OluKai finds wind line to Moloka‘i

OluKai found the wind line in the Maui-to-Moloka‘i sailing canoe race and finished in control of first place in the Hawai‘i Sailing Canoe Association series.

In a press release from Marvin Otsuji, captain of the OluKai team, the third leg of the HSCA 2008 race series was held from Kahalui to Ka‘anapali, Maui, before continuing on from Ka‘anapali to Hale o lono, Moloka‘i.

Otsuji, whose team included Noe Auger, Jason Dameron, Maika Scott, Lauren Bartlett and Scott Wagner, said conditions were great during the first leg of the three-day race series and OluKai was able to produce a winning time of less than two hours for the 30-mile course.

“OluKai got through a rocky start, but was able to track down Matt Buckman’s team from O‘ahu, and after reeling in another Kaua‘i team captained by Donnie Jones, came up with the win,” Otsuji said in an e-mail.

The final leg from Ka‘anapali to Moloka‘i was run under good sailing conditions, Otsuji said.

With winds in the 20 mph range, OluKai battled successfully in a paddling race off the start and chipped out an early lead.

Finding the wind line, OluKai paddled and surfed the final 40 miles in the race for first place honors.

Otsuji said, “Combining the wins of the first two legs plus this past weekend’s race, OluKai is alone in first place for the overall sailing series.”

According to the HSCA Web site, this weekend’s race is the second of five planned races for 2008.

The next race will be from Moloka‘i-to-O‘ahu running on July 12 and 13.

That race will start at Hale‘iwa and end at Nawiliwili.

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