Friday, May 27, 2022 |
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‘OMA‘O — The counts are still coming in, but officials agree the 2nd Annual Hare and Hound was bigger than last year.
Ron Victorino of the Kaua‘i Motocross Association estimated more than 400 riders signed up to ride the off-road course set up through the cooperation of ‘Oma‘o landowners and lessees.
“There are more than 100 riders in the ‘C’ Class alone,” Victorino said. “There were more than 40 in the ‘A’ Class and another 40-plus in the ‘B’ Class.”
Victorino said registration went well with more than 200 riders registering by the Friday pre-event meeting and the remainder coming in early Sunday morning.
The weather cooperated, although sprinkles from the threatening clouds helped keep the dust down.
Proceeds from this year’s race are going to help revive the Garden Island Motorcycle Club which started the original Labor Day races, Victorino said.
Clay Oshita remembers those days.
“The Labor Day races is one of the oldest in the country with more than a 50-year history,” Oshita said. “When the GIMC disbanded, other people took it over, but one year, it ran two weeks late and in another year, it just ran through guinea grass.”
Oshita and Victorino agreed there are a lot of motorcycle enthusiasts who enjoy doing the off-road ride and the Hare and Hound is designed to give riders and motor enthusiasts an opportunity to have the off-road experience in a safe and controlled atmosphere.
Joining Sunday’s field of motor enthusiasts, a large field of mountain bikers joined the specially created course headed by a corps of volunteers led by head trail cutters Bertram Almeida, Karl Ramirez and Ralph Villabrille.
“There are a lot of people who make this happen,” Almeida said. “We have people who do certain trails, but all of this comes down to the landowner, A&B Properties who, along with Bill Cowern of Hawaiian Mahogany, allows us to ride.”
Almeida said parking for spectators and families was almost tripled from last year’s event, again through the efforts of volunteers, and to accommodate spectators and family members who had members racing, a special concert was arranged.
The Kaua‘i Adult Volleyball Association had supporters flying in from O‘ahu to help with food-booth sales, proceeds which would help the club get to a Big Island tournament.
Similarly, Kanoe Ahuna, aka Suki 2U, of the Garden Island Renegade Rollerz, a roller derby league, used the opportunity to raise funds as well as announce its upcoming bout with a combined O‘ahu/Maui team at the Kapa‘a rink.
That match will take place Saturday starting at 7 p.m. against Pacific Roller Derby.
Almeida said one of the missions of the event was to make people aware of the large segment of the population involved in dirt bikes and off-road riding.
“We’ve invited the mayor who said he was planning on attending,” Almeida said. “Dirt-bike riding is good for business. Speaking with one shop, I was told there was a 30-percent increase across the board during an off-road event.”
That extra boost in business also came with Red Eye Clothing, which set up a special tent promoting its wares.
“There is an endless list of people who make this event possible,” Victorino said. “Volunteers have been working for the past three months just to get this place ready.”
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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