2023 Keoua Kupuna Memorial

The past two weeks of paddling in Hilo have been wet, dark and cold. Paddling at Hōnaunau typically sunny and in the lee of wind and swell was a welcome reprieve. The reality was a little different as the racers were treated to a lighthearted version of Hilo weather. It was warmer. It was sunnier. But we still had rain, chop, wind and current. Some might even venture to say same same.

Short course was about 7 miles and long course was 9.5 miles. All the paddlers started off at the same time with about half the fleet split between the inside and outside lines going north. The short course route peeled off inshore around an OC6 and long course continued north to Keawekāheka Point then everyone battled the current south back to the bay.

At least that was the idea. In an attempt to prevent paddlers from getting free wake rides, the start boats held back for about 15 to 20 minutes. And with the escort boats not leading the way there was both some confusion about the short course turn, and which point was for the long course.

Nevertheless, even with current running north, winds coming onshore and tricky bumps everyone had fun. We also had a good turn out from our paddlers who put in a great effort.

  • Long: Jose, Nik, Aliʻi (Jr), Eha (Jr.), Grant, Eric, Kawai, Kawena, Brandi
  • Short: Kawika, Rodrigo, Kwai-Chang, Lexi, Talan (Jr.), Wai`olukea (Jr.)

You can also see the results sorted overall or by category here

It should be noted that Keoua’s famous lunch cemented their reputation yet again as the best. They even provided live entertainment as Jim Elliot and his harp serenaded the crowd.

Next Race – 2 Day Rumble Royale

March 4th and 5th is the Moku ʻO Keawe Challenge at ʻAnaehoʻomalu Bay on March 3rd and 4th. Registration is open at the Upcoming Race Events page on the HIPA website. REGISTRATION CLOSES AT 9 AM THURSDAY MARCH 1ST.

Let’s Go!

Abbott Galaher Seaman Race 2022

We had a good turn out for this opening race, the first in the points series this season. And being the first race, they went easy on the paddlers by giving them a 3 mile short course and a 5 mile long course.

The challenge in this race wasn’t so much the typical flat hot weather with adverse current, but figuring out where your turning point was going. With both courses starting at the same time, they tried to group the starting line between short and long course sides. The short course turn was a double hull canoe being pushed around by the current and drunkenly picking headings. To make things worse the long course motor boat kept crossing behind the double hull out in the distance.

This dance of turning points made for a lot of paddlers cutting back and forth across each others paths. Well, it was a bit fun to watch if you weren’t in the front pack.

Long Course Results

The upside is the amount of gold hording in Keaukaha went up significantly. Check out all the gold:

  • Nik and Whitney – Mix OC2
  • Grant – OC1 M50s
  • Kawai – OC1 W40s
  • Brandi – OC1 Wopen
  • Lexi – OC1 WNovice

Congratulations to all the paddlers who raced: Nik & Whitney, Grant, Eric, Jeff, Gary, Brandi, Lexi and Crystal!

Since none of our KCC paddlers did the short course, you can read about their times in the results.

Just Getting Started!

Don’t feel like you can’t jump into some of the races, that was just the very first one with MANY more coming this season in January. Next weekend we have the Beanie Memorial and we’ve updated the calendar of events for this season’s races which you can sync up with your personal calendar.


Stan Cann 2022 Results

Stan has been thinking of renaming this race due to all the natural disasters that seem to occur on his race day from the false missile attack alert to Saturday’s early morning tsunami and the pandemic and floods in between.

Nevertheless Hilo was ready to open the season and race. Both events were near capacity and some standby paddlers were able to jump in.

Unfortunately, unlike the last weeks, the weather was calm and the ocean was flat. Even the tides were barely moving. That didn’t stop Jose from catching an epic “wave” all the way to the first turn. He somehow managed to get onto the escort boat wake at the start and ride it at a blistering pace with out being noticed by the escort crew who usually try to shake paddlers loose.

We had a good club turn out and there were several paddlers who wanted to race but either missed the entry due to the Covid capacity limits or couldn’t join in after the high school sprint regattas were cancelled in Kona at the last minute.

Congrats to the Long Course: Jose (1st Overall!), Tyler, Kama, Eric, Keola

And the short course hammahs: Jeff, Nate, Warren, Michael

Here’s the updated and corrected results for both short course and long course.

Hopefully no one was accidentally missed on the list of congratulations. Lets get out there and see some paddling for the Kaipalaoa Race this coming Saturday! Open to register now:


Pa’akai Paddles Race

Saturdays last pre-season race on Dec. 4th was a dreary Kona morning with no wind and cold rain. Hilo’s weather was the subject of plenty of jokes.

The course was changed to run south with some wind blown swell that was left over from the channel to the north. Only a light breeze filtered down the shore. The short course was a 5 mile run past Keahuolu Point and back followed by the long course was a 7 mile paddle which of course meant somewhere around 8.5 miles.

Keaukaha paddlers made a good showing of force with impressive top showings on the long course by Jose, Aaron and Tyler. Eha on the short course had his ama fail and had to abandon the race unfortunately. But it’s a reminder to all of us to keep a close eye on our gear as it takes a beating out there.

Special mention goes to Brandi who didn’t let a little thing like pregnancy slow her down from getting some exercise out on the water.

Long Course: Jose, Aaron, Tyler, Jordan “Kama”, Keahi, Kyle, Ryan “Kawika”, Eric, James, Rodrigo

Short Course: Brandi, Cother-McKeague (Jr.), Tanoa (Jr.), Nahiena (Jr) and Eha (Jr, DNF)


Beanie Heen Race Results

The one and two man canoe race held on Nov. 27 as a charity for the Hayward Ohana was well attended. There was a large fleet of 13 OC2’s and even a 2-surfski on the water. Due to the small southerly swell crossing the reef, the race officials changed the buoy can race to an out and back course starting and finishing inside the hot harbor.

HIPA probably set a record for the most controlled start line because the previous race was a little out of control and had a 1/4 mile rolling start before they just gave up and blew the start horn. This race the large group of paddlers sat in a nice line and waited for the horn to blow. Some waited more patiently than others, but no one was pushing forward.

Both the short course (3 miles) and the long course (6 miles which magically grew to almost 8 miles) headed north out of the harbor with the short course paddlers turning at 1.5 miles around a buoy inside near the shore. The 2 man OC2’s established a dominate role at the front of the pack but we had two individual Keaukaha paddlers contending for the lead against them:

  • Tyler hammered out a 6th over all (3rd if you discount the 2 man canoes) placing 2nd in class to Keakua Nolan with less than 1 minute time gap on the long course.
  • Eha Kiyuna (Jr. V1) managed to fight off a lot of adult paddlers on the short course and true to his namesake got 4th overall (3rd ignoring the 2 man in 1st) with less than 20 seconds behind the first one man to finish making 1st in his division.

Congratulations to all the Keaukaha paddlers out there on the pre-season races. Remember there’s another race Dec. 4th. So you still have a chance to burn off all those holiday calories! Registration for that race is open now:

Long Course Paddlers: Tyler, Keahi, Kyle, Eric, Ryan “Kawika”, Rodrigo

Short Course Paddlers: Eha Kiyuna (V1 Jr), Tanoa Laititi (V1 Jr), Cother-McKeague La’a (V1 Jr), Nahiena “Nahi” Kekuawela (V1 Jr)


2021 Abbott Galaher Seaman Race

It was a calm day with two out and back courses of 3 and 5 miles with the proceeds going to the Hawai’i Food Bank. These pre-2022 season races are a great way to get motivated for the upcoming race season. Congratulations to Kyle and Rodrigo for placing on the long course!

There will be another race the Beanie Heen Memorial at Kawaihae on November 27th and if you miss that there’s a race planned on Dec. 4th, the Pa’akai Paddles race at Honokohau Harbor.


Final Days of Madness and EHC Results

The East Hawai’i Challenge race took place on Saturday and we are moving into the final days of March Madness.

March Madness Winding Down

Week 4 saw some new entries an some more shuffling on the leader board. Umi Umi Kea seems to have #1 locked in nearing a massive 150 miles! PHP is within striking distance only 7 miles behind. And ironically named #2 is still seeking their namesake, but stuck at #3 about 18 miles behind PHP. Oshun Addictshun almost 35 miles behind the leader and 11 behind #2. And in 5th we have Juan Barrientos who must be having a slow month of car sales as recent gains puts them in the #5 spot. What will the final days bring? Will there be be some last minute Herculean efforts to jump spots?

March Madness 3/28 Snapshot

Club miles padded total: 919.08. Lets break 1000!

East Hawai’i Challenge Race

Two courses were set and in classic EHC style they were long. The short course ran about 7 miles and the long course was about 10. The weather presented a “Kona-Style” beginning with a “Hilo-Style” finish. Short course racers lined the shore for a one foot on the sand start in hot calm weather. Their route was out the break wall, right to Onekahakaha and back with a quarter mile sprint along the beach to the finish.

Once the short course paddlers reached the tip of the wall the long course racers set out behind them. They had a similar course but out to Waiuli (Richardson’s Beach) and back.

The weather slowly switched from the Kona-like hot and flat to a light easterly breeze which slowly built. By the time the long course boats had reached the turning point a slight wind chop had started to form. While not a downwind sleigh ride, there were bumps to surf and a breeze to help push. The only downside was the easterly also meant the final 1/4 sprint up the beach to the finish was an arm burning upwind leg.

And naturally to close out the end of the race, a rain squall rolled in and dropped the temperature dramatically. Keaukaha paddlers represented well on all the courses with Jose the unchallenged long course leader with an amazing 3 minute lead. Honorable mention goes to Ali’i Youderian a Junior on the short course with a similar impressive 3 minute lead over the pack.

  • Long: Jose, Keahi, Eric, Jeff
  • Short: Grant & Kawai, Nahiena & Ryan “Kawika” Kekuawela, Greg, Kanoe, Lewis Fleishour (V1 Jr.), Brandi, Eha Kiyuna (V1 Jr.), Niau Paulos (V1 Jr.), Dalilah Martin (V1. Jr), Kwai-Chang, Kaui, Rena, Malakai Laititi (V1 Jr.), Cother-McKeague La’a (V1 Jr), Corrina, Waiolukea Publico (V1 Jr.), Tanoa Latiti (V1 Jr)