LAHAINA - It has been four decades since the late George Paoa and others such as Earl Kukahiko launched Lahaina Canoe Club to compete with other crews of the Valley Isle in races at Lahaina and Kahului.
Over that span, LCC has experienced glorious peaks as well as expected valleys in the Maui County Hawaiian Canoe Association inshore regatta races.
Club President Eric Bruner reported that it is one of those down years for the Orange and Black, as the organization strains to keep up with Canoe Beach neighbors Napili and Kahana.
Lahaina Canoe Club has around 20 keiki paddlers this summer.
"We have about 50 active members - about 20 kids and 30 adults - on our roster, and we enter about 13 of the 42 events on regatta days," Bruner explained last week.
"It's been a bit of a struggle so far this year, but we're still in there battling with Hana in the standings."
Joining Bruner on the LCC Board of Directors are Vice President Franklin Laborte, Secretary Lindsey Bruner and Treasurer Aviva Livitsky.
Laborte doubles as the keiki coach, while Michael Rains and Spud Lendhardt mentor the adult paddlers.
"These coaches really do a great job in advancing the sport here on the West Side," added Bruner, who works for Presentation Services Audio Visual (PSAV) at the Hyatt Regency Maui.
"All of the board members really are a big help in keeping the club going. It's hard to understand why we have the low numbers, because we have such good coaches. Franklin, for one, really does a lot to keep the kids going in the sport. They really love him."
Bruner noted that a highlight for the club this year was the acquisition of a new racing canoe.
"We got a new Bradley Lightening canoe for the men's crews to race in. We also got new covers for the long distance season. We'll probably do the Maui races this year," he said.
Bruner concluded by thanking the board members for their support, and he also expressed the club's gratitude to all the participants in the Lahaina Canoe Club Restaurant Races fundraiser held in early May.
"We raised about $7,000 this year, with Feast of Lele, Star Noodle and Hula Grill the big winners that day. Malibu Shirts is another of our sponsors, and they sell our club T-shirts online," he said.