KOA season almost over

HANALEI — The sky was gray and rain came and went. But for the island’s paddlers, those conditions were just fine.

Koloa Canoe Club hosted Saturday’s Kauai Outrigger Association regatta at Hanalei Bay.

“It turned out to be a nice day, actually. We were kind of worried about the weather with the storm coming,” said Darlene Muraoka of the Koloa club. “With some of the overcast clouds, it’s really helpful because it doesn’t make it too hot. It’s still hot, but it’s not as hot as it could be.”

It was the last KOA regular season regatta. The KOA Championships will take place this Saturday at Hanalei Bay. Results will determine who will go to the Hawaii Canoe Racing Association state regatta on the Big Island in August.

“The KOA Championships is going to be really exciting. We got a lot of clubs vying really close for first place so they can go to states,” Muraoka said. “With all the points accumulated, the clubs can really see how close they are to possibly getting into the state lanes.”

Hanalei crossed the finish line first in the Junior Men’s race. Kukuiula finished second and Kaiola finished third.

“The conditions were beautiful. We got light winds and the boat was responding very well,” said Hanalei paddler Jason Ito following the Junior Men’s race. “I had a very good crew that gave it their all. Very happy with the results of that race.”

Ito added some of the Hanalei crews have already qualified for states.

“In all, our program is doing very well. We have several teams going to the state races because of the new points system, which is accumulated over the course of the season,” he said. “We have a lot of crews that already have enough points to go. So, we’re very happy about that as well.”

Niumalu finished first in the Senior Women’s race, followed by Kukuiula and Hanalei.

“It was fun on the water. (There were) a little bit sticky conditions, but it was a gorgeous day to be out,” said Niumalu paddler Rachel Nelson. “Just dealing with a little bit of current the further you get out there. But all these crews trained hard and paddled hard, and they leave it all out on the water.”

Though the season is about done, Nelson said there’s always something that can be improved.

“There’s women in our club that have been paddling for 20-plus years. Every time you get in a canoe, it’s a new experience,” she said. “You just have to be at your A-game at the right time. Hopefully, that comes next weekend.”

In the Golden Men Master 60+ race, NaMolokama finished first, followed by Hanelei.

“It was a good race. We were happy with what our finish was. It wasn’t our top crew, but we liked it,” said NaMolokama paddler Jim Ciletti. “A lot of our 60s (paddlers) were down with the younger crews today. Not that many showed up, so we only had a couple left that could qualify for this race.”

Top Finishers

Girls 12 and under

1. Kilohana

2. Puuwai

3. Hanalei

 

Boys 12 and under

1. Hokualele

2. Niumalu

3. Koloa

 

Mixed 12 and under

1. Kilohana

2. Hokualele

3. Hanalei

 

Girls 13 and under

1. Hanalei

2. Kilohana

3. Niumalu

 

Boys 13 and under

1. Niumalu

2. Puuwai

3. Kilohana

 

Girls 14 and under

1. Hanalei

2. Kilohana

3. Niumalu

 

Boys 14 and under

1. Hanalei

2. Niumalu

 

Girls 15 and under

1. Hanalei

2. Kaiola

 

Boys 15 and under

1. Kilohana

2. Hanalei

 

Girls 16 and under

1. Niumalu

2. Kilohana

3. Hanalei

 

Boys 16 and under

1. Kilohana

2. Hanalei

3. Koloa

 

Girls 18 and under

1. Niumalu

2. Koloa

3. Kaiola

 

Boys 18 and under

1. Koloa

2. Niumalu

3. Kaiola

 

Freshman Men

1. Hanalei

2. NaMolokama

3. Puuwai

 

Sophomore Women

1. Hanalei

2. Niumalu

3. Kukuiula

 

Sophomore Men

1. Puuwai

2. NaMolokama

3. Niumalu

 

Junior Men

1. Hanalei

2. Kukuiula

3. Kaiola

 

Senior Women

1. Niumalu

2. Kukuiula

3. Hanalei

 

Golden Men Master 60+

1. NaMolokama

2. Hanalei

 

Women 50+

1. NaMolokama

2. Kaiola

3. Hanalei

4. West Kauai

 

Full results: koapaddler.org

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