Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, May 31, 1999

C A N O E _ P A D D L I N G

By Kathryn Bender, Star-Bulletin
Dean Gardiner said he had no idea he was leading through-
out most of the Molokai-to-Oahu race yesterday.

Gardiner repeats,

Dean Gardiner
captures his fourth straight
Molokai Challenge

By Cindy Luis


It's a race of faith, more than anything else.

In the middle of the Kaiwi Channel, there is nothing to see except whitecaps and iwa birds. One has to believe that Oahu is there, somewhere beneath those distant clouds.

Even the competition is hidden from view by the roller coaster swells. The winning course is a combination of skill, guesswork and luck.

For most of the 32 miles yesterday, Dean Gardiner had no idea that he was leading the record pack of 103 kayaks and canoes. It was only when the Australian neared Portlock Point, about a half-hour outside the Hawaii Kai Towne Center finish line, that he knew he had won his fourth consecutive Starbucks Molokai Challenge.

"It's a real achievement to win this," said Gardiner, finishing in a non-record 3 hours, 37 minutes and 5 seconds. "This race gets stronger every year with a record number of entries and awesome quality of competitors."

On a day marked by light winds and unpredictable swells one course record fell. Donna Kahukui regained her canoe title with a record-setting time of 5:11:14.

Gardiner vanquished the ghost of races past by besting eight-time champion Oscar Chalupsky by nearly five minutes. The South African, winner of seven straight races in the 1980s, had not entered this event since 1995 when he and brother Herman crossed together to share the title.

Yesterday, Chalupsky broke away from the pack early and set off on a more southern route with a line on Diamond Head. His course forced him outside of Gardiner, who took advantage of the current and surf around Portlock.

By Kathryn Bender, Star-Bulletin
Oscar Chalupsky (right), an eight-time champion,
congratulates Gardiner

It was the first time Gardiner had defeated Chalupsky in this event and the first time Chalupsky had not won what is considered the world championship of kayaks and solo canoes. Gardiner's time was nearly 16 minutes off his 1997 record time.

Yesterday, the paddle was passed to the younger generation in the one-man canoe. Eighteen-year-old Karel Tresnak Jr. gave himself quite a graduation present when he won his division in 4:17:05, nearly six minutes ahead of three-time defending champion Mark Rigg.

"This is so awesome," said Tresnak, a graduating senior at Kalaheo High. "Last year I was 10th in my first time. I was just trying to better that finish.

"I couldn't believe that I won. It's unbelievable. I almost broke down when I saw the finish line. I was ready to cry."

Rigg, 42, nearly pulled out when nearing Hanauma Bay. His brother Scott, who was on the escort boat, said his brother became ill and stopped paddling for about five minutes before continuing on.

Tresnak said he also stopped paddling to argue with his father, Karel Sr., about 3-hours into the race.

"He was telling me I was doing really good, that Mark was inside of me but I was ahead," said Tresnak. "I said, "What you talking about? Those boats ahead of me are pulling away.'

"He said they were kayaks. Then I knew I was doing good and all I did was surf it down."

The surf was good but didn't come soon enough for Nalu Kukea, the top Hawaii finisher in the kayak division. He finished fourth, seven minutes behind Gardiner and about 30 seconds behind Tahiti's Lewis Laughlin.

"I was a little burned out at the finish," said Kukea. "Just when the swells got good, I ran out of gas. I think I had to work too hard at the beginning of the race to keep up with the pace."

Hawaii's Kelly Fey won her sixth consecutive women's kayak title, 18 minutes off her 1997 record time. She said she stalled about six miles off Portlock and "I don't remember that last part ever being that hard," said Fey. "It was also the first time in nine races that I flipped."

In the women's canoe division, Kahakui's time was over five minutes faster than her 1997 winning finish. Defending champ Cheryl Villegas was second in 5:23:24.

Fifty-eight kayaks and 41 canoes finished, 99 of the 103 boats entered.

There was a time limit of six hours to complete the race. Officials, however, allowed the final three entries to cross the finish line after the deadline since all three were off Portlock by the six-hour mark.



Molokai to Oahu, 32 miles



Open: 1. Dean Gardiner (Aust), 3 hours, 37 minutes, 5 seconds. 2. Oscar Chulupsky (S.Afr), 3:41:55. 3. Lewis Laughlin (Tah), 3:43:55. 4. Nalu Kukea (Hawaii), 3:44:26. 5. Michael Clues (Aust), 3:44:57.

18-29: 1. Brett Monaghan (Aust), 3:47:21. 2. Tim Jacobs (Aust), 3:51:12. 3. Julian Callebaut (S.Afr), 3:52:52. 4. Wyatt Jones (Hawaii), 3:57:09. 5. Dolan Eversole (Hawaii (3:57:09).

30-39: 1. Sean Rice (NZ), 3:54:23. 3. Greg Barton (Wash), 3:55:23. 3. Malcom Hall (S.Afr), 3:57:24. 4. Jim Beaton (Hawaii), 3:59:17. 5. Greg "Tank" Bennett (Aust), 3:59:32.

40-49: 1. Kala Judd (Hawaii), 3:52:12. 2. Rod Taylor (Aust), 4:20:35. 3. Wayne German (Hawaii), 4:37:06. 4. Charles Wilke (Aust), 4:40:33. 5. Mark Williams (Aust), 5:05:51.

50-over: 1. Bob Rocheleau (Hawaii), 4:11:55. 2. Brian Graber (Aust), 4:50:44. 3. Graham Lahiff (Aust), 5:42:56. 4. Clyde Hedlund (Hawaii), 5:50:03.


Open: 1. Kelly Fey (Hawaii), 4:20:48. 2. Maile Chong (Hawaii), 4:37:17. 3. Karen Kiefer (Hawaii), 4:58:49. 4. Elizabeth Dolezal (Hawaii), 4:59:26. 5. Maggie Twigg-Smith (Hawaii), 4:59:37.



Open: 1. Karel Tresnak Jr. (Hawaii), 4:17:05. 2. Mark Rigg (Hawaii), 4:23:00. 3. Steve Blyth (Hawaii), 4:24:57. 4. Jim Foti (Hawaii), 4:26:42. 5. Walter Guild (Hawaii), 4:26:44.

18-29: 1. Kai Bartlett (Hawaii), 4:27:02. 3. Thiebert Lusiaa (Hawaii), 4:29:46. 3. Andrew Glatzel (Hawaii), 4:30:43. 4. Kealii Paiaina (Hawaii), 4:33:27. 5. Ian Bennett (Aust), 4:35:14.

30-39: 1. Billy Balding (Hawaii), 4:27:16. 2. Joey Napoleon (Hawaii), 4:30:22. 3. Benjamin Heitara (Tah), 4:31:16. 4. Masepa Tanoai (Hawaii), 4:32:04. 5. Kalani Irvine (Hawaii), 3:42:25.

40-49: 1. Rodo Bernadino (Tah), 5:04:08. 2. Fred Delos Santos (Hawaii), 5:04:55. 3. Joseph Derek Vinuya (Hawaii), 5:14:03. 4. Curtis Hawkins (Hawaii), 6:22:17. 5. Bill Parlett (Hawaii), 6:23:17.

50-over: 1. Tay Perry (Hawaii), 5:22:19.


Open: 1. Donna Kahakui (Hawaii), 5:11:14. (new record; old record, D. Kahakui, 5:16:29, 1997). 2. Cheryl Villegas (Hawaii), 5:23:24. 3. Margie Kawaiaea (Hawaii), 5:32:16.

Double Canoes

Male: 1. Greg Edwards/Pat Von (Hawaii), 4:29:35. 2. Jon Emerson/L. Erickson (Hawaii), 6:17:32.

Team scoring

1. Team Australia (D. Gardiner, M. Clues, T. Jacobs), 11:13:14. 2. Team South Australia (O. Chalupsky, J. Callebaut, M. Hall), 11:32:11. 3. Team Hawaii/USA (N. Kukea, K. Judd, W. Jones), 11:33:47. 4. Team New Zealand (S. Rice, Rob Nichol, Craig Tullock), 12:08:33.

E-mail to Sports Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin