Keahiolalo, Auger master the big swells

After a week of changing winds and potentially threatening weather, YMCA Kauai Hoe Wa’a held its 4th paddling race of the season on Sunday, February 12. The long course race began outside of Kapa‘a Beach Park and finished at Kalapaki beach.

The short course started at Wailua and finished at Kalapaki. With 10-15mph northeasterly winds and swells, and backwash, influenced by the large northwest surf, it turned out to be a freight train run at times.

With equipment failures and the flipping of canoes and surf skis, some paddlers wisely cut their races short. However, most had the time of their lives out there. With max speeds of 15 to over 16 mph being reported by those who had a GPS, who could complain?

In the women’s OC-1 long course division, Noe Auger remained on top by winning the 9.5-mile course in a time of 1:12.58. Alana Goo garnered a close second with a time of 1:14.11. Margie Goodno was third at 1:23.

A shifting of the guard was seen in the men’s OC-1 division. Butch Keahiolalo finished first at 1:04.06.

Mark Frazier was second at 1:05.14 and Hipo Princena was third at 1:06.27.

In the surfski division, Wes Da Silva was first to the beach with a time of 1:04 and Kennie Denton followed closely in 1: 04.36.

Tracey Capman won the women’s 7.5-mile short course division in a time of 1:13.36. Laola Lake was a close second at 1:13.51, and Sanoe Ho‘okano finished third in 1:14. The men’s division also had a close finish between the top three. As they each took turns grabbing the lead and then losing it by flipping during the race, Aukai Lopes managed to move ahead with a first place finish of 1:10. Aaron Labuguen was second at 1:10.45 and Tom Bartlett finished third in 1:10:51.

Many thanks to the following: Tracey Capman, Kona Duarte, Mary Bartlett and Laola Lake who assisted with registration. Mary Bartlett and Summer Dillberg who remain our faithful timers. Tim Cotchay who assisted Mary and Summer with the new timing system. Arthur Chow for escorting both the short and long course divisions and to Marshall MacCready for providing the escort boat. Steve Cole should also be recognized for the guidance he offered the younger paddlers on the short course. Michelle Jackson also forfeited her race to assist a paddler into Hanamaulu Bay. And no race would be complete without refreshments provided by Budweiser.

We would also like to acknowledge Steve Cole and Donny Jones for their work with the young paddlers from Kula School. We would love to see more young paddlers out from the other schools. Contact Tom Bartlett at 826-5503 if you need a boat or more information. The next race will be on February 26. The long course race is from Kalapaki to Sheraton, with the short course going from Sheraton to Port Allen. The start time is at 12:00.

For updated race information, call the hotline at 635-0388.

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