Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, May 28, 2001


Aaron Abbey of the Kaneohe Canoe Club's Boys 15
and under team rejoiced after they won their race in
the Hui O Ikaika Regatta at Keehi Lagoon yesterday.

New season,
familiar plot
in Hui Wa‘a

Kaneohe and Lokahi continue to
battle it out, with Kaneohe winning
yesterday's opening regatta

By Brandon Lee
Special to the Star-Bulletin

A new Na Ohana O Na Hui Wa'a regatta season began yesterday, but the races pretty much unfolded along the same old story line of the last few years.

Both Kaneohe Canoe Club and Lokahi Canoe Club relied on their traditional strengths in battling to a close finish -- something that has become the norm in recent seasons.

This time, Kaneohe emerged victorious, with a 70-65 victory over Lokahi at the Hui O Ikaika Regatta at Keehi Lagoon.

The Lokahi-Kaneohe rivalry has been particularly intense the past two seasons. This year will apparently be no different, as the clubs battled neck-and-neck throughout yesterday's regatta.

Kaneohe jumped out to a commanding lead yesterday with dominating performances in the youth races.

Kaneohe scored points in all but two of the 13 youth races, including five first-place and three second-place finishes.

The Kumulokahi-Elks Canoe Club won the Girls 16 and
under division of the Hui O Ikaika Regatta at Keehi Lagoon
yesterday. They are (from left) Jamie Tsubaki, Mika Batchelor,
Kristine Carden, Tara Colema-Rillamas and Anne Antonio.
Steersman Kim Swaney is not pictured.

"The kids are still our strength," Kaneohe coach Clint Anderson said.

"(The kids) do their job and that's what we look forward for. They did good. I'm proud of them."

After the youth and novice races, Kaneohe had a commanding 43-27 lead over Lokahi at the midway point of the 36-race regatta.

But, as has been the norm, Lokahi began to rally with the start of the adult races.

Lokahi swept the open women's races (freshmen, sophomore and senior), and also took first in the women's golden master division (52 years and older) to tie the score for the first time at 55 with seven events to go.

"It surprises me a bit," said Lokahi coach Wayne Babineau of yesterday's regatta. "We lost women and it was one of those things where, until you start racing, you don't know where you're at. But the women looked good."

Lokahi tied the score again at 63 after a second-place showing in Event 33 -- men's open four -- but could not get over the hump.

Lokahi did not have enough paddlers to enter a crew in the second to the last race (women's masters, 35 and older) and earned just two points over the last three races.

By contrast, Kaneohe had crews in each of the last three races and managed to finish the day by winning the men's masters race.

The five points for winning that race proved to be the margin of victory.

"You can see the crews that was practicing," Anderson said. "We know what we have to work with (to improve). Lokahi is still strong. I think it's gonna be like that (close) all the time, come (down) to the wire at the end."

Kamehameha Canoe Club won the A Division over Waikiki Yacht Club yesterday, 26-22.

The Hui Wa'a season continues next Sunday with the Kaneohe Canoe Club Regatta at Waimanalo Beach.

Oahu's other canoe racing association -- the Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association -- starts its season next Sunday with the Clement D. Paiaina Regatta at Keehi Lagoon.

Team results

AA Division (17-plus crews)
1. Kaneohe, 70. 2. Lokahi, 65. 3. Manu O Ke Kai, 40. 4. Koa Kai, 29. 5. Kalihi Kai, 25.

A Division (16-fewer crews)
1. Kamehameha, 26. 2. Waikiki Yacht Club, 22. 3. Na Keiki o Ka Mo'i, 19. 4. Imua, 18. 5. Windward Kai, 16. 6. Hawaiian Outrigger, 12. 7. Waikiki Beach Boys, 11. 8. Kai Poha, 8. 9. Alapa Hoe, 7. 10. Hui O Ikaika, 2. 11. Kumulokahi-Elks, 1.

Individual race results unavailable at press time.

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