The Hanalei Canoe Club pushed its first boat into the water in 1973, a full 27
Of course, it’s not like the members of the new club were
bushy-tailed, wide-eyed pups.
Quite the contrary.
Led by Kawika
Goodale, Hanalei charged to the ocean with vigor, winning the world
championship of outrigger canoeing, the Hinano Moloka’i Hoe, then in its 22nd
Goodale also was part of a team that won the master’s division of the
race in the late 1980s.
Fast forward to the present, and you’ll find that
Goodale has pulled a hat trick of sorts. The senior master’s crew of the
Hanalei Canoe Club finished first in the 2000 edition of the Moloka’i to Oahu
event (and 27th overall, time of 5:45:34) October 8.
participating in that race since 1973, and I guess I’ve had some success,”
Goodale said. “I’m just glad we’ve got a lot of great guys up here.”
that don’t just fall into the senior master’s category.
In addition to
picking up the win in the 45 & over grouping – though just two of the
crew’s nine members are under 50 – Hanalei Canoe Club had a remarkable finish
in the open category. The “youngsters” finished 15th overall (5:27:31), a feat
that, if one yields to sentiments of coach Brett Devlin, represents “an
absolutely huge accomplishment.”
“This race is like the olympics for
outrigger canoeing,” said Devlin, the Hanalei coach for the past two years.
“This is it, it’s what all the big-name teams train for. It’s the top of our
Taking 15th-place grabs an even more impressive status when one
considers that 102 boats crossed the finish line at Waikiki Beach.
exciting to think about Hanalei being right up there with the big boys,” Devlin
said. “We’re talking about big clubs with lots of paddlers to choose from, and
we’re right there with them.”
Indeed, Devlin said that one Oahu club was
able to enter five 9-man teams in the race. Those 45 persons represent 10 more
than comprise the entire Hanalei Canoe Club.
“You think about it,” Devlin
said. “We had 18 guys in the race (two teams of nine). That’s 18 guys out of
just 35 to choose from. It’s an impressive effort.”
Worth noting is the
finish of another Hanalei club, the Poi Boys (open division), who crossed the
line in 22nd place (5:37:29). That means three teams from the underpopulated
Northshore of Kaua’i finished the race in the top 30. That status entitles each
crew to a priority starting position in the 2001 Moloka’i Hoe.
competitors, things like starting position and pride comprise that for which
all the preparation and hard work is undertaken. Monetary prizes do not
accompany race victories. For the very best, endorsement opportunity may
present itself, but that, according to Devlin, is rare at best.
canoeing is the state sport,” Goodale said. “And the Moloka’i race is the
granddaddy of them all.”
That so, Goodale said, because of the demanding
nature of the event.
“It’s really a race where you just have to take what
the elements give you,” Goodale explained. “You start off the coast of
Moloka’i, paddle along the shoreline for a few miles, and then head out into
the channel, one of the more dangerous in the world, and you can’t see
“So you have to navigate your way to the island without
The 2000 race was even more difficult, as 12-foot ocean
swells and stiff 15-25 MPH tradewinds battered crews.
“It takes a lot of
strength and concentration to get the boat through those conditions,” Goodale
About the same strength it has taken the for Hanalei Canoe Club to
come out of the lull its been mired in for the past couple of years.
Devlin said the club was not in top shape four or five years ago, but some
new blood and some success have brought some of the veteran paddlers out of the
“Guys are excited about the club again,” Devlin said.
will be even more reason for excitement in the months to come. Goodale said
Hanalei Bay will be the site of next summer’s outrigger state championships. He
said 30 clubs from around the state will converge on the Northshore.
really an activity that involves a lot of people, and we want to get the word
out about it,” Goodale said. “There are races for the 10 & unders on up to
the 52 & overs.”
Members of the winning senior master’s crew were
Goodale, Earl Simpson, Mic Callahan, Gene Lopez, Daniel Sullivan, Steve Baker,
Dave Johnson, Togo Hermosura and Mark Daniels.
The Hanalei open crew
members were Devlin, Steve Cole, Brad Cole, Eric Rafter, Paul Frazier, Mark
Frazier, Mike Whitehead, Art Mersberg and Legs Yokotake.