LAHAINA — Hanakao‘o Beach was the stage for the seventh and final regatta of the season on Saturday, as Lahaina Canoe Club played host to the 2011 Maui County Hawaiian Canoe Association (MCHCA) Championship Regatta.
It was another early start for Maui’s nine canoe clubs, as they arrived to set up for the day at the Keiki O Maui Regatta. Some crews were feeling nervous — as qualification for “states” hung in the balance — with others relaxed and ready to enjoy their last race and a day at the beach.
The conditions were perfect as the first races of the day got underway. Event One saw Napili’s 12B Girls register a point with a fourth-place finish. Lahaina’s 12B Boys won silver medals and three points in a time of 2:20:47, with Napili’s crew finishing fourth in the same race.
The 12B boys are Lahaina’s first keiki crew to win enough points to qualify for a state lane in over a decade and, despite the 12B category not being represented at states, the LCC crew will buy a lane to compete against the 12As.
“Over the last couple of years, our keiki program has been gaining in momentum,” said one of LCC’s keiki coaches, Billie McFadden. “I am so thrilled to see the upward movement, and they have the potential to do even better. All of the coaches have made it happen — Franklin Laborte put in many hours; Robert and Geoff Bogar, Alan Kuiper, Vikki Nesvold, Vae Maluhia and all the people at LCC who have helped have made our keiki stronger. Long may it continue.”
McFadden, who is due to move off-island after spending five years helping LCC’s growth, added: “This was such a great note to end my time here. I’m ecstatic.”
Napili’s Girls 12A crew (Andilyn Alavazo, Noe Keahi, Ana Lukela Kobatake, Lina Nolan-Criste, Devina Vasquez and Tavi Viela) ended the season topping their division by seven points, after finishing in first place with a time of 2:18:56. Napili’s Boys 12A ended their MCHCA season with a place secured at states after taking second in their quarter-mile sprint.
Napili’s Mixed 12s pipped Hawaiian Canoe Club by just a point to finish tops in their season standings after their second-place finish. Napili’s Girls 13s made it a clean sweep this season, earning their seventh straight gold medal and finishing a full 20 seconds ahead of their nearest competitor, Lae ‘Ula O Kai.
Napili’s Boys 13 also secured a berth at states with their second-place finish in a time of 2:02:48, as did their Girls 14 and Boys 14 crews, who finished third and second in their respective races.
Napili and Lahaina’s Mixed Novice Bs both placed in their quarter-mile race, with NCC’s crew registering second with a time of 1:51:96 and LCC in third with 1:54:49.
Napili’s Girls 15s made it seven gold medals in a row with their first-place finish in the first of the day’s half-mile sprints. Lahaina’s Boys 15s ended fourth in a time of 4:55:89.
In the Men’s Novice B division, Napili took second and bagged themselves second-place in the season’s standings with a time of 4:01:26, while Lahaina came in fourth with a time of 4:12:18.
Napili took second in the Girls 16 race, while their Boys 16 and Girls 18 both won fourth. In the Mixed 18s, Napili’s crew came in second, which ensured they ended the season second in the standings. NCC’s Boys 18 also finished second in their race with a time of 8:34:55.
Event 19 saw Kahana’s Novice A Women win three points for their club in third, while Lahaina came in fourth in 4:56:26.
Lahaina came in second in the Novice A Men’s race, their time of 7:41:93 ensuring that three points would be enough to see them top their division for the season, with a berth guaranteed at states for the third year in a row.
Kahana’s Mens 60 took third in their half-mile sprint with a time of 4:25.61, while their Men’s 55 crew took fourth in 4:39:58. Napili’s Women 50 crew also took fourth in a time of 5:11:96.
Kahana’s Men’s 50 crew came in first over their half-mile course. Their time of 4:00:60 saw them earn a place at “states” in their division’s second spot.
KCC’s Mixed 55 and Mixed 60s both came in fourth with times of 5:21:53 and 4:10:59, respectively.
Napili’s Freshmen Women finished third in their race in 9:54:86, and their Freshmen Men came in fourth at 8:06:95. Kahana’s Sophomore Men also ended their race in fourth place in a time of 7:50:47.
Kahana’s Junior Women (Misty Branco, Dawnalyn Fujiwara, Emily Janchevis, Lani Kane, Danielle Kuck and Christina Yorkey) made it six gold medals in a row, ending their season on top of the standings by a clear seven points, despite not competing in the first race of the season.
Napili’s Junior Men took two points and bronze medals in their race, coming third in a time of 7:36:18.
Kahana’s Women Open Four won a point in their race, finishing fourth out of nine competing crews. In the Mixed 40s, Mixed Open and Women’s 40, Napili took fourth.
Lahaina’s Men’s 40 (Geoff Bogar, Bear Keahi, Alan Kuiper, Spud Lenhardt, Adam Quinn and Mark Shimer) won gold in their race, earning the fastest time in the State of Hawaii with their 7:09:77 finish and becoming county champions for the third year running.
Lahaina club President and member of the Men’s 40 crew Adam Quinn commented on the club’s growth in recent years: “I don’t just measure our success over the course of this season. I think you have to look at the way we’ve progressed over the last three years. I am very happy. Our novice divisions are growing, our keiki crews are now on solid ground, evidenced by having 16 keiki crews competing this year. We haven’t had 16 crews overall for many years, and to have 16 keiki crews is all the proof anyone needs to see that LCC has turned the corner. The future becomes brighter and brighter for this club.”
Kahana’s crew took third in the Men’s 40, and in the Women’s Open, KCC sealed their position on top of their division’s standings with a second-place finish in 13:12:29.
In the Men’s Open, Lahaina came in third with a time of 11:23:89.
The Keiki O Maui Regatta ended with Hawaiian leading the day’s standings on 135 points (947 in total), Lae ‘Ula O Kai in second with 83 (555), Napili and Kihei tied on 57 (394 and 399 in total), Wailea on 46 (302), Na Kai Ewalu with 40 (251), Kahana on 24 (217), Lahaina with 18 (125) and Hana on seven (62)
Congratulations to all the crews that have qualified for “states” on Saturday, Aug. 6, and all the paddlers young and old who have represented their crews this season. See you all at “states” and a huge imua to Kahana, Lahaina and Napili!