Long distance canoe race Saturday

Pu’uwai Outrigger Canoe Club will host its Buddy Peters Long Distance Canoe Race on Saturday.

The race is held in remembrance of Peters, who passed away years ago from cancer. Eight or nine clubs of the Kauai Outrigger Association will be competing this weekend, said race coordinator and Pu’uwai Canoe Club men’s coach Keone Miyake.

“Uncle Peters was one of the founders of our canoe club,” Miyake said. “It’s his memorial race that we have for him.”

Miyaki added about Peters: “He was a tough guy, for sure. He had a very distinct voice. When he talked, everybody listened. … When I got to meet him when I moved back from the Mainland, for our association he was one of the main speakers all the time. You would always hear him on the mic. He’d be doing most of the commenting (during regattas) all day long.”

The long-distance event will be split into two sections:

w The men’s division crews will start in Anahola Bay and will paddle to Wailua Beach Park. The men’s course is roughly 12 miles long. The start is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.

w The women’s, mixed and Na Opio (children) divisions will then take over in Wailua and make their way toward the finish line at Kalapaki Beach. This stretch is roughly 11 miles long. The crews are expected to arrive at the finish around noon.

Miyaki said the participation of the Na Opio paddlers will depend on conditions.

“It’s safety first, right?” he said.

Also, the women’s, mixed and Na Opio races starting in Wailua may change course depending on conditions.

The luncheon and awards ceremony will take place afterward. If Saturday’s races conclude in Kalapaki Beach, the luncheon will take place at Niumalu Canoe Club.

“We’re having a long-distance race in the middle of our sprint season (the KOA season), which doesn’t normally happen. We decided to make it on that weekend to change it up a little bit,” Miyake said. “We have two more sprint races, and then we’ll get into long distance getting ready for Molokai. It gives other people a chance to do long distance, and it’s a good way to celebrate Uncle Buddy because he loves paddling.”

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