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8 KOA teams qualify for states at Island Championships

HANALEI — Eight of the 10 Kaua‘i Outrigger Association member clubs qualified to advance to the state championships following the KOA Island paddling Championships on Saturday at Hanalei Bay fronting the main pavilion.

Full results of the 47 heats, including the team rosters of the first place teams can be found at

As an example, the first place team in the Girls 16 race went to the Niumalu Surf &Outrigger Canoe team that included Mahina Dameron, Pi‘ilani Grosse, Lili Itamura, Taimana Kjeldsen, Kiani Ortiz and Maya Sahut-Henry crossing the finish line in 4 minutes, 45.36 seconds for first place, just 0.38 second ahead of the second place team, the Hui Mana O Pu‘uwai Canoe Club in the race where one of the teams was disqualified.

KOA announced its registered participants exceeded 1,000 paddlers, more than 200 competitors above any level previously attained by KOA. The registration total marks an accomplishment of a long-term goal set by the Kaua‘i Outrigger Association.

“Anything we do in life, I think, is going to take work,” said Kaina Makua, coach of the Kilohana Canoe Club. “If you can be dedicated, persistent and believe in building community, no matter what you’re going to be successful.”

Eric Shewchuk said despite weather conditions being less than ideal with nearly constant drizzle that was interrupted by occasionally heavy rain, competition was strong throughout the day. The state championships are scheduled for Aug. 5 in Hilo Bay on Hawai‘i island.

Kaua‘i Outrigger Association President Peter Chow was joined by KOA board members in thanking the competitors for demonstrating “great” sportsmanship, and the dozens of volunteers who came together to build the strength of the paddling community on Kaua‘i.

For those interested in learning about outrigger canoe racing on the island, visit
Source: The Garden Island

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