Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, October 11, 1999

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

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Outrigger's Matt Rigg gets a congratulatory lei after
Outrigger's victory in the Molokai to Oahu race yesterday.

Molokai Hoe
has global flavor, Hawaii winners

Teams from all over the world
competed, but four of the top five
finishers are from Hawaii


By Cindy Luis


The outrigger canoe paddling neighborhood continues to expand, with subdivisions in all parts of the world. Australia, Canada, Japan, Tahiti, Fiji, New Zealand, Europe, the Marquesas and the U.S. mainland were all invited to yesterday's big block party, known as the Bankoh Hinano Molokai Hoe.

However, the 48th annual event turned into more of a backyard bash as four of the top five finishers were from Hawaii and the second-place crew (New Zealand) had several Hawaii paddlers, including the steersman. It took 5 hours, 13 minutes and 2 seconds to officially decide the winner, but, from the start off Hale O Lono, it was Hawaii's day in its own race.

Outrigger Canoe Club successfully defended its title among a record-tying field of 102 canoes, winning for the 16th time. OCC also swept the top three places when it came to steering.

The nine-member OCC crew finished one minute and 45 seconds ahead of Team New Zealand (5:14:47), which was steered by OCC member Todd Bradley. The Big Island's Kai Opua, with OCC member Tom Conner steering, was third in 5:15:23.

Training runs from Diamond Head - where Outrigger is based - to Maunalua Bay and back are so common that "when we get to Maunalua Bay, it's like coming into my own backyard,'' said Outrigger steersman Billy Balding. "That's where we were able to put the pressure on Kai Opua and New Zealand.

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Outrigger crosses the finish line to win its 16th Molokai Hoe yesterday.

"It's so hard to repeat in this race. There are so many variables - the wind, water, surf, crew - it's amazing to be able to do it two years in a row.''

Kai Opua led for most of the 40.8-mile race across the Kaiwi Channel but were caught by New Zealand, then Outrigger, off Portlock, some eight miles from the Duke Kahanamoku Beach finish line. The top three crews battled neck and neck until Outrigger pulled away.

Kai Opua had dedicated its effort to Shirley Kanuha - the wife of club coach Zachary Kanuha - who is undergoing treatment in Germany for cancer. It was the Big Island club's best-ever finish in this race.

"When times got hard and I felt tired, I was feeling her strength,'' said Masepa Tanoi of Kai Opua. She is a strong lady and that made us all able to push harder.''

"There aren't any secrets, everyone knows where Oahu is,'' said Conner, who has steered Outrigger to victory in previous races. "The team that best prepares is usually the one that will come out on top.

"We went back and forth with Outrigger until around the (former) Kahala Hilton. They're a little more fit than we were. It's like running a race. The guy who's the most fit will win.''

Outrigger's victory was one for the ages ... literally. Seven of the nine paddlers are over 35, most in their early 40s.

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Outrigger's David Horner gives his 6-year-old niece, Mehana
Horner, a lift on his shoulders after his team won the Molokai-
to-Oahu outrigger canoe race for the second
year in a row.

"We were accused of being a bunch of old guys,'' said OCC's Marc Haine, 41, a member of the winning crew for the eighth time. "But, at 40, you're not really weak. The mind and body are still strong. We train against the young guys every day and hold our own.

"I swear we don't feel old, but I don't know about a three-peat. We're thinking we can go masters (35-over). I think we could put together a pretty good masters crew.''

Australia's Mooloolaba was the Masters Division winner, finishing in 5:34:43, ninth overall. The Senior Masters (45-over) division went to Newport (Calif.) Aquatic Center in 6:00:09, 23rd overall.

But when it comes to the Molokai Hoe, Nappy Napoleon is the master of masters. The 58-year-old Napoleon finished his 43rd consecutive Molokai race, steering Anuenue Masters-45 to 48th place in 6:14.59.

"It's like going to work,'' said Napoleon, who first paddled this event at age 15 for Waikiki Surf Club in 1957. "I don't get paid but I like to paddle. I don't know how to do anything else.

"I'm never going to stop. If I stop, I think maybe I'll die. Think I'd better not stop. I'd like to go some more.''

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Nappy Napoleon, 58, holds up four and three fingers
for his 43rd participation in the Molokai Hoe.

Napoleon had four of his five sons involved in the race, Joey and David paddled for Anuenue #2 (12th, 5:41:57) while Darren drove the escort boat. Aaron steered Outrigger Canoe Club of Japan - comprised of the country's top lifeguards - to 37th place, finishing in 6:06:23.

"They're strong paddlers,'' said Aaron Napoleon. "There's no problem with their shape. They just need some fine-tuning.

"Some of the guys were a little off, but I was told some of them have been paddling for a few months. In a couple of years, they'll be right there.''

Napoleon said there were some language problems, but the Japanese translated paddling just fine.

"The only thing is they were pretty set on when to change crews,'' he said. "Basically, every time they got to 10 minutes, they'd make a change.

"When you know the crew a little better, you know what combinations work and what ones you can gamble with.

"This was maybe my 17th time. It's not an annual thing for me. I won't get to 43 like my dad.''

Bradley has competed for Outrigger in this event a number of times, but it was the second year he steered Team New Zealand.

"We were third last year,'' he said. "We're working our way up to first.''

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Outrigger Canoe Club's Ikaika Kincaid gives his girlfriend,
Candes Gentry, the current Miss Hawaii, a kiss after his team
won the Molokai-to-Oahu outrigger canoe
race for the second year in a row.

"We had a week to paddle together,'' said New Zealand's Rick Nu'u, who now lives in Vancouver, B.C., and coaches False Creek Canoe Club. "It was almost a carbon copy of last year's race, except last year Lanikai was in there.''

Lanikai, which set the course record of 4:53:03 in 1995, finished fourth yesterday in 5:24:26.

A record-tying field of 102 canoes began the race yesterday morning. Four canoes did not finish: Kawaihae returned to Molokai after their ama (float) broke off while Waikiki Beach Boys #1, Honolulu and Tepaetia from French Polynesia were all disqualified for rules infractions.

Officials penalized all but eight canoes for a false start, saying they took off about five minutes before the scheduled start time of 7:30 a.m. The eight "legal'' canoes had 10 minutes deducted from their finish times; the penalty did not affect the top 10 positions.

Eight Hawaii crews placed in the top 10. Four koa canoes competed, with Hui Lanakila #2 winning the division (22nd, 5:55.57).

Keoua Honaunau finished 56th in 6:19:42. The club did not finish the 1996 when their canoe Ka'ahumanu flipped then broke up while being towed to Maunalua Bay.

Molokai Hoe


Place, name, division, time

1. Outrigger Canoe Club No. 1, open, 5:13:02; 2. Team New Zealand, open, 5:14:47; 3. Kai Opua, open, 5:15:23; 4. Lanikai No. 1, open, 5:24:26; 5. Puna, open, 5:25:17; 6. Waikiki Surf Club No. 1, open, 5:31:47; 7. Hawaii Canoe & Kayak Team, open, 5:33:32; 8. Malama Ula No. 2, open, 5:33:44; 9. Mooloolaba, 35 and over, 5:34:43; 10. Lanikai No. 2, open, 5:35:53.

11. Hui Lanakila No. 1, open, 5:39:20; 12. Anuenue No. 2, open, 5:41:57; 13. Team Hawaii, 35 and over, 5:42:58; 14. Kailua No. 1, open, 5:43:48; 15. Outrigger Canoe Club No. 2, open, 5:49:46; 16. Waikiki Surf Club No. 2, open, 5:50:32; 17. Waikiki Yacht Club No. 1, open, 5:50:39; 18. Hui Lanakila No. 4, 35 and over, 5:52:06; 19. Jericho, open, 5:52:38; 20. Lokahi No. 1, open, 5:53:03.

21. Nuku A Hoe, open, 5:53:33; 22. Hui Lanakila No. 2, Koa, 5:53:51; 23. He'e Naluopen, 5:55:57; 24. Manuiwa No. 1, open, 5:57:20; 25. Kawaihae No. 1, open, 5:57:43; 26. Kailua No. 4, 35 and over, 5:58:55; 27. Lanikai No. 3, Koa, 5:59:38; 28. Newport Aquatic Center, 45 and over, 6:00:09; 29. Bend Oregon Outrigger, open, 6:00:35; 30. Hanalei, open, 6:02:27.

31. Koa Kai No. 1, open, 6:02:36; 32. Tui Tonga/Kauai, open, 6:02:44; 33. Tamalpias, open, 6:03:17; 34. Manuiwa No. 2, 45 and over, 6:04:02; 35. Kanu Connection, open, 6:04:34; 36. Kona Athletics, 45 and over, 6:04:56; 37. Outrigger Canoe Club -- Japan, open, 6:06:23; 38. Napili, open, 6:06:56; 39. Sydney Outrigger, open, 6:07:14; 40. North Shore No. 1, open, 6:07:26.

41. Cronulla, open, 6:08:32; 42. Hui Nalu No. 1, open, 6:08:58; 43. Napili No. 2, 35 and over, 6:11:04; 44. Koa Kai No. 4, 45 and over, 6:11:17; 45. Malama Ula, 35 and over, 6:12:31; 46. Waikoloa No. 2, open, 6:12:37; 47. Hawaiian No. 1, open, 6:12:47; 48. Anuenue No. 1, 45 and over, 6:14:59; 49. Outrigger Canoe Club No. 3, 45 and over, 6:15:34; 50. Waikiki Beach Boys No. 2, open, 6:15:56.

51. Pu'uwai, open, 6:16:45; 52. Leeward Kai, open, 6:17:08; 53. Hanalei No. 2, 45 and over, 6:19:26; 54. Kahana, open, 6:19:37; 55. Kamehameha -- Oahu, open, 6:19:42; 56. Keoua, Koa, 6:19:42; 57. Waikiki Surf Club No. 3, open, 6:21:02; 58. Lae Ula O Kai, open, 6:21:34; 59. Kawaihae No. 2, 45 and over, 6:22:08; 60. Kaiola No. 1, open, 6:22:53.

61. Koa Kai No. 34, 35 and over, 6:24:54; 62. Kaneohe, 35 and over, 6:25:47; 63. Lami Kai Wai, open, 6:26:06; 64. Lokahi No. 2, open, 6:26:09; 65. Hui Nalu No. 2, open, 6:27:31; 66. Kawaihae -- Laka, open, 6:29:14; 67. Waikiki Yacht Club No. 2, open, 6:30:11; 68. Hawaiian No. 2, open, 6:31:38; 69. Makaha, open, 6:32:12; 70. Lahaina, open, 6:32:22.

71. Keauhou, open, 6:32:59; 72. Hui Lanakila No. 3, open, 6:33:11; 73. Na Keiki O Ka Mo'i, open, 6:34:25; 74. Kihei No. 2, 35 and over, 6:35:52; 75. San Francisco Outrigger No. 2, 35 and over, 6:35:53; 76. Keaukaha No. 1, 45 and over, 6:35:58; 77. North Shore No. 2, open, 6:36:43; 78. Hawaiian No. 3, 45 and over, 6:37:14; 79. San Francisco Outrigger No. 1, open, 6:37:57; 80. Port Stephens Outrigger, open, 6:38:04.

81. Kailua No. 2, open, 6:38:56; 82. Na Kai Ewalu No. 2, open, 6:44:03; 83. Imua, open, 6:44:25; 84. Koa Kai No. 2, open, 6:44:49; 85. Hui O Ho'okainal, open, 6:46:35; 86. Kaiola, 45 and over, 6:47:04; 87. Keaukaha No. 2, open, 6:48:23; 88. Healani, open, 6:52:39; 89. Kailua No. 3, open, 6:53:45; 90. Kalihi Kai, Koa, 6:53:52.

91. Taniwaha Grizzlies, 45 and over, 6:54:55; 92. Kai Poha, open, 6:56:36; 93. Waimanalo, open, 6:58:12; 94. New Hope, open, 6:59:20; 95. Lanikai No. 4, 45 and over, 7:00:45; 96. Kihei No. 1, open, 7:02:40; 97. Waikoloa, 45 and over, 7:05:52; 98. Na Kai Ewalu, 35 and over, 7:09:11; 99. Alapa Hoe, open, 7:12:07.


Hale O Lono to Fort DeRussy, 40.8 miles.

1999-Outrigger Canoe Club (Oahu), 5:13:02.
1998-Outrigger Canoe Club (Oahu), 5:16:02.
1997-Outrigger (Australia), 4:57.45.
1996-Lanikai Canoe Club (Oahu), 5:15.42.
1995-Lanikai Canoe Club (Oahu) 4:53:03
1994-Faaa Canoe Club (Tahiti), 5:02:50.
1993-Faaa Canoe Club (Tahiti), 4:55.27 (record)
1992-Panamuna Canoe Club (Australia), 5:30:57.
1991-Outrigger Canoe Club (Australia), 5:39:15.
1990-Outrigger Canoe Club (Oahu).
1989-OffShore Canoe Club (Calif.), 5:06.29.
1988-Outrigger Canoe Club (Oahu), 5:08.11.
1987-Outrigger Canoe Club (Oahu), 5:32:46.
1986-Outrigger Canoe Club (Oahu), 5:27:45.
1985-Illinois Brigade (Illinois), 5:33:04.
1984-Outrigger Canoe Club (Oahu), 5:18:19.
1983-Outrigger Canoe Club (Oahu), 5:45:09.
1982-Off Shore Canoe Club (Calif.), 6:08:35.
1981-Off Shore Canoe Club (Calif.), 5:25:01.
1980-Outrigger Canoe Club (Oahu), 5:52:26.
1979-Outrigger Canoe Club (Oahu), 5:43:52.

Hale O Lono to Fort DeRussy (around wreck buoy), 41.01 miles.

1978-Blazing Paddles (Calif.), 5:43:52.

Hale O Lono to Magic Island, 41.46 miles.

1977-Outrigger Canoe Club (Oahu), 5:55:00.

Kaunakakai to Magic Island, 55.60 miles.

1976-Te Oropaa (Tahiti), 7:53:40.

Hale O Lono to Moana Hotel, 40.41 miles.

1975-Outrigger Canoe Club (Oahu), 5:39:07.
1974-Lanikai Canoe Club (Oahu), 6:18:55.

Kaunakakai to Sans Souci, 53.32 miles.

1973-Waikiki Surf Club (Oahu) 8:00:00.

Hale O Lono to Hilton Hawaiian Village, 40.8 miles.

1972-Waikiki Surf Club (Oahu), 6:01:46.
1971-Healani Canoe Club (Oahu), 5:51:02.
1970-Healani Canoe Club (Oahu), 6:24:00.
1969-Waikiki Surf Club (Oahu), 6:38.26.
1968-Outrigger Canoe Club (Oahu), 5:55:16.
1967-Outrigger Canoe Club (Oahu), 6:03:09.
1966-Waikiki Surf Club (Oahu), 6:37:13.
1965-Outrigger Canoe Club (Oahu), 6:48:57.
1964-Kailua Civic Canoe Club (Oahu), 5:56:00.
1963-Waikiki Surf Club (Oahu), 6:40:00.

Kawakiu to Hilton Hawaiian Village, 38.96 miles.

1962-Waikiki Surf Club (Oahu), 7:04:00.
1961-Waikiki Surf Club (Oahu), 7:48:00.
1960-Waikiki Surf Club (Oahu), 5:29:00.
1959-Waikiki Surf Club (Oahu), 6:09:00.
1958-Waikiki Surf Club (Oahu), 6:32:00.
1957-Kai Oni (Oahu), 5:56:00.
1956-Outrigger Canoe Club (Oahu), 7:54:00.

Kawakiu to Moana Hotel, 38.2 miles.

1955-Waikiki Surf Club (Oahu), 7:09:40.
1954-Hui Nalu (Oahu), 6:05:00.
1953-Waikiki Surf Club (Oahu), 6:53:00.
1952-Kukui O Lanikaula (Molokai), 8:55:00.

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