Cannon, Simpson top Paddlefest 2011

PO‘IPU —  Jules Cannon slipped through the bumpy South Shore surf in less than 22 minutes and Jody Simpson glided his OC1 into the South Shore swell in a little more than an hour and 15 minutes to top Paddlefest 2011, Sunday at the Po‘ipu Beach Park.

Hosted by the Kukui‘ula Outrigger Canoe Club, the Paddlefest was the final event of the nine-day Koloa Plantation Days celebration and featured a long distance race from Kalapaki Beach, ending at the Po‘ipu Beach Park, and a short distance race starting from the Po‘ipu Beach Park and ending at the Kukui‘ula Small Boat Harbor.

Cannon, aboard the only surfski in the short course, blazed with the wind at his back to cross the finish line on a 21:38 paddle, followed by the team of Zack and Evan Young aboard an OC2 at 23:10.

Mary Bartlett took her grandson Esiah Dilberg out into the ocean for Dilberg’s first race, the Mixed duo pushing its OC2 against the trades at Kukui‘ula to cross at 24:28, the only OC2 Mixed team on the course.

Larry Bryan, was the sole OC1 on the course, crossing at 25:22, fourth overall followed by Melissa Burovac, the first Stand Up Paddler touching down at 29:01, fifth overall and the first SUP to land.

Kaili Olores, finishing first in the Male 30, landed his SUP sixth overall at 29:21.

Norm Witsek was the sole Paddleboard in the short course, finishing 10th overall on a 34:40 run from Po‘ipu Beach.

Simpson landed his OC1 Pueo first overall in the long course which launched from the sands of Kalapaki Beach and landing at the Po‘ipu Beach Park on a 1:15:17 paddle.

He was challenged by an OC6, the traditional outrigger canoe with six paddlers, as Na Molokama beached “Tahiti Nui” on a 1:18:19 crossing.

The cluster of top finishers was close as Aaron Labugen (1:18:22) aboard an OC1 Pueo crossed just three seconds behind the outrigger canoe team.

Kristin Foster, the first woman finisher in the long course, crossed her OC1 Pueo ninth overall on a 1:22:47 paddle.

Kelvin Ho moved his surfski on a 1:46:09 paddle to finish first in that division and Michelle Jackson, crossing following a 2:03:37 paddle, was the first female SUP finisher, the SUP race being topped by Yatagame Iokuge Krishan who touched the line following a 1:49:48 crossing.

Eugene Ancheta, a Kaua‘i Junior Lifeguard instructor who returned late Saturday night with the group earning its eighth straight state title, was second overall in the SUP, crossing the line at 1:51:18 as the first in the Stock Male 40 category.

Scott Wagner, finishing 44th overall, was the first Paddleboard to cross, making the paddle at 1:57:36.

The first women’s OC6 team heralded from the Niumalu Canoe Club, pushing “Kalapaki” across the line in 17th place overall with a 1:27:58 finish followed by host Kukui‘ula’s “Oliliko” crossing at 1:28:22 and Kaiola’s team aboard “Awiwi” settling at 1:33:36.

Host Kukui‘ula also settled for second in the Open Men division, pushing “Keoneloa” across the line in 1:19:20, about a minute back of “Tahiti Nui.” Kaiola finished third as “Hihimanu” crossed at 1:27:29.

Visit www.kukuiulaoutrigger.com to view complete results of the Paddlefest 2011.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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