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Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, June 12, 2000

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

One paddle the
difference as Kaneohe
edges Lokahi

Kailua prevails in friendly sea

By Brandon Lee
Special to the Star-Bulletin


After coming from virtually nowhere to win six of seven regular season regattas last year, as well as the association championship, Kaneohe Canoe Club is out to prove it was no fluke.

Kaneohe edged Lokahi by two points in a controversial finish to capture the third regatta of the Na Ohana O Na Hui Wa'a short-course season yesterday at Keehi Lagoon.

Kaneohe's 68-66 victory was the club's second regatta title of the season. Kaneohe won the association opener over Lokahi two weeks ago -- also by two points. Lokahi took the second regatta, by a single point over Kaneohe.

"We try to keep it competitive if anything," Kaneohe head coach Woody Kahiapo said. "I know it's all for fun, but when it comes to competing, you want to be up there with the big boys like Lokahi."

Lokahi was up on Kaneohe, 66-65, entering the final race of the day - the men's masters. Kaneohe finished the race third to Lokahi's second, but a protest was raised over the fiberglass finish on a paddles used by the Lokahi crew.

Association rules allow for fiberglass reinforcement around the edges of paddle blades for protection, but they prohibit reinforcement of blade surfaces because it creates a performance advantage. The surface of the blade in question was strengthened with fiberglass.

The protest was eventually upheld by race officials and instead of finishing the regatta on top, Lokahi was disqualified from the final race with no points and relegated to second place.

Despite the disappointing finish, Lokahi head coach Wayne Babineau didn't blame the paddler with the "corked" blade.

"You look at the last race and say, 'Well, that decided the regatta,' when in fact every race decides the regatta," Babineau said.

As has been customary over the past 1 seasons, Kaneohe's youngsters and Lokahi's adults racked up the majority of the points for their respective teams again. According to Kahiapo, however, a "stepped-up" performance by Kaneohe's adults was pivotal in yesterday's win.

"The kids did good again, but I think the adults helped us a whole lot for this race," Kahiapo said. "The mixed crews, the men open 4 and several others allowed us to keep it real close the whole way."

The Hui Wa'a season continues Sunday with a regatta at Haleiwa Beach.

Kailua prevails in friendly sea

Star-Bulletin staff


Kailua won its second consecutive Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association event yesterday, outpointing runner-up Lanikai, 70-62, in the Kamehameha Regatta at Kailua Beach.

Hui Lanakila finished a point behind Lanikai despite winning a regatta-high eight races. Host Kailua had five victories.

The A Division title for smaller canoe clubs went to Leeward Kai with 21 points.

The OHCRA season continues next Sunday with a Nanakuli Beach regatta.

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