Kailua edges Lanikai once again
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Dayton Morinaga
The friendly neighborhood rivalry at the top of the O'ahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association continued yesterday.
Kailua Canoe Club won its second consecutive OHCRA regatta, scoring 75 points to take the Waimanalo Canoe Club Regatta at Waimanalo Beach Park.
Windward O'ahu neighbor Lanikai finished a close second for the second consecutive week with 73. Three weeks ago, Lanikai and Kailua shared the title.
"There's only a mile between the two clubs and we're both doing really well," Kailua head coach Kawai Mahoe said. "I don't know what it is, maybe a lot of people on this side of the island enjoy coming out to paddle. But we'll take it."
In the last three OHCRA regattas, Kailua has amassed 235 points to Lanikai's 230.
"You can't count out any of the other clubs at this point," Lanikai head coach Kalani Irvine said. "But this is fun. Of course we would have liked it better if we won, but give credit to Kailua, they got us again."
Kailua won a regatta-high 10 races yesterday, including six victories in the youth races. The Kailua youth crews scored 35 points in 13 races.
"Our kids kicked butt," Mahoe said. "I expect a lot out of them, but they really came through for us today."
Lanikai took the lead from Kailua during the open adult races, but Kailua responded with a strong showing from its women's masters crews.
Kailua won the women's 50-and-older, 55-and-older, and 60-and-older races. "We don't have masters men crews this year, so we really count on those women," Mahoe said.
The victory in the 50-and-older race was impressive, with Kailua winning by about three canoe-lengths over the second-place crew. Members of the winning crew were Donna Meyer, Kathy Erwin, Vivian Griffin, Chrystal Hogue, Kalei Javellana and Carleen Ornellas.
"Most of us have paddled together since we were really young, so we know each other really well, and that makes a big difference," Ornellas said. "We're just an experienced crew with good coaches."
Lanikai won just six races, so Irvine said he was pleased to finish only two points behind Kailua in the final tally.
"Consistency is our strength," Irvine said. "Three more points would have done it, and there's always going to be second-guessing, but we still did OK."
Outrigger placed third with 63 points, and Hui Nalu was fourth with 50.
Hui Lanakila won the A division for smaller clubs with 55 points. It has dominated the A division at all four regattas this season.
Hui Lanakila won eight races yesterday, including a sweep of the prestigious senior men's and women's races.
The Hui Lanakila senior men's crew of Raven Aipa, Mike Silva, Chris Tseu, Norm Bradley, Manny Kulukulualani and Scott Hendricks completed the 1 1/2-mile course in 11 minutes, 1.98 seconds. Lanikai placed second by 16 seconds.
"I think our men are doing well because our women are doing well," Kulukulualani said. "It's an incentive to see them winning all their races. It makes us want to win, too, and not be the ones slacking."
The Hui Lanakila women swept the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior races. The senior crew of Jennifer Asano, Seraphina Eames, Jamie Kinard, Jessie Eames, Mikala Bradley and Katie Slocumb completed the 1 1/2-mile course in 12:45.59 to beat Outrigger by 11 seconds.
"We have a lot more girls out this year than in the last couple years, so the training is really hard," Jessie Eames said. "The more time we spend training with each other, the better we'll get."
Conditions were uncharacteristically calm off Waimanalo yesterday. When the winds and currents were strong in years past, clubs were allowed to use open steersmen in every race to keep the canoes on course.
Yesterday, there was no need for open steersmen, not even in the youth races.
"This is the most mellow I've seen Waimanalo in a long time," Kulukulualani said. "But that's good. All the crews get to paddle with each other."
KANE'OHE WINS AGAIN
The Kane'ohe Canoe Club remained undefeated in the Na 'Ohana O Na Hui Wa'a organization by winning the Hawaiian Outrigger Regatta yesterday at Kailua Beach.
Kane'ohe won 10 races and finished with 77 points. Eight of those victories came in the youth races. Kane'ohe has won all five regattas this season.
Manu O Ke Kai won the AA division for medium-sized clubs, and Waikiki Beach Boys won the A division for small clubs.
Reach Dayton Morinaga at email@example.com.