Monday, June 19, 2000
Lokahi wins in Hui Wa'aBy Brandon Lee
Special to the Star-Bulletin
This week's special: turning on two flags.
That was the joke race officials repeated often during the Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association's Leeward Kai Father's Day Regatta yesterday at Nanakuli Beach.
With a strong current ripping through the turn areas and generally rough conditions overall, the third regatta of OHCRA's short-course season was filled with many crew disqualifications and the testy emotions of paddlers and coaches.
Many crews were unable to turn sharp enough around their own lane's one flag. They were immediately disqualified when the rough conditions forced them to cross into the next lane and around another flag.
Despite the numerous disqualifications and ensuing protests by many of the competing clubs, Lanikai Canoe Club came through with its first regatta victory of the season.
After opening the season with single-digit losses to Kailua Canoe Club in the first two regattas, Lanikai relinquished the bridesmaid position with a strong showing from start to finish yesterday. While Lanikai can always count on heavy points from its adult crews, particularly the men, its youth crews propelled the club to a big lead entering the adult races for the first time this year.
Upon completion of the youth and novice races --the approximate midway point --Lanikai had a 38-30 point lead over Kailua. It was a lead which Lanikai never relinquished, finishing with 75 points to Kailua's 65.
"Our kids really did it for us today," Lanikai head coach Kalani Irvine said. "They're progressing nicely and we're happy with that, and the overall performance of the club was a little better than what we've been putting out the last couple of weeks."
While Kailua's youth had staked their club to early leads in the first two regattas, Lanikai came up with five victories in the youth races to change the scenario. Lanikai's youth crews also scored points for second-through-fourth- place finishes in seven of the other eight youth races.
Lanikai's men chipped in with five more first-place finishes, and its women also had three second-place showings.
"We're trying to fill in the gaps and we did well today, but we can't rest on our laurels," Irvine said. "We have to try to keep progressing, and hopefully we can stay one step ahead of everybody else."
Despite his club's first finish out of the top spot this year, Kailua head coach Cy Kalama said he was very pleased with his club's performance in the adverse conditions.
"There was some action out there, especially on the turns, but that's where the skill comes in," Kalama said. "This was probably our best performance overall, and we're definitely improving with each regatta. Our goal is to win the OHCRA championship, of course, and this is all preparation."
Hui Nalu Canoe Club finished the regatta in a distant third with 48 points, while Hui Lanakila and Outrigger Canoe finished tied for fourth with 43.
Host Leeward Kai won a tight race in the A Division for smaller clubs with 19 points.
The OHCRA season continues next Sunday with a regatta at Waimanalo Beach.
Lokahi wins in Hui WaaStar-Bulletin staff
Lokahi won the AA Division in the Hui Wa'a Manu O Ke Kai Regattat at Haleiwa Beach yesterday.
Lokahi finished with 69 points, 15 more than second place Na Keiki O Ka Mo'i.
Kaneohe took third place, followed by the Waikiki Yacht Club in fourth.
Koa Kai earned the A Division win with 35 points, followed by Kamehameha in second with 27. Host Manu O Ke Kai placed third, and Windward Kai ended in fourth.