On Sunday, March 5, the paddlers of YMCA Kauai Hoe Wa’a association were hungry to face the chocolate waters and refreshingly blue skies of the Westside for the 6th race of the season — generously sponsored by Waimea Brew Pub and ResortQuest Waimea Plantation Cottages. The long-course paddlers took off from Port Allen Harbor and headed upwind for a mile and a quarter to round a buoy at Wahiawa Bay, then shot down the coast for another seven and a half miles to the finish at Waimea Plantation Cottages. The short course also started at Port Allen and headed straight down to the Cottages as well.
For all participants, this was a challenging course which highlighted the aspects of a well- rounded paddler. This was not just a freight train downwind run which primarily showcased individuals who excel in surfing the bumps. This course called upon the talents of those with the strength and technique to battle a heavy choppy upwind section, then surf the downwind, then maintain a good line when the stiff offshore winds hit off of Kaumakani, and finally, finish strong in yet another headwind. This was a race of variables and endurance which caused everyone to dig deep.
No one dug deeper than Mark Frazier, who displayed his well- rounded abilities by establishing a clear lead over the men in the OC-1 long course division from the start. He finished in a time of 1:18:40. Butch Keahiolalo was second in 1:20:26 and Hipo Princena finished a very close third in 1:20:38.
Alana Goo easily grabbed the top OC-1 spot for the women with a dominating time of 1:30:00. Katy Curtis garnered second in 1:34:28 and Robin Jumper was third in 1:35:48.
In the surfski division, Kennie Denton was first to the beach with a time of 1:17:30 and his other half, Laurie, was first overall for the women, finishing at 1:28:01. Laura Anderson was second in 1:32:46.
Cindy and Jeff Weiss, who are fresh out of the closet, have clearly established their dominance in the mixed OC-2 division and are being followed by the steadily improving team of Beth and Chris Kauwe.
Gene Lopez with a time of 1:07:47 and Katy Otsuji in a time of 1:14:38 won the men and women’s short course OC-1 division respectively. Arthur Chow finished second at 1:10:23 and Tom Bartlett was third in 1:11:50 for the men’s division. Lilinoe Forrest was second behind Katy at 1:17:50 and Marleny Cotrim was third at 1:19:13. Michelle Jackson was the lone surfski competitor in a time of 1:17:55.
Thanks to the following who made this a great event: Waimea Brew Pub and ResortQuest Waimea Plantation Cottages and Alan Faye from Kikiaola Land Development for the fabulous lunch and facilities provided for the tired paddlers. Thanks also to Budweiser for providing a season’s worth of refreshments, and to faithful timers Sara Deblin, Ann Hermosura, Mary Bartlett and Summer Dillberg. Kudos to Sharkey from Aloha Canvas, who was the lone escort for the race, and to Mary Bartlett and Tracey Capman for their help at registration.
The next race will be on March 19. Long course is from Kalapaki to Kukuiula Small Boat Harbor. Short course is from Kalapaki to Sheraton. Call the race hotline at 635-0388 for updated race information.