LAHAINA - With a strong base of around 210 paddlers, Napili Canoe Club looks set to build on its successes of recent years in 2012.
In the last two seasons, the club has come in fourth in the Maui County Hawaiian Canoe Association (MCHCA) standings with the highest points tally of the West Side's three clubs. Only Hawaiian, Lae 'Ula O Kai and Kihei scored more.
The team that paddles in black and yellow fielded 12 crews in the AA Division (teams competing with 7-12 crews) at last year's Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association State Championships held at Hanakao'o Beach and proceeded to clinch third place in the division with 107 points, ten points more than the previous year at Oahu's Keehi Lagoon.
“We are going to be competitive, but we want people to have fun. Having extra people gives us the chance to do that even more, and as long as everyone gives 110 percent and still has fun, we’re right where we want to be,” said Head Coach Joey Tihada.
Napili has a great keiki program, with ten of the 12 crews at states last year represented by teams ages 12-18. The club's growing adult crews look set to further the strength of NCC's hale.
Head Coach Joey Tihada said, "We've already achieved one of our hopes for the season, and that's by bringing more adults on board.
"This is the first year in many that we've had more adults than kids. It allows us to build the program and gives us more people, more bodies to help the club grow," he continued.
"We always think of it as club first, then crew, then the paddler. At Napili, it's 'we' first, not 'me' first.'
Napili will host the fourth regatta of the MCHCA season at Hanakao'o Beach on Saturday, June 23, and NCC's Dougie Tihada Regatta is one of just two regattas to be staged on the West Side this year.
In addition to the day's races, there will be a silent auction, raffle, food and club rash guards available for purchase to help NCC's fundraising for the 2012 season.
For more information about Napili Canoe Club or details on how to join, visit www.napilicanoeclub.com or inquire at the NCC hale at Hanakao'o (Canoe) Beach.