CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Keahiakahoe defeated Outrigger in the 50 men's division by a little more than a second at Nanakuli Beach yesterday.
Kailua wins Father’s Day regatta
This time, the club wins outright instead of sharing first place with Windward rival Lanikai
All the paddlers of the Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association shared in the celebration that was the 37th annual Leeward Kai Father's Day Regatta yesterday at Nanakuli Beach.
But, unlike the week before, there was no sharing of the regatta title.
Defending association champion Kailua Canoe Club won its first outright title in the third OHCRA regatta this season with 78 total points. It finished as the co-winner with neighboring Lanikai the week before.
Lanikai was the runner-up in the AA division (18-plus crews entered) yesterday with 75 points.
"I'm stoked. First one I've ever won (outright) as a head coach," said Kawai Mahoe, Kailua's first-year skipper. "And it was tight again, right down to the very end. My stress level is very high."
Indeed, like the previous week, Kailua and Lanikai battled closely all day, with Kailua taking an early lead but Lanikai gaining ground as the 39-race regatta progressed.
Trailing by 10 points after 32 races, Lanikai's runner-up result in the second-to-last event (40 women) gave it three points and a tie with Kailua at 75 points apiece.
But Kailua came right back with its own second-place result in the 40 men's -- while Lanikai did not have a crew entered in that last race -- for the final score.
"I'm stoked to be up there with a huge club like Lanikai," Mahoe said. "And for us to be up there, and actually to beat them, I'm honored."
Kailua finished with a regatta-high 10 race wins, while Lanikai had seven.
Outrigger ended up with six wins and in third place in AA with 67 points. Hui Nalu placed fourth with 60.
"We didn't have our best result today, but we're still consistent," Lanikai head coach Kalani Irvine said. "We're still looking at qualifying as many crews (for the state championships) as we can, and placing all our paddlers -- as many as we can, who deserve to race. We'll see what happens next week."
Hui Lanakila convincingly won the A division (17 or less crews entered) for smaller clubs with 49 points, helped immensely by taking six out of eight of the competitive open division races.
Keahiakahoe finished in second place with 33 points.
With a victory in the 60 men's as well, Hui Lanakila won seven races overall -- good for second-best among all clubs.
And it won both the men's and women's prestigious 1 1/2-mile senior races, considered the top open division events.
"We're happy to be up there" in the open races, said Hui Lanakila senior men's coach and paddler Manny Kulukulualani.
"The guys that we do have are quality paddlers."
Finishing in 10 minutes, 59.26 seconds -- about 11 seconds ahead of runner-up Outrigger -- the win was Hui Lanakila's first in senior men's competition this year. It crossed the finish line first in the opening regatta, but was later disqualified for a false start.
Other paddlers in Hui Lanakila's senior men's crew were: Raven Aipa, Mike Silva, Chris Tseu, Kelly Foster and Adam Treinen-Aea.
The defending OHCRA champions in their race, Hui Lanakila's senior women picked up their second straight win, finishing in 12:45.89 to second-place Outrigger's 13:13.56.
The winning crew included: Arlene Holzman, Gail Grabowsky, Jaimie Kinard, Jane McKee, Mikala Bradley and Vi Coito.