CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
The freshmen women of the Waikiki Beach Boys made their way back after winning their third race of the season.
Kaneohe keeps cruising in Hui Wa‘a
It was business as usual yesterday for the Kaneohe Canoe Club.
Kaneohe racked up 68 points to win the AAA Division (25 or more crews) in Na Ohana O Na Hui Wa'a's Lokahi Canoe Club Regatta at Keehi Lagoon. The club, which won its third regatta of the season, finished ahead of Na Keiki O Ka Moi (54 points) and Lokahi (37).
"The races are close every week, and we like it like that," said Kaneohe head coach Clint Anderson. "We're doing what we can to stay focused each week, and we just have to fine-tune things and train harder."
Kaneohe picked up most of its points by winning seven of the regatta's 36 total races, and finishing second in seven more. Anderson was pleased with the overall performance of his club, and particularly with the men's open 4 race. Two of Anderson's sons, Moki and Keoni, were in the crew with Aaron Abbey and Louis Figueroa that finished the half-mile race in 4 minutes, 09.29 seconds.
"They grew up with paddling," Anderson said of his sons. "It's a good family-oriented sport, and now we can see a new generation that will take over."
The day's closest battle came in the AA Division (13-24 crews) as Manu O Ke Kai edged out Koa Kai 49-48.
Entering the final race of the day, the mixed open 6, Koa Kai needed at least a fourth place finish to earn one point, which would have guaranteed a tie; third place or higher would have clinched the win. But Koa Kai finished sixth.
"You can't ask for anything more, considering how many people Manu (O Ke Kai) has racing," said Koa Kai head coach Joe Kim, referring to the fact that Manu O Ke Kai entered the maximum 24 crews compared to 16 for Koa Kai.
Koa Kai kept things close with eight race wins, including one by the men's masters (40 and over) crew, which stayed undefeated by winning the 1 1/2-mile race in 7:46.59.
The Waikiki Beach Boys ran away with the A Division (1-12 crews) with 35 points.
The club relied on its "Beach Girls," who won the women's novice B, freshman, sophomore and senior races and finished second in the novice A. The Beach Boys also took the men's novice B and sophomore races.
"We've had some girls return to the club, so we've just had to keep building from season to season," said Dana Gorecki, a member of two unbeaten crews (freshman and senior).
Kailua and Lanikai tie
The two windward clubs took advantage of the home water to share first place in the AA division with 85 points at the Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association's King Kamehameha Regatta at Kailua Beach.
The outcome was decided in the last race of the day, with Kailua taking second in the men's 40 -- worth three points -- and Lanikai fourth (one point).
In the A Division, Hui Lanakila easily won with 51 points, followed by Anuenue's 12.