RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Canoes took off from the starting line in the men's senior race yesterday in the Clement D. Paiaina Regatta at Keehi Lagoon.
New scoring system slows down OHCRA
Call it early-season kinks, or technological growing pains.
But regardless of what it's actually called, the 3,000 paddlers and 18 clubs of the Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association went home after yesterday's season-opening Clement D. Paiaina Regatta at Keehi Lagoon without truly knowing which clubs won and other official results.
OHCRA president Hannie Anderson attributed the problem to a new computerized scoring system the association put in place for this season. Scorekeeper Larry Baptist also said the situation was made worse by clubs that did not have their registration lists done in time.
By unofficial counts, defending OHCRA champion Lanikai did appear to win the AAA division (18-39 crews entered) for large clubs at the regatta. But as of 5 hours after the last race around 5:30 p.m., official scores were still being worked on and weren't expected until some time later in the night at the earliest.
"We scored in just about every race," said David Smith, Lanikai's first-year head coach. "When you can keep scoring consistently like that, you usually got the regatta in the bag. It's a great start for us, and real satisfying for me, though we know this doesn't mean this will happen every regatta."
Kailua, OHCRA's regular-season leader last year with four regatta titles, looked like it was headed to a second-place finish.
At the beginning of each regatta season, clubs typically have to scratch crews come race day due to portions of their membership not showing up for various reasons until later in the summer.
But Lanikai's numbers were up right from the start this year, and it scratched only two of the 39 crews it initially entered in the regatta. By contrast, Kailua was forced to scratch five of its 38, and Outrigger about one-third of its 39.
Scratches notwithstanding, Kailua head coach Kawai Mahoe was not making any excuses.
"(Lanikai) was on its game today. Hats off to them," Mahoe said. "Next week we got some paddlers coming back, and we have a little something left for (Lanikai) still this season. But they kicked our butts today."
Lanikai opened with three wins and three runner-up showings in the youth races during the morning.
Among its other top results throughout the day, Lanikai also took the prestigious 1 1/2-mile senior men's race by a nose over Hui Lanakila -- the defending OHCRA champ in the race.
Despite the success of Hui Lanakila last year, Lanikai has for the most part dominated this blue-ribbon race in OHCRA and at the state championship regatta for more than a decade.
Hui Lanakila did win the 1 1/2-mile senior women's race.
The victory helped Hui Lanakila to an apparent victory in the AA division (nine to 17 crews).
OHCRA's second regatta will be next Sunday at Kailua Beach Park.
Kaneohe keeps rolling
Kaneohe captured the AAA division (25-plus events) in the Manu O Ke Kai Regatta at Haleiwa Beach yesterday.
It was the second victory in as many regattas for Kaneohe in the Na 'Ohana O Na Hui Wa'a season.
Kaneohe totaled 69 points, followed by Na Keiki O Ka Mo'i (46) in second place and Lokahi (38) in third.
Manu O Ke Kai (13-plus events) captured the AA division for the second straight week and North Shore took the A division (1-12 events) for the first time in the young season.