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Marston tops 3rd Kauai Hoe Waa race

NAWILIWILI — The third Kauai Hoe Waa race from Nawiliwili jetty to the Wailua Beach took off Sunday.

The first start fielded 14 racers, including a stand up paddler and OC2 paddlers.

The second start saw more than 30 paddlers in OC1.

Christian Marston Jr., part of the second start, topped the field with a first overall finish at 55 minutes, 34.9 seconds. Marston also topped the OC1 18-39 age group, challenged by Luke Evslin, crossing 19 seconds back at 55:53.9.

Top finisher for the first start was Devon Hudson, who crossed with a 1:08.17.0 paddle, topping the OC1 50-54 age group.

First female finisher honors went to Laola Lake Aea and Annette Fernandez, who piloted their OC2 to a 1:19:34.4 paddle, sixth overall in the first start group.

Doneen Stokes, a former Kauai High School paddling coach, followed with a 1:20.07.5 finish, topping the OC1 50-54 women’s age group.

Tom Hale, the sole SUP, overcame the wind-driven chop to cross at 1:29:55.4.

“He borrowed my SUP board to do this race,” said Warwick Gray, the SUP winner of the Kauai Hoe Waa second race. “I would have gone out, but my belly has been giving me some problems, so I told Tom to do it. Go, Tom!”

The next race in the Kauai Hoe Waa series is scheduled for March 15 from Anini to Haena.

The YMCA Kauai Hoe Waa, with president Dana Miyake and vice president Tom Thompson, is an outrigger canoe racing association that hosts 14 open ocean events each season for OC1, OC2, surfski, and stand up paddlers.

It ends with the 34-mile Kauai World Challenge relay.

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