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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, June 19, 2006

Kane'ohe Canoe Club makes it four in a row

Hui Wa'a regatta photo gallery

By Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writer

Koa Kai, foreground, overtakes Na Keiki O Ka Mo'i in the men's senior masters 50-plus division.

DEBORAH BOOKER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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The Kane'ohe Canoe Club is smaller this season, but it's still big in the win column.

The club scored 69 points to win the Kalihi Kai Canoe Club Regatta yesterday at Ke'ehi Lagoon.

Kane'ohe the three-time defending Na 'Ohana O Na Hui Wa'a champion posted its fourth consecutive victory to remain unbeaten this season.

"We're hanging in there," said Kane'ohe coach Clint Anderson, whose club went from 200 paddlers to 130 this season because of what he said were concerns about water quality in the Kane'ohe area, and other reasons.

"A lot of people aren't paddling this year," he said. "Some people went to other clubs, and some are doing other things."

Na Keiki O Ka Mo'i won three races and placed second with 56 points. Lokahi won three races and took third with 41 points.

Yesterday's regatta featured 16 clubs and more than 1,200 paddlers.

Kane'ohe won six races, including five in the youth divisions: the boys 12 and 16, and the girls 13, 14 and 15 divisions.

"We have some big-time competition in the kids division," Anderson said. "Our competitors aren't giving us those points; they're not letting us relax."

Kane'ohe also remained undefeated in the women's senior masters 50-plus division. Its crew of Renee Smith, Lois Lake, Tweetie Anderson, Jackie Graessle, Cheryl Farias and Naomi Higuchi finished the 1/2-mile course in 4 minutes, 44.02 seconds.

"We're always trying to work the clock," said Smith, who wants to reduce the crew's time to state-championship levels of 4:20. "We practice all the time, and we've pretty much been a crew from last year. That helps."

Clint Anderson yesterday downplayed talk of a perfect regular season for Kane'ohe. The club just missed perfection last season, winning five of the six regattas it entered.

"We just go out there and race," Anderson said. "If things fall in our favor, we're glad. There's no special plan. Every week is different."

The 2006 Hui Wa'a regular season is eight weeks, followed by the Hui Wa'a Championships, July 22, and the HCRA State Championships, Aug. 5.

Anderson said his club will likely skip the July 16 Waikiki Beach Boys Regatta this season to prepare for the Hui Wa'a Championships.

Consistency is Kane'ohe's strength. The club scored 43 points in the youth races, and scored in 23 of the 39 races.

"They're pretty solid from the beginning all the way to the end," said former Na Keiki O Ka Mo'i head coach William Haia, who currently paddles in the club's golden mixed division. "Their kids and the adult crews are all bringing home points. We're doing the same thing, but we don't have enough crews to keep up with them."

Waikiki Beach Boys won the prestigious women's senior race. The crew of Kelsa Teeters, Andrea Messer, Dana Gorecki, Susan Brown, Peggy Rupe and Cherie Lee completed the 1 1/2-mile course in 13:22.37.

Manu O Ke Kai won the 1 1/2-mile men's senior race. The crew of John Hoogsteden, Charlie Tantog, Robert Pactol, Glenn Williams, Bobo Tantog and Moku Sanborn finished in 12:09.88.

Manu O Ke Kai won six races and captured the AA Division for medium-sized clubs with 58 points.

Waikiki Beach Boys won six races and took the A Division for small-sized clubs with 38 points.

Officials yesterday implemented a new format to speed up the regatta. The format had competitors gather near the starting line on the beach, and cut the time between races.

"I think it was pretty good," Haia said of the new format which reduced the time of the regatta by about 30 minutes. "The races flowed better. I think it was a pretty good idea."

The next Na 'Ohana O Na Hui Wa'a regatta is scheduled for Sunday at Kailua Beach.

KAILUA WINS IN OHCRA

The Kailua Canoe Club won the 37th annual Father's Day Race yesterday at Nanakuli Beach Park.

Kailua edged Lanikai, 75-72, to win its second consecutive O'ahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association regatta. Outrigger Canoe Club placed third with 60 points.

Last week, Kailua and Lanikai shared the King Kamehameha Regatta title, scoring 85 points each at Kailua Beach Park.

Hui Lanakila Canoe Club scored 44 points to win the A Division for clubs with 17 crews or fewer.

The next OHCRA regatta is scheduled for Sunday at Waimanalo Beach.

Reach Brandon Masuoka at bmasuoka@honoluluadvertiser.com.