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Kilohana paddlers find gold at state races

HILO, Hawai‘i — Three Kaua‘i canoe clubs earned gold medals at the Hawai‘i Canoe Racing Association state canoe racing championships on Saturday at Hilo Bay.

The three gold-medal teams all hail from the Kilohana Hoe Wa‘a youth divisions and are just three of the winners in a total of 43 events that took to the waters off Hilo.

The Kilohana Hoe Wa‘a Girls 13 team of Waaianuhea Karratti, Coco Kauakahi, Mia Lee, Iliau Makua, Kyla Malama and Tajayah Smith was the first of three teams to find gold after picking up 15 points for its paddle that broke the 2-minute mark at 1 minute, 59.38 seconds.

Bri Kanahele, Jada Leone, Kahiau Makua, Avevda Maligro, Mikaylah-Jade Schonberg and Tennacie Simao made up the Kilohana Hoe Wa‘a Girls 18 and Under team that also found gold after beating the Lanikai Canoe Club by less than two seconds with its 4:10.47 paddle.

Kilohana Hoe Wa‘a Mixed Boys and Girls (18) rounded out the gold medal performances with its team that included Brayden Heu-Greenbaum, Iliau Makua, Kahiau Makua, Keanu Niau, Waipuna Olores and Tennacie Simao and crossed the finish line in 3:53.78.

“Teams from Kaua‘i delivered strong competition against teams from the other islands. Teams from eight of Kaua‘i’s 10 canoe clubs were qualified for the state races,” said Eric Shewchuk who has been providing information for the Kaua‘i regattas throughout its 2023 season.

“However, due to the cost of traveling to Hawai‘i island, many qualified teams were forced to skip the opportunity to participate. The teams that made it to Hawai‘i Island include Hanalei Canoe Club that hosted a fundraising lu‘au in conjunction with the club’s 50th anniversary, Hui O Mana Pu‘uwai, Kilohana Canoe Club, and Niumalu Canoe Club.”

The Hui O Mana Ka Pu‘uwai Boys 15 and Under team earned silver medals in less-than-ideal conditions that included overcast skies with occasionally heavy rain. The day’s races were livestreamed on Ocean Paddler Television.

“The Kaua‘i Outrigger Association wants to congratulate each athlete from the Garden Island that was able to make the expensive, multi-day journey to Hawai‘i Island to compete,” Shewchuk said. “Dozens of competitors and support crew faced fully booked and delayed flights to make the trip where they showed that paddlers from Kaua‘i are able not only to compete, but to win at the state level.”

Shewchuck said on Aug. 12, the Na Pali Challenge long distance race will take place with 42 teams currently registered. Several of the registered teams are from the West Coast, and there are several others from the other Hawaiian Islands.

Full results of the state regatta can be found at https://tgilinks.com/3QweCZ0.
Source: The Garden Island

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