Kaua‘i canoes top sailing races on Maui, Moloka‘i

LIHU‘E — A pair of Kaua‘i captains — Marvin Otsuji and Don Jones — traded the first and second-place spots in the two legs of this weekend’s Hawaiian Sailing Canoe Race, totaling 61 miles on Friday and Sunday.

The opening leg, which ran from Kahului to Ka‘anapali, both Maui beaches, was a 27-mile trek that entailed 20 to 25 mile-per-hour winds and higher gusts. In 7-foot seas, Otsuji’s Team Olukai reached the finish line first in two hours.

Tui Tonga, captained by Jones, came in second. Laumaumau was third, captained by O‘ahu’s Steve Baker. In fourth was Kamali‘i o ke Kai with Captain Derek Esbill of O‘ahu. Moe E Ku, with Captain Terry Galpin finished in fifth place.

Two boats were unable to finish due to broken equipment.

All the crews spent Saturday giving free rides to the public at Ka‘anapali Beach.

Sunday’s trip was then won by Jones and Tui Tonga, as they navigated the Ka‘anapali to Hale o Lono, Moloka‘i trip in 2 hours, 59 minutes and 30 seconds. That was just out ahead of Otsuji and Olukai, who finished in 3:03.

Team Nalu Koa, with Captain Ray Glauser of Maui, came ashore third (3:04), while Laumaumau and Baker took fourth (3:10). Kamali‘i o ke Kai with Esbill was fifth (3:11).

The victory for Tui Tonga was a record time for the Pailolo Channel race, according to Glauser.

Sunday’s action was held in 5 to 7-foot seas and 20-knot winds.

The weekend’s activities were sponsored by The Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel Association and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.

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