Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, July 2, 2001


Jason Bellefeuille, left, and Nathan Totman, were half of host
Ka Mo'i Canoe Club's winning crew in the men's open 4 in
yesterday's regatta at Maili Beach Park. The team's win
was its fifth this season.

Lokahi pulls out
regatta win

By Grace Wen

Twelve records were broken at the Na Keiki O Ka Mo'i regatta at Maili Beach. But the Hui Wa'a Association regatta itself was like a broken record as Lokahi Canoe Club and Kaneohe Canoe club battled for the overall title again.

Through six regattas, Lokahi and Kaneohe have dueled for the trophy, with neither team having more than a five-point margin of victory. It was no different yesterday as Lokahi captured its fourth championship with a 71-68 win.

"It's not as clear-cut as some regattas may have been," Lokahi coach Wayne Babineau said. "Our kids may have done better."

Kaneohe's disqualification in the Mixed Novice B race proved costly as the club lost the five points that would have meant victory.

The crew was disqualified for interfering with Kalihi Kai, which finished second and was subsequently awarded the five points. The two canoes collided and the officials ruled that Kaneohe had committed a lane violation by entering Kalihi Kai's lane.

Kaneohe protested the disqualification, but the race committee upheld the ruling.

"That hurt us a lot," Kaneohe coach Clint Anderson said. "Today we had a couple of mistakes. All the small things just add up to a loss."

The disqualification and an uncharacteristic off day by Kaneohe's youth crews added up to Kaneohe holding a slim 44-43 lead after 21 races.

Lokahi's strength -- its adult crews -- came through at the end, as the club won four of the last 14 races.

Lokahi men's novice A and women's freshmen, sophomore, senior and golden masters-55 crews all maintained their undefeated records, contributing 20 points for the club.

Despite sweeping the women's events, Lokahi still faced a challenge as it was tied 62-62 with Kaneohe through 30 events.

Lokahi took the lead with a win in the women's open 4 and padded that lead with a fourth-place in the men's open 4 and a second-place in the men's masters-35. Kaneohe managed just six more points from three third-place finishes in the last five races.

In the A Division, host Ka Mo'i's men's open 4 continued its dominance, winning for the fifth time this season. Nathan Totman, Greg Pavao, Jason Bellefeuille, and Doug Newman have been paddling together for three years; last year, they finished third at the state regatta,

Despite winning the race, Pavao says it was the crew's worst turnout so far.

"This is the first race we had somebody with us all the way to the (quarter-mile) flag," steersman Pavao said. "They (Kai Poha) kind of woke us up a little... so when we came out of the turn, we gave it all we got and pulled away from them.

Despite the win, the host club lost by a point to Koa Kai 27-26.

The next Hui Wa'a regatta is Sunday at Keehi Lagoon.

The Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association competes Wednesday at the Macfarlane 4th of July Regatta at Waikiki Beach.

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