come; their Girls 12A (Tavi Viela, Andilyn Alavazo, Kealahooipoleimaile Cabanilla, Ana Lukela Kobatake, Lina Nolan-Criste and Noe Keahi) won their race in a time of 2:15:83. Lahaina’s Boys 12A registered third place in their quarter-mile sprint, and in Event 5, Napili’s Mixed 12s (Lina Nolan-Criste, Ana Lukela Kobatake, Matini Perlas-Kaii, Kawika Sanchez, Kila Vierra and Andilyn Alavazo) took first with a time of 2:10:36.
Napili’s Girls 13 (Diamond Freitas, Hailani Keahi-Ng, Kehau-Lani Brown, Courtney Ruidas, Christy Mae Ruidas and Carly Jaramillo) and Lahaina’s Girls 13 took first and fourth place respectively, while Napili’s Boys 13 won second in their quarter-mile race.
NCC’s Girls 14 (Kalena Au-Shim, Diamond Freitas, Hailani Keahi-Ng, Kehau Lani-Brown, Kaliko Pasco-Dusenberry and Kawailehua Kualaau) came in first with a time of 2:12:13, and their Boys 14 finished a close second in their division.
Napili’s Mixed Novice B was the next up, winning a point for their club with a fourth-place finish. The Girls 15 (Jordan Ruidas, Chelsey Erickson-Vierra, Kanoe Delatori, Aloha Kaaihue-Ah Puck, Tricia Kama and Kaliko Pasco-Dusenberry) added another five points to Napili’s haul with their third first-place result this season.
The Boys 15 race saw Napili and Lahaina win third and fourth place, respectively, with the same clubs finishing second and fourth in the Men’s Novice B half-mile race. Napili’s Girls 16 took third, and their Girls 18 notched fourth in Event 17. In the Mixed 18 race, Napili took first (Courtney Ruidas, Holden Mowat, Jaret-Levi Nahooikaika, Nicholas Falbo, Jordan Ruidas and Kanoe Delatori) and Kahana Canoe Club began their wins here, too, with a second-place finish of 4:34:60.
Kahana won another three points in the Women’s Novice A bracket, finishing second in a time of 4:53:75 with Lahaina in third. Napili’s Boys 18 were second in their one-mile course, while the Men’s Novice A race saw Lahaina come out in fourth.
Kahana’s points started to roll in, starting with a second-place finish in the Men’s 60, a fourth in the Men’s 55, second in the Men’s 50, fourth in the Mixed 55-plus and third in the Mixed 60-plus with a time of 5:05.32. Napili’s Women’s 50 also finished third in their half-mile course.
NCC’s Freshmen Women came in third in their one-mile race, while Kahana’s Freshman Men also ended in third. The team in green’s Sophomore Women also registered a fourth-place finish.
Event 34 saw Kahana’s Junior Women win their one-mile course and maintain their gold-winning streak with a time of 8:38:46, finishing comfortably ahead of Hawaiian, whose second-place time was 9:19:11. The same crew was victorious again in the Women’s Open, notching first and a time of 13:14:62.
Napili’s Junior Men took fourth in their race, while their Women’s Open Four came in third. Kahana’s Men’s Open Four came in fourth, as did Napili’s Mixed 40 and Women’s 40. The Men’s 40 ended with Lahaina in second place and Kahana in third.
The Mixed Open saw Napili’s crew (Danae Marin, Philip Tahana, Kona Maielua, Kayla Anbe, Daniel Tancayo and Shona Lohman) register a first-place finish in Event 39 and Lahaina’s Men’s Open in fourth place.
The day’s standings saw Hawaiian finish on top with 120 points (394 in total for the season), followed by Lae ‘Ula O Kai with 76 (222); Napili with 66 (177), their highest so far this season; Kihei in fourth with 54 (166); Wailea with 50 (127); Na Kai Ewalu with 41 (107); Kahana with 32 (107); Lahaina with 19 (59); and Hana with nine (28).
Next weekend sees yet another regatta at Hanakao‘o Beach, hosted this time by Kahana Canoe Club on June 25. I’ll be back next week with more news from Canoe Beach. Mahalo to Napili for hosting a wonderful regatta and, as always, a big Imua to our West Side clubs: Kahana, Lahaina and Napili!