Menehune claim lead in KIF paddling season opener

How fast is .20 of a second?

That was the margin of victory on Saturday when the Waimea High School junior varsity boys nudged the Kauai High School JV boys at the finish line following the two-mile distance race at the Kauai Interscholastic Federation paddling regatta at the Wailua River.

This was the first race of the 2016-2017 paddling season after last week’s scheduled opening regatta was called off due to brown water advisories and weather conditions. A flash flood claimed the life of a visiting California kayaker on the Wailua River.

“Saturday was a very great day for canoe racing,” said Mia Pauletto of the Kauai Interscholastic Federation officials team. “The varsity girls’ time for this year was four minutes faster than last year’s times, and the varsity boys were two minutes faster. Great job to all.”

Waimea crews took control of the regatta starting with the JV boys race, crossing the finish line on a paddle of 12 minutes, 18.77 seconds — a mere .20 second faster than the Kauai team (12:18.97) for top honors. The Kapaa JV boys, spread out over two teams, filled in at 13:11.45 for its A team, and 13:45.28 for its B team.

Despite not having a JV girls team, Waimea finished the regatta in the lead after going on to take top spots in the JV Mixed, and the Varsity Mixed divisions.

Kapaa, who dominated the KIF regatta during last year’s regatta, finished in second place overall with first finishes in the JV Girls, Varsity Girls and Varsity Boys races.

Kauai High School, who battled strong in the girls division last year, finished in third place with second-place finishes in all of the JV races and third place crossings in all of the varsity races.

The Menehune continued to pressure the field in the varsity races, relinquishing its lead in the Varsity Boys’ race by just eight seconds over the 4-mile course that snaked up the Wailua River following its start at the river mouth.

Kapaa boys controlled the distance race, slipping across at 24:00.73, followed by the Menehune charging across at 24:08.03. Kauai’s team crossed at 27:37.22.

The varsity boys’ race only whetted the Menehune’s appetite for victory as Waimea took the Varsity Mixed races on a 24:45.61 paddle, less than a minute ahead of Kapaa’s A team (26:37.99) and Kauai’s A team (28:40.51).

Teams take to the Wailua River on Saturday for the final distance race of this season with the JV teams starting at 9 a.m.

JV Girls: Kapaa A (13:43.98), Kauai A (14:29.95)

JV Boys: Waimea (12:18.77), Kauai (12:18.97), Kapaa (13:11.45), Kapaa B (13:45.28)

JV Mixed: Waimea (13:13.28), Kauai A (13:18.50), Kapaa A (14:07.33), Kapaa B (14:32.02), Kapaa C (14:54.54), Kapaa B (15:41.66)

Varsity Girls: Kapaa A (26:42.39), Waimea A (26:58.78), Kauai a (29:38.89), Kapaa B (30:26.91), Kapaa C (31:18.31)

Varsity Boys: Kapaa A (24:00.73), Waimea A (24:08.03), Kauai A (27:37.27), Kapaa B (25:53.12), Waimea B (27:29.50), Kapaa C (26:29.96)

Varsity Mixed: Waimea A (25:45.61), Kapaa A (26:37.99), Kauai A (28:40.51), Kapaa B (27:09.57), Kapaa C (27:50.94).

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