Olu Kai drops to Tui Tonga, but snags HSCA crown

Tui Tonga took the Kendall Pacific Cup by 14 minutes over Olu Kai, but Olu Kai finished at the top of the Hawai‘i Sailing Canoe Association standings, Saturday in Waimea.

Marvin Otsuji skippered the Olu Kai crew, and following the Na Holokai, Hale‘iwa, O‘ahu, to Nawiliwili, Kaua‘i, race on Aug. 20, Otsuji said all that remained for Olu Kai was to finish the Kendall Pacific Cup to take the HSCA title.

“We would have to break up and not finish, not to win the title,” Otsuji said following his first finish at Na Holokai.

The Kendall Pacific Cup is the final race of the 2011 HSCA season which started April 30 with a race across the Alenuihaha Channel, from the Big Island to Hana, Maui.

Through the year, the races moved the sailing canoes up the Hawaiian Island, ending with the Kendall Pacific Cup, Saturday, at Waimea, Kaua‘i.

Tui Tonga, a Kaua‘i-based craft, made the run from Kalapaki Beach to Waimea in 4:11:44, according to results sent in by Brian Curll who stated the times are unofficial.

Olu Kai, with Otsuji at the helm, touched down at 4:25:27 in second place.

But the race was not limited to sailing canoes as Curll, in an effort to pay tribute to Kendall Struxness, opened the race to kite boarders, one- and two-man canoes, surf skis and Stand Up Paddle boards.

“The Kendall Pacific is not only the State of Hawai‘i Sailing Canoe Championship, it has also become Kaua‘i’s only long distance changes race in preparation for Na Wahine and Moloka‘i Hoe,” Curll said in an e-mail.

A singular SUP made the crossing in 4:05 to the Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor.

The West Kaua‘i Canoe Club touched at 2:35, nine minutes ahead of Kukui‘ula in the Iron division.

Na Molokama topped the list of Others division finishers, crossing the finish line at 3:51:10 followed by Kukui‘ula “A” at 4:01:50.

Hanalei followed six minutes back at 4:07:22 followed by Kaiola (4:14:41), Niumalu (4:30:28), Pu‘uwai (4:32:18), Niumalu (4:32:50), Kukui‘ula (4:35:39), Kaiola (4:45:36), Na Molokama (4:49:15), Na Molokama (5:05:20) and Pu‘uwai (5:23:44).

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