Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, June 18, 2001


Iron-men spark
Lanikai comeback

By C.R. Dudley
Special to the Star-Bulletin

After nearly five hours of paddling Saturday and then a red-eye flight from Tahiti yesterday morning, Lanikai Canoe Club's senior men's crew returned to Oahu in time to dominate its event at the Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association regatta at Nanakuli Beach Park.

Lanikai finished nearly five seconds ahead of second-place Hui Nalu, earning valuable points toward the club's overall victory in Leeward Kai Canoe Club's 32nd Annual Father's Day Regatta.

Lanikai won its second straight regatta, finishing with 80 points in the AA Division. Outrigger Canoe Club won 10 races to finish with 78 points.

Waikiki Surf won the A Division with 12 points.

With 24 of 36 events completed Outrigger held a four-point lead over Lanikai.

Outrigger's senior women stretched the lead to nine points with their victory.

"Our senior women dominated. They really ran away from everyone," Outrigger Canoe Club head coach Kehau Kali said of the 17-second win over Hui Nalu.

But Lanikai's senior men cut into the lead immediately and the two clubs battled back and forth until the end.

"Our teenagers really did well and our women's crews too," Kali said. Outrigger won the boys 12s, 15s and 16s, the girls 14s, 15s and 18s, as well as the women's freshmen, senior and masters-35 events.

But Lanikai's victory in the mixed race gave the club a 77-68 lead. Lanikai clinched the regatta title when the women's masters-35 crew finished second in the next race.

Lanikai fourth in Tahiti: The Lanikai senior men finished fourth Saturday in the 40-mile He'e Moana race won by Tahiti's Pirae Canoe Club.

The key for Lanikai was being able to rest after flying from Honolulu on Wednesday.

"Having nice, comfortable rooms at the Sheraton really helped prepare us," Lanikai steersman Jim Foti said.

Other crew members were Mike Pedersen, Mike Judd, Karel Tresnak Jr., Kai Bartlett, Peter Binney, Kalani Irvine, John Foti and Ikaika Harbottle. The crew was coached by Gale Berengue.

Lokahi prevails: At Haleiwa, Lokahi outpointed Kaneohe, 73-67, to win the overall title in yesterday's Hui Wa'a Regatta.

Koa Kai was the A Division winner with 35 points.

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