Livestrong, Beach Boys take victories
Team Livestrong and the Waikiki Beach Boys were the big winners on the Big Island last weekend.
Team Livestrong won the men's division, and Waikiki Beach Boys took the women's division at the Queen Li-li'uokalani Long Distance Canoe Races.
Team Livestrong completed the 18-mile men's race from Honaunau to Kailua Bay in 1 hour, 54 minutes, 6 seconds.
Members of the winning crew were Thibert Lussiaa, Ikaika Hauanio, Felipe Gomes, Mael Carey, Tyson Kubo and Kekoa Cramer. The crew paddled as Team Livestrong to help raise awareness for cancer research and prevention.
"The water was calm, so it was more of a paddlers' race than a steersmen's race," Lussiaa said. "We got lucky, and not having Lanikai there made a difference."
A Team Livestrong masters crew placed second with a time of 1:55:28. Members of that crew were Nate Hendricks, Bruce Ayau, Jerry Bess, Masepa Tanoai, Lyle Palakiko and Seth Koppes. All of them are 40 or older.
Outrigger placed third, and Pa'a was fourth. Lanikai, which is considered the top men's program in the state, did not enter.
In the women's division, Waikiki Beach Boys completed the 18-mile course from Kailua Bay to Honaunau in 2:05:47 to win the Queen Lili'uokalani race for the first time.
Members of the winning crew were Dana Gorecki, Andrea Messer, Kelsa Teeters, Jen Polcer, Rachel Bruntsch and Kaui Pelekane.
Team Bradley placed second 2:08:53, and Hui Lanakila was third in 2:11:20.
Around 2,000 paddlers from around the world participated in the two-day event.
All the top crews — men and women — paddled the race "iron," meaning there were no relief changes for the six paddlers in the canoe.