Maui club goes for 8th in row
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Dayton Morinaga
The Hawaiian Canoe Club of Maui wants to make it eight in a row.
The Lanikai Canoe Club of O'ahu wants to start a streak of its own.
Something's gotta give.
Those two clubs will bring the most paddlers to tomorrow's Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association State Championship Regatta at Ke'ehi Lagoon.
The regatta is expected to last around nine hours, and by the end of it, either Hawaiian or Lanikai should emerge as the grand champion.
More than 2,000 paddlers representing 59 clubs from around the state are expected to participate.
Hawaiian's streak of seven consecutive state championships is the second-longest in history, behind only Outrigger's nine straight from 1984-92.
Hawaiian received a key boost this week when its boys 16 crew was allowed in to the state regatta as an alternate. An opening was created when 'Alapa Hoe pulled its boys 16 crew out of the race, and Hawaiian took advantage of the opportunity.
With that, Hawaiian will bring 34 crews to the state regatta, including 10 youth crews.
Lanikai will bring a regatta-high 37 crews, including 11 youth crews.
Among the other storylines to watch in the regatta:
Hawaiian has been the top-scoring youth program at the state regatta in nine of the past 10 years. They will again be strong, led by the girls 16 and boys 18 crews that went undefeated on Maui.
Lanikai, Kailua, Hui Nalu, Kane'ohe and Wa'akapaemua are considered the other clubs with strong youth programs.
Last year, Hawaiian scored a jaw-dropping sweep of the men's freshman, sophomore, junior and senior races.
Lanikai has rebuilt its men's program with the return of several elite paddlers, including Karel Tresnak Jr. and Kai Bartlett. The key could be Bartlett, who transferred back to Lanikai after two years with Hawaiian.
Other clubs that will contend in the open men's races include Tui Tonga, Hui Lanakila and Kailua.
The Waikiki Beach Boys have won the prestigious women's senior race two years in a row, including an impressive 16-second victory last year.
They again dominated the competition in the Na 'Ohana O Na Hui Wa'a organization during the regular season.
But Hui Lanakila from the OHCRA organization has posted the fastest times at Ke'ehi Lagoon this season, and Hawaiian will also bring an elite crew.
Big Island champion Kai 'Opua and Kaua'i champion Hanalei are among the six clubs competing in the AAA Division, which is for clubs with 13 to 20 crews.
Waikiki Beach Boys will field only 17 crews, but could contend behind its women paddlers.
The AA Division — for clubs with seven to 12 crews — could provide the most exciting chase for a first-place team trophy.
Eleven clubs will bring 12 crews, including Hui Wa'a champion Kane'ohe and Moloka'i champion Wa'akapaemua.
Keahiakahoe, Tui Tonga, Keauhou and Kahana are also considered strong contenders.
Hui Lanakila will bring only nine crews, but could challenge for first place because of its quality adult crews.
The A Division for the state's smallest clubs (six crews or fewer) will feature 34 entries.
Four clubs will bring the maximum six crews: defending A champion Kawaihae, Ka Mamalahoe, New Hope and Windward Kai.
AAAA DIVISION (21 CREWS OR MORE)
Lanikai (37), Hawaiian (34), Kailua (31), Hui Nalu (26), Outrigger (25).
AAA DIVISION (13 TO 20 CREWS)
Kai 'Opua (20), Kihei (20), Hanalei (19), Puna (19), Waikiki Beach Boys (17), Koa Kai (14).
AA DIVISION (7 TO 12 CREWS)
'Alapa Hoe (12), Healani (12), Kahana (12), Kane'ohe (12), Keahiakahoe (12), Keauhou (12), Lae'ula O Kai (12), Lokahi (12), Manu O Ke Kai (12), Tui Tonga (12), Wa'akapaemua (12), Hui Lanakila (9), Leeward Kai (9), Na Keiki O Ka Mo'i (9).
A DIVISION (6 CREWS OR FEWER)
Ka Mamalahoe (6), Kawaihae (6), New Hope (6), Windward Kai (6), Honolulu Pearl (5), Kai Poha (5), Kumulokahi Elks (5), Na Molokama (5), Hui Wa'a O Waiakea (4), Kai E Hitu (4), Kamehameha-Hilo (4), Keaukaha (4), Keoua (4), Moloka'i (4), Na Kai Ewalu (4), Niumalu (4), North Shore (4), Wailea (4), Waimanalo (4), 'Anuenue (3), Kaiola (3), Kalihi Kai (3), Kukui O Moloka'i (3), Na Wa'a Hanakahi (3), Waikiki Surf Club (3), Waikoloa (3), Kai Oni (2), Kilohana (2), Napili (2), Paddlers of Laka (2), Hana (1), I Mua (1), Kailana (1), Keola O Ke Kai (1).
Reach Dayton Morinaga at email@example.com.