Auger and Kjeldsen dominate Kaua’i Hoe Wa’a season opener

Noe Auger, Wailua’s little dynamo, proved size or gender is of no issue as she flew past the women and many of the men in Sunday’s YMCA Kauai Hoe Wa’a season opener paddling race. A following sea and brisk easterly 20 mph winds made the run to Port Allen a fast race for both the long and short course divisions who started off of the Sheraton Kauai and Kukuiula Harbor, respectively.

With a total of 43 entries in the long course, Noe placed a respectable 13th overall, with a time of 1:12.52.

Alana Goo placed second coming in at 1:16.39 and Margie Goodno was third at 1:22.13.

Maui Kjeldsen, a newbie to the island but definitely not to the world of paddling, easily won the men’s long course division. He finished the 9-mile course in a ripping time of 1:04 and has definitely raised the bar for Kaua’i’s top paddlers.

Mark Frazier was second at 1:06.42 and Butch Keahialalo was third at 1:07.03.

For event results, see the Scoreboard on Page B2.

Casablanca Restaurant of Poipu and Budweiser, the organization’s main sponsor, provided an exceptional lunch.

Many island businesses and organizations such as the Port Allen Fishing Club, Keoki’s, Brennecke’s, Dukes, Kai Kane, Starbucks, Kauai Marriott, Grinds, Poipu Beach Broiler, Waimea Plantation Cottages, the Sheraton and the Hyatt have also helped make the seasons run smoothly.

The YMCA Kauai Hoe Wa’a whose mission is safety, participation, fun and competition, is here to bring the exploding world of one-man outrigger and surfski paddling to Kauai.

Races are generally held every other Sunday at noon at various spots on the island. These events lead up the Kaua’i World Challenge Relay on May 13.

A 36-mile two person team event, the relay begins at Wailua Beach and finishes at Salt Pond with each competitor paddling two legs of the race.

One of the only paddling events to offer a winner’s purse, the Kauai World Challenge has attracted an extremely talented pool of international outrigger, sprint kayak and surf ski paddlers. World champions, Olympic medalists, and the like are regulars to this prestigious event.

Spectators are able to watch the race evolve as the change-overs are at easily accessible venues such as Hanamaulu Bay, Kalapaki beach, fronting the Kauai Marriott, Poipu Beach Park and the finish, complete with food, music and awards at Salt Pond Beach Park.

For more information on how to get involved with the YMCA Kauai Hoe Wa’a or the Kauai World Challenge, call Tom Bartlett at 826-5503.

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