HANAPEPE — Maui Gateball Club Team A, one of three teams from Maui, won this year’s Invitational/Goodwill Tournament at Hanapepe Stadium.
Maui A defeated Oahu, 15-6, in the championship game on Saturday.
“It feels really great. It really was. It was just like Tiger Woods making his first hole,” said Maui member Norma Hachi about winning that game. “We played as a team, and it was awesome. (Team captain Bert Murai) was a very good captain. All of us did well.”
“I just want to say that Kauai put one a hell of a thing together. They made us feel so welcome. We love it here,” she added. “They were so accommodating and so sweet.”
The two-day event was hosted by the Kauai Gateball Club.
Kauai club president Ron Aceret was sentimental about the affair, and gave a sigh of relief that the whole tournament went off without a hitch. It was the first tournament he’d organized as club president.
“Right now, it’s like a burden’s been lifted. Getting this tournament together, I’ll tell you, I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights,” he said. “I’m happy that the thing was successful. Everyone enjoyed it. Without the other members, this wouldn’t have been successful.”
“The participation and the camaraderie we had, renewing old (friendships), it was something special for me,” he added.
Among the approximately 35 participants were two players who flew from Japan — Kunio Yuzawa and Shoji Takeda.
It was Yuzawa’s fourth time visiting Kauai, whereas it was Takeda’s first.
“We played with friendship. That’s what I liked,” Yuzawa said, with Kauai member Dan Nishiguchi translating. “Yesterday, I played well. Today wasn’t too good. I was tired.”
Yuzawa added that seeing Waimea Canyon was very impressive and memorable.