Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, June 13, 2001


Lanikai paddlers
to compete in Tahiti

Star-Bulletin staff

Members of the Lanikai Canoe Club's winning Molokai Hoe crew left for Tahiti today to compete in Saturday's inaugural He'e Moana long-distance outrigger canoe race.

Lanikai is the only non-Tahitian crew in the 65-canoe field. The downwind race goes from Teahupoo to Tapuna, a distance of 40 miles.

"I got a phone call last month, inviting us to the inaugural race," Lanikai steersman Jim Foti said. "With us being the defending Molokai champs, I think they looked at us bringing credibility to the race.

"We're also hoping this is the start of an honest exchange between Hawaii and Tahiti. We've both competed in each other's races in borrowed canoes that were not in the best of shape.''

Foti said that Pirae Canoe Club will lend Lanikai a canoe in exchange for a new canoe for Pirae to use in this October's Molokai Hoe.

"Karel (Tresnak) will build them a new canoe,'' Foti said. "Hopefully, this breaks the ice and is the beginning of kokua for international races.''

Other crew members are John Foti, Mike Pedersen, Peter Binney, Ikaika Harbottle, Kai Bartlett, Karel Tresnak Jr., Kalani Irvine and Mike Judd. The coach is Gale Berengue.

The crew is expecting to return in time to compete in Sunday's Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association regatta at Nanakuli.

Most of the paddlers come from the Lanikai crew which has dominated the senior men's race for a decade.

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