The weather was clear and the water was blue. Two things often a staple at Kona Regattas. Another constant is the conflicts between commercial and recreational uses at the pier and surrounding properties. But we were unprepared for a new twist at this race.
Keiki crews lined up for a solid day of racing in the morning hours. Our 12’s made some large improvements over last week’s regatta. Against 13 and 11 canoes, they pulled off a 6th and a 2nd. This trend continued throughout the events with numerous podium finishes.
Novice crews raked in the points too with their large fleets even a mid-pack finish pulled in a lot of regatta points. WNB at 5th (7pts), XNb 6th (6pts), MNB 5th (5pts), WNA 8th (3pts), MNA 7th (5pts). Each one of these races gathered enough points to close the gap on Puna and Kai ‘Opua. Keep at it! It’s going to make a huge difference for us this season.
Open Divisions also did really well. MFr/WFr both pulling of 3rds and WJr pulled of a blazing 1st place with the MJr battling it out in a tough race with Keauhou (Jose knock it off….) that got them 2nd.
Full results: https://hcrapaddler.com/hcra_results.php?view=byevent&rid=972
DLNR acting on a report of possible reef damage suspended our races to inspect the flag moorings. To the surprise of some (at least me) they weren’t on fixed moorings but dropped with bricks. This is the same thing we do in Hilo but the sea floor in Hilo is sand and, well, let’s just say muck.
DLNR regulates use of anchors and moorings in all the bays around the islands and issues yearly permits for them. DLNR allowed the event to continue but it was understood everything had to be pau by 6pm. According to Eddie someone decided to just start pulling flags after event 25 which forced an end to the race.
So the race ended after the Juniors around 4:00pm. We don’t yet know if the 1/2 day of points counts or if it will be a full reset. Also the next regatta will have to be moved to Hilo or cancelled. Another unknown right now.
Obligatory Kawika Video
Hui Wa’a O Waiakea’s Long Distance Race
In the meantime this next race on June 3rd is a long distance race based out of Hilo. Let’s go Keaukaha!
Before getting into the regatta results, it’s important to communicate why we had so many registration issues. For the past couple years HCRA accepted our electronic forms. However about 3 weeks ago they rejected them (long story) as we started submitting all our waivers, ID’s, photos, etc. This was a huge issue for our club as we were unprepared to process over 250 waivers by hand (which included all the kids). A few volunteers quickly stepped up to try to help get it done. HCRA then started rejecting them for trivial technical reasons, making even more work. Some paddlers had to sign 4 or more times before getting approved. Tracking who was approved, who needed to resubmit, who was missing papers, who was stuck in the system was nearly impossible to do perfectly.
Without going into the weeds, except to say we had over 20 paddlers waiting for approval before their deadline and they got ignored by HCRA, our volunteers tried to plug all the leaks in the dam to get as many approved by whatever means it took on Saturday.
Sadly this left some people in the cold. And some crews were forced to scratch their event.
However at this point we are down to about 15% or less of our paddlers that need HCRA approval before 5pm Wednesday again, so please try to be patient and understanding as we attempt to get everyone approved.
Let’s Race! Paddles Up!
A nice overcast day in Kona provided some relief from the fireball that usually reverts the asphalt pier back into molten goo. And leading the charge was the keiki divisions and novice crews who helped set the dominant tone for the day.
Keiki crews filled every event and we had multiple crews that literally walked away from the fleet. There’s so much that could be said about all their dedication and teamwork but the best part is they had a great time together. By the time the kids crews wrapped up their races they put our club in 2nd overall, 1 point ahead of Puna and a mere 10 points behind Kai ‘Ehitu, with us finishing 3rd overall by the end of the regatta.
Novice crews faced their first race with blazing paddles and a fire in their eyes, and maybe a butterfly or two in their stomachs. As far as most people can remember this is the most novice crews we’ve fielded in a long time. Good job crews! I can’t wait to see your progress this season. Shout out to those crews:
Women B’s: Jackie Ahia, Kelly Bernier, Ashley Kahiapo, Crystal Obrien, Kehau Usui, Nikki Vierra
Men Nov. B’s: Scratched due to sea of paperwork instead of salt water.
Men 65: Jeff Clemenson, Warren Dela Cruz, Greg Kane, Mike Shintaku, Ben Smith, Egan Tasaki
An unsung hero goes to George Thomas who is not only our oldest paddler, but he practically has his own 80’s division. He’s an inspiration to all of us. In fact, I personally know a few older non-paddlers who now have new motivation seeing him hammer in the 55 (?!) division.
Also a big thanks goes to Keahi who never fails in the dozens of tasks needed to pull these events off: trailer the wa’a, rigging, dealing with officials, paperwork, and somehow keeping over 50 kids out of trouble while paddling a priceless koa canoe in tight spaces.
Also mahalos to all the boat holders, paper wrestlers, snack bringers, tent setters, kid watchers, and all the others who try to keep the wheels on.
Which brings us to the bad.
It’s bound to happen, but 4 hulis (5? I lost count) in one day is a lot. And it’s tough on crews, especially the steersman. I tried to help one girl in tears because she was devastated feeling she got her crew DQ’d as a large group of adult paddlers jump off the race boat to help empty the canoe and get them across the finish line. It’s a gentle reminder that if it was easy, it wouldn’t be so exciting and rewarding. And we should be supportive of each other.
Also in the bad list was the collision between two Koa canoes that was bad enough to cause cracks on both of them and the wa’a had to be retired. This is also one of the risks of paddling and learning. While it breaks everyone’s heart when it happens, it does happen and we just want to emphasize caution.
And while that stuff was bad, there’s still the ugly.
Our paddling organization is very large and a bit unwieldy like a 3000 person canoe might be. It’s impossible to keep everyone happy although we try our best. Each island and club is a little different. Everyone has their own challenges at all levels and it’s important to keep that in perspective.
In the wise words of Ted Lasso (video clip must see):
Be curious, not judgemental.
-Fictional show about soccer or football or both maybe?
So, like in the wa’a, let’s move forward together and let others fret about the wake behind us.
My favorite part.
Keauhou Canoe Club Regatta 5/27
Let’s get ready to race again on the 27th! Lessssgoooo!
Last weekend featured two races, one OC6 and the premier world OC1 championship race between Moloka’i and ‘Oahu.
From Keaukaha 5 crews set out in the sunny (read hot) Kawaihae waters with a slight northerly breeze. This race tends to bring out the Big Island hammahs and this race was no exception as the competition stepped it up. The course was the same for both divisions and the women crews started the day off on this 9 mile race towards red hill and back.
Women’s Open crew launched off the start line and battled their way to 2nd in their division only a 1 minute behind first.
The lack of a novice division inspired 2 women’s 40 crews, one with veteran paddlers and the 2nd with novice crew. The first W40 crew hammered into 4nd Place a mere 30 seconds behind a podium finish. And the W40/Novice crew rose to the challenge and completed the 9 miles in 1:35:25 a quick pace for any novice crew in the open waters. Great job and good training for this season.
We also had 2 M40’s crews on the water. Our first crew placing 10th overall and 2nd in the division. And our 2nd crew (mostly 50’s) placing 16th overall and 4th in the division.
A quick glance at the overall results reveals some tough 50’s competition for this coming season with Kawaihae 50’s finishing less than 1 minute behind the top open teams at 4th overall.
Two teams were disqualified for mounting cameras on their canoes. This is no longer allowed by HCRA you can only wear a camera.
The race that is largely considered the world championship of OC1 racing, the Molo Solo took place on Sunday.
This race features some of the biggest names in outrigger paddling around the world. It’s a 31 mile race with one paddler per OC1 canoe. No changes. No mercy.
Keaukaha Ali’i Youderian charged to a division first place and in the top 20 beating some of the world’s best. Our own Mario Mausio bought his ticket and charged the channel breaking the top 30. Amazing!
The top 3 overall OC1 winners are Danny Ching (40th Birthday during the race), Millon Manutea, and Tuteraii Hoatua.
There has been a lot of paddling and some partying going on and keeping up is tough. In this post we’ll cover the end of the OC1 Season, the IVF World Distance, Our Potluck and the start of the OC6 Season with the first long distance race.
OC1 Season Wrap Up
In chronological order of the OC1 season which completed with the Yamagata Challenge:
The Kuuipo Race was held at Keauhou Canoe Club on historic Keauhou Bay. After a week of high wind and waves, conditions moderated for race day to light winds and 3′ swells from the northwest. The 9.5-mile Long Course started outside Honokohau Harbor and ended at Keauhou. The 7.5 mile Short Course started at Keauhou and ran south to Neanue Point then returned to Keauhou. Many paddlers thought the Long Course was easier that the Short Course on this day.
FREDDIE BERENGUE MEMORIAL RACE – March 18thRESULTS
The Freddie Berengue Memorial Race was held at Honokohau Harbor on a sunny day with light breezes and very small seas. The 10-mile Long Course and 5-mile Short Course started outside Honokohau Harbor and returned to the finish line at the harbor entrance.
The Surf Park Race was held at Pua Ka`ilima Cultural Surf Park in Kawaihae on a mostly sunny day with light breezes and very small seas. The 10-mile Long Course (featuring 33 canoes) and 6-mile Short Course (featuring 31 canoes) started inside Kawaihae Harbor and finished outside the breakwater at Surf Park. Paddlers reported good conditions and lots of dolphins.
The 2023 East Hawaii Challenge featured two courses from Leleiwi Park to Bayfront Park in Hilo Bay. Paddlers and spectators enjoyed a nice day for a canoe race. A 5′-7′ swell and 10-15 mph wind combined to provide a good push for the portion of the courses heading west. The 7-mile short course included 47 boats and ran from Leleiwi Park to a turn near Honoli’i then into Hilo Bay and down the grand strand of Bayfront Part. The 12-mile long course featured 54 boats and first ran east from Leleiwi Park for 2 miles then turned around and followed the short course to the finish.
FOUR SEASONS HUALĀLAI OC1 OC2 CANOE REGATTA – April 8th RESULTS
The 2nd annual Four Seasons Hualālai OC-1 & OC-2 Canoe Regatta included 68 canoes and was run on a 14+ mile round trip course from Kukio Bay. The chance to win big awards and enjoy the hospitality of the Four Seasons Resort Hualālai drew many of the top paddlers from the State and a good crowd of spectators.
The final race of the 2023 spring season was the Yamagata Challenge which began at Honokohau Harbor and finished at Keauhou Bay on a beautiful sunny day. Water conditions were a light wind chop from a 10 mph southerly. The 10.7-mile Long Course included 30 canoes and one prone-board. The 9-mile Short Course included 35 canoes.
One Man Season Tally
The end of the year results are calculated by adding up each paddlers division points and weighted by number of races. To get ranked in a category you have to have paddled at least 4 races in that course and division.
Men Oc1 Open
Men Oc1 40-49
Men Oc1 50-59
Men Oc1 60-69
Men V1 40+
Men V1 Jr.
Women Oc1 Open
Women Oc1 40-49
Women Oc1 Novice
Women Oc1 Novice
2023 Keaukaha Club Ranked Member Results – Long Course
Men Oc1 50-59
Women Oc1 Open
2023 Keaukaha Club Ranked Member Results – Short Course
Of course we had many more paddlers than just those that got ranked (hopefully no one was missed from the list), but you have to paddle 4 of the same course (long/short), same craft (oc1/v1/surfski/oc2/etc.) to make the list. Congrats to those who stuck with it and to all those out there paddling. Let’s see more of us out there for 2024!
World Distance Time Trials
The IVF world distance time trials for Hawai’i were held on March 25/26th. This event will be held in Samoa, Aipa this year in August 10th to 19th. The course was a 2 day race staged at Ke’ehi Lagoon near Honolulu. It consisted of a short and long course race for both OC6 (aka. V6) and V1 canoes and besides our 1 adult paddler the other 24 contenders were all KOYD sponsored Juniors.
To qualify for the World Distance Race in Samoa this year, paddlers had to place 1st in their division. The U16 Girls V6 and Ali’i Youderain (V1) are going to Samoa!
Congratulations to all of our participants in the 2023 IVF distance-trials. The U16 Girls V6 and Ali’i Youderain are going to Samoa! KOYD sponsored 24 youth who competed in the U16 B/G V6, U19 B/G V6, U16 B/G V1, and the U19 B/G V1.
Special congratulations to @tatianaamadisonn @zoe.keiya @kalikou.oj @sojuicyhawaii @malukauahi @maliasimram of the U16 Girls V6 squad and @aliiboi_808 of the U19 V1 for securing their entries into the 2023 IVF Samoa World Distance Championships.
We are super proud of each and everyone of you and especially of your commitment to this practice of outrigger canoe paddling. KOYD believes strongly in the values of commitment, courage, competence, compatibility, but most importantly character and how you hold yourselves in defeat and in victory. Let’s continue to build and learn from our experiences combined and focus on ALL of our growth and efforts. Thank you #GOD for all of your blessings upon us and continue to work in the lives of these young people, their mentors, and their families – Amene
Think about getting your 6 man crews a training schedule and think about tuning up your V1 skills because the World Sprints is coming to Hilo Bay in 2024 and our club will be heavily involved in hosting and supporting this event.
Keaukaha Opening Party
On March 30th the club held it’s first party to open the season and mālama the wa’a and hālau. But it was also a great excuse to have some fun after all the pandemic lock downs.
Volunteers set to work cleaning canoes, picking up trash, lots of trimming (2 trailers full of green waste), and made some minor repairs to OC1 Hālau 2. Everyone just jumped in and quickly got to work. Afterwards about 4 tons of ono food were lined up on tables in the main hālau.
It was hard to guess the crowd size including kids was probably around 200. There was volleyball and a couple tossing games. Some written games for families to play together along with tasty prices.
There were also OC6 rides for adults and kids and a group of the club paddlers joined in a back paddle race and a 3 man ama flying challenge along with some attempts at 6 man ama flying, which mostly ended in huli drills.
There were also some watercraft to try out thanks to the Kiyunas who let people try their surfski and their paddle board.
Great way to get ready for defending our Championship at Moku’s and States for 2023!
OC6 Hoemana LD Race – May 5th
If you’ve made it this far, you’re doing good. This is the last entry but the start of our OC6 season.
Hoemana hosted the Kai Kukini Race at Spencer’s Park is a new venue hosted by a club that is still in the formation process but will be based out of Spencer’s Park. With gusty shifty winds and white caps, the women and mixed crews faced the first challenge with a 9am start heading south for 3.5 miles (7 mile course). Head winds made this a bumpy and challenging run with more than one huli.
Huge congratulations to the Open Women who hammered out a 1st place victory and the Women’s 40 who pulled off a 2nd place narrowly beat by less than a minute. The real champs though were the Women Novice crew who faced the conditions and charged the course. It was a hard push and they didn’t back down. Good Job!
The men’s course was 12 miles and for some paddlers their first long distance race. It was filled with shifting winds and choppy waves. Seats 3, 4 and 5 got some additional exercise removing hundreds of pounds of water. Ha’eha’e in particular wanted to go faster and kept lifting her ama to the sky but the crew reined in that desire and the two Men’s 40+ crews pushed to catch Kamehameha whose canoe had been fitted with offshore skirts keeping the water out. They were able to squeak out about 1 minute ahead of the two crews with Keaukaha finishing 2nd and 3rd.
Great racing, teamwork and canoe handling to all these crews!
Just a reminder about our potluck event. Please help us spread the word.
We would like to invite all the families of our club to join the adult paddlers who are hosting an event on Sunday April 30th. We will be doing some cleaning and then have food, games and your own chance to try some paddling with us. We will have games for the kids so come down with the whole family and have fun with us!
Bring your pop-up tents, chairs, and share in the fun as we get ready for our race season. Come for part of the day or the full event. Help us spread the word to everyone please!
11-12:30pm Clean up crews (Adult Paddlers)
12:45 pule, eat (Everyone)
1:15-3:30 games & intro to paddling (Everyone)
4ish Clean/Pack up
Wa’a Fun Race – No Experience Needed!
Treasure Hunt (this game is still a work in progress)
I thought that would get your attention, but it’s no lie. There’s a raffle fund raiser to help Dave Yamagata and $20 could win you a new Ares Pro.
2nd Annual King Kamehameha’s Awesome Athletes Inclusive Canoe Race
While I’ve got your attention, I want to let everyone know of a great community event in Hilo. The “2nd Annual King Kamehameha’s Awesome Athletes Inclusive Canoe Race” is on Sunday June 4th.
This event is to get all those Awesome Athletes in the wa’a. If you or someone you know might be interested just visit https://www.hilocanoerace.com. You can donate, volunteer or paddle! Sign up before the end of this month.
(Note that OC1 means that day’s practice will be on a one man canoe. If you don’t have a one-man we can get you one or group up to use a 6-man.)
Team Reach – Use It
There is a messaging app called “Team Reach” which you can download and enter your team code. This will allow you to instant message each other, share schedules, documents, photos and get all that great advice from your coach.
Crews Currently using this app: Open Men, Men Novice A/B, Men 40 & 50, Women Open, Women 40 & 50 and Women 60+. Contact your coach for your crew’s code, or contact us and we can provide it to you.
One of our junior paddlers, Nahi, is headed to the Big Apple for higher education. Nahiena Kekuawela who has been paddling with the KOYD/RISE program received both an athletic (rowing) scholarship and an academic scholarship to Long Island University for the Sharks.
LIU is only about 25 miles outside of NYC which will be an amazing adventure.
PARTY IS: Wednesday 3/29 at 5pm at the Bayfront Halau.
Both of Nahi’s parents, Tiffany and Kawika, paddle with Keaukaha so let’s come down and show support. Nahi graduates this year from Waiakea HS with a 3.8 gpa. And she follows her older brother, Kailikea who played football for Southern Oregon and older sister Maluhia who went to Fresno Pacific University for soccer.
Good luck Nahi!
If you’re interested to learn something about paddling/rowing scholarship opportunities for your kids, talk with Tiffany about ideas and strategy. And if you’d like to enroll your kids in the KOYD/RISE program for amazing experiences contact Keahi.
The signup for keiki is ready. Please let parents know. There’s a new on-line process which should hopefully be easier than all the papers. If you have any problems just contact us through the website.
This year State Championships is coming to Hilo! The competition will be tough and the pressure high. Keaukaha will be ready. We revamped our jersey’s to reflect our ties to decades of paddlers before us as we break ground with new achievements.
When our club was originally founded a hala tree was planted near our Hālau. It was our original insignia and inspired our original yellow and brown colors. It’s roots has remained strong over the years and it’s grown tall.
The Hala is an excellent survivor in a marine environment like our paddlers. The tree thrives in poor, salty or sandy soils in hot and windy areas.
Hala leaves (lau hala) are exceptional for weaving mats, hats, roof thatching, canoe sails, baskets, sandals (kāma‘a), fans and much more. The fruit of the female hala tree can be made into striking yellow to deep-orange lei. Traditionally these lei are given in times when a person advances from one significant level of life to the next; including graduations, weddings and funerals.
Each product has a size chart. Make sure you double check it and the product description as some sizes run a little smaller. Refunds are only available for defects or damaged goods.
This year they will be made to order. So if you want to save on shipping, hui up with your buddies and order together.