ANAHOLA — The COVID-19 pandemic could not break the tradition of the Labor Day Hare and Hound races that were held over the Labor Day weekend in Anahola, presented by the Garden Island Motorcycle Club.
“We had a lot of discussion with the county,” said Bertram Almeida of the GIMC. “In the end, we ended up running the A Class, or expert division, on Saturday, and the B Class, or beginner division, on Sunday. These would normally be run together, but because of the social distancing and gathering rules, we had to break into two separate days. In the B Class, we had riders younger than 17 years old. We had to limit their parents who came to provide support.”
Additionally, Almeida said there were more than 70 riders registered for the two-day event — the 66th Annual GIMC Hare and Hound Races — that was moved to Anahola instead of the traditional Oma‘o course.
“These are all-Kaua‘i,” Almeida said. “There were no riders participating from O‘ahu, Maui, or the Big Island.”
In addition to the limited spectator event, there was little, if any, pre-race marketing to keep the crowds from gathering.
“Mahalo to all our supporters, volunteers, and riders who made this event a huge success,” Almeida said in a social media message.
During Saturday’s running of the A Class, Travis Talbo earned the top overall spot after completing the A Blackbelt, or “riders have raced, or inspire to be in a race on a Pro level, nationally or internationally” course in just 96 minutes, 25 seconds (based on an 8 a.m. start) with 16 checks.
Chance Daly followed two minutes back to claim the second overall spot. Marshall Camara, Eljay Camat, and Daniel Hurtado rounded out the Top 5 Overall Saturday riders.
Kalen Kimura, finishing the B Class, Open Division on a 104 minutes, 38 seconds with 16 checks, filled in the B Class Overall winners during Sunday’s racing. Aaron Namuo, completing the course three minutes back of Kimura, filled in the No. 2 spot followed by Clyde Souza Jr., Braden Peralta, the top finisher in the Juniors 18 and Under division with a ride of 109 minutes, seven seconds and 16 checks.
Noah Murray, Ryder Guest, Kamakana Waiwaiole-Kahalepuna, Duane Silva Rhodny Basug, and Kawai Peahu made up the Top 10 B Class Overall leaderboard.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto @thegardenisland.com.