Monday, May 23, 2022 |
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A new outrigger canoe club, Namolokama O’ Hanalei Canoe Club (NHCC), has been formed on the North Shore, in Hanalei. The club is named after the mountain with the waterfall and means “like tightly braided hair.”
“We are very excited about starting our first season and offering another great canoe club to the island of Kaua’i. Our club will help increase the number of paddlers on our island, giving Kaua’i a competitive advantage in the State races,” said Rohit Mehta, Gene Lopez and Peter Miller, founders and interim board members.
The club “has the full support of the Hanalei Community Association” said Diane Daniels, the organization’s president.
The coaching staff is made up of seasoned paddlers with a combined experience of over a hundred years, including Leggs Yokotake, Togo Hermosura, Earl Simpson and Bret Deblin.
“We are off to a good start,” said Earl Simpson, “having placed second in the recent women’s open race in Waimea.
“We are about to launch our community youth program, and once we get established, are planning to have a program for mentally and physically disadvantaged individuals,” said Bret Deblin.
NHCC has about 60 members and is growing rapidly. They have requested membership in the Garden Island Canoe Racing Association (GICRA). This would allow them to participate in GICRA-sanctioned races on Kaua’i and in the Hawaii State Canoe Championships hosted by the Hawaii Canoe Racing Association (HCRA).
Until membership is granted they are racing as members of the Niumalu Canoe Club.
“We are very optimistic about attaining our own membership into GICRA, but until then we are very grateful to Niumalu for giving us the privilege to race under their flag,” said Ann Hermosura, vice-president of GICRA and a member of the new club.
“We heartily welcome paddlers and canoe enthusiasts of all ages regardless of their paddling experience,” said head coach Leggs Yokotake. “We are committed to providing a positive environment and will strive to promote good sportsmanship coupled with good exercise, competition and fun on the water.”
“We are looking forward to being a strong competitive team for many on and off-island events,” said coach Togo Hermosura.
Interim boardmembers are: Rohit Mehta, President; Gene Lopez, Vice President; Erin Struxness, Secretary; Rosemary Miller, Treasurer; Leggs Yokotake, Head Coach; Pete Miller, Director; Dick Smith, Director.
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