Outrigger paddling season opening ceremony this week

LIHUE – Kauai’s one-man outrigger canoe paddling season will kick-off with a full day of events on Dec. 8, beginning with a “fun run” paddle.

Weather permitting, Kai Bartlett, winner of and world record holder for the 2002 Moloka’i Team and Iron one-man canoe races, invites experienced paddlers to paddle at 9 a.m. from Kaiola Canoe Club’s Niumalu landing to the Sheraton’s Po’ipu beach.

Tom Bartlett, Kai Bartlett’s father and President of Kaua’i Hoe Wa’a, Kauai’s one-man canoe association, will guide a short fun run from the Sheraton to Port Allen, also at 9 a.m.

Following the fun run, there will be a swap meet at 1 p.m. at Kaiola Canoe Club for a variety of paddling equipment including paddles, boats, and other items to buy or sell. Experienced and aspiring paddlers can try out the hottest canoes on the market including the Polaris, Arcturus, Hurricane, Stingray and used boats for sale such as Mantras, Vipers, and Koleas.

Participants are also invited to a potluck barbeque at 1 p.m. Kaua’i Hoe Wa’a will provide chicken, and attendees are asked to bring a potluck dish to share as well as their own beverages.

At 2 p.m., the first Kaua’i Hoe Wa’a meeting of the season will commence at Kaiola Canoe Club and the adjacent Niumalu County Park pavilion. The meeting will cover details about the upcoming race season, sponsor opportunities, elections of officers, and other club business.

At 3 p.m., world champion paddler Kai Bartlett will teach a free one-man outrigger canoe paddling clinic about “How to Paddle Fast” using demonstrations and training videos.

Anyone interested in outrigger canoe paddling is invited to attend the meeting and clinic to learn about how they can participate in this fast growing sport.

“One-man/two-man canoeing is a great water sport and an excellent way to cross train for six-man outrigger paddling and other activities such as triathlons, surfing, and marathoning,” said Tom Bartlett, President of Kaua’i Hoe Wa’a. “Last year was Kaua’i Hoe Waa’s first season, and several races had more than 50 boats participating with paddlers from the neighbor islands and the mainland. We’ve had paddlers from 15 to over 60 years-old join in the fun and competitions. It was exciting to see the turnout from both the youth and women,” added Bartlett.

Kaua’i Hoe Wa’a is sponsored by the YMCA and businesses such as Duke’s & Keoki’s Paradise, Brennecke’s, and Kai Kane. Each race is designed first to promote safety, participation, fun, and finally competition. Races will be held two Sundays every month from mid-December through April at a variety of locations including Kalapaki Bay, Po’ipu, Wailua, and the Northshore. A race schedule is posted on www.y2kanu.com. Races start at 10 a.m., with registration at 9 a.m. Canoes are often available to borrow for races.

There is an annual Kaua’i Hoe Wa’a membership fee of $40 for families, $30 for individuals, and $20 for juniors. The fee includes discounted race entry fees, a t-shirt for each individual and junior membership, and two t-shirts for each family membership. Race entry fees are $15 per race for one-man canoes and $20 for two-man canoes for members and $20 per race for one-man canoes and $25 for two-man canoes for non-members. Race entry fees cover the cost of safety boats and lunches following each race. For more information about Kaua’i Hoe Wa’a, contact Tom Bartlett at 826-5503, Kawika Goodale at 828-1416, Fred Atkins at 635-8633, or Margie Goodno at 335-9738 or send an inquiry to places@hawaiian.net.


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