HANALEI — Kauai’s paddlers vied for state berths in the last meet of the season.
The Kauai Outrigger Association Championship regatta was held Saturday at Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park.
The winners in each race earned a place at the Hawaii Canoe Racing Association State Championship regatta, which will take place Aug. 6 at Keehi Lagoon on Oahu.
“You earn your lane draw at states by coming in first in your division. And then the team can choose to go to states, or they can give up their lane to another club, or they can sell it at the lane draw at HCRA on July 30,” said KOA race director Dana Miyake.
Hanalei’s Women Open 4 crew won its race at states last year at Hilo and will return to defend its crown. Hanalei won Saturday’s championship race, edging out NaMolokama by just more than two seconds.
“It’s exciting. It’s my fourth time winning championships to go to states. It’s almost like a tradition, like we got to win. At least try to give it our best,” said Hanalei crew member Lahela Correa. “We’ll go with positive, open minds and try not to stress out — as long as we give it everything on the course.”
Hanalei also won the Men Senior race with a time of 11:56:14.
“I think we’ve won first place in every regatta this year for Senior Men. Capping it off at the Garden Island championship, it feels good,” said Hanalei crew member Adam Roversi.
Roversi added about the state regatta: “It’s like being in a small, sleepy town versus going to New York City. The crowd on the beach is 10 times as large, and the competition is 10 times as tough.”
In another closely contested race, Kaiola edged NaMolokama by about three seconds to win the Mens Master 60+ race.
“It’s great, but we’re not looking up typically,” said Kaiola crew member Tom Bartlett. “I saw one guy sneaking peeks. You want to keep your eye on the guy in front of you so you don’t lose your timing. … Just go until you get to the finish line.”
In other action, Puuwai won the Women Senior race with a time of 15:20:32.
“It’s a long race, but to finish first at the island championships is a great accomplishment,” Miyake said, who is also a member for Puuwai’s Women Senior crew.
Niumalu won nine of the 16 Na Opio races Saturday morning.
“We was lucky. We just like to stay humble and wish everybody luck at states,” said Niumalu coach Tao Chow. “Us Kauai people, we cheer for each other when we go off island. Even when we’re right here racing, we cheer for each other. It’s not about us winning or somebody else winning. We just try to do our best, and be our best. We just want to represent Kauai the best we can. That goes for all the clubs.”
Miyake said based on what she observed from the keiki races, she feels good about the future of KOA.
“The competition in the Na Opio divisions, the 18-and-unders, I think it has grown,” she said. “We also had the Na Opio competing in the long distance races. I think the association, as far as the Na Opio, is growing, which is exciting. Eventually, they’ll move up to the adult divisions and hopefully take over more of the officiating and so forth — the leadership roles.”
Girls 10U: Puuwai, 3:00:23
Boys 10U: Kilohana, 2:38:03
Mixed 10U: Niumalu, 2:41:84
Girls 12U: Niumalu, 2:28:90
Boys 12U: Niumalu, 2:09:12
Mixed 12U: Koloa, 2:21:91
Girls 13U: Niumalu, 2:13:67
Boys 13U: Kilohana, 2:00:87
Girls 14U: Hanalei, 2:15:78
Boys 14U: Niumalu, 2:09:11
Girls 15U: Niumalu, 4:37:86
Boys 15U: Niumalu, 4:16:13
Girls 16U: Niumalu, 4:39:13
Boys 16U: Kilohana, 4:17:02
Girls 18U: Niumalu, 9:54:75
Boys 18U: Kilohana, 8:38:88
Women Novice B: Hanalei, 2:31:50
Mixed Novice B: Hanalei, 2:16:68
Men Novice B: Hanalei, 4:52:82
Women Novice A: Hanalei, 4:44:67
Men Novice A: Hanalei, N/A (qualified)
Women Freshman: Hanalei, 9:37:28
Men Freshman: Hanalei, 7:58:32
Women Sophomore: Hanalei, 9:58:19
Men Sophomore: Puuwai, 8:04:24
Women Junior: Hanalei, 9:41/14:26:59
Men Junior: Niumalu, N/A (qualified)
Women Senior: Puuwai, 15:20:32
Men Senior: Hanalei, 11:56:14
Women Master 65+: Hanalei, N/A (qualifed)
Men Master 65+: Kaiola, 4:08:74
Women Master 60+: Hanalei, 5:21:19
Men Master 60+: Kaiola, 4:13:71
Women Master 55+: Kukuiula, 4:49:38
Men Master 55+: Hanalei, 4:14:56
Women Master 50+: Hanalei, 4:38:83
Men Master 50+: Kaiola, 3:56:90
Women Open 4: Hanalei, 4:46:69
Men Open 4: NaMolokama, 3:58:39
Mixed Master 55+: NaMolokama, 4:21:08
Mixed Master 40+: NaMolokama, 4:03:96
Mixed Open: NaMolokama, 3:56:69
Women Master 40+: Hanalei, 9:56:84