WAILUA — Twenty teams from local paddling clubs competed in this year’s Buddy Peters Long Distance canoe race Saturday.
Crews started in the water off Wailua Beach Park, paddled their way to past Hanamaulu Bay nearby the Lihue Airport and then back to Wailua Beach Park. The course was about 8 1/2 miles long.
The race was hosted by Puuwai Canoe Club.
“It was hot and long,” said Puuwai paddler Kate Enoka. “It was some fun surf when we first turned around. It kind of got a little bit grindier, sort of harder and difficult I’d say, closer. The current was pulling (another direction), like heading against us.”
Enoka was part of Puuwai’s women 40s crew that finished first overall in the women and mixed race. Puuwai finished with a time of 1 hour, 25 minutes.
Puuwai’s crew members were Enoka, Dana Miyake, Liz Steiner, Nalani Pierce, Stephanie Huhn and Annette Fernandez-Ventura.
The race is held in remembrance of Buddy Peters, a founding member of Puuwai Canoe Club who passed away years ago from cancer.
“I did know Buddy. I’m still friends with his daughter,” Enoka said. “I paddled for Puuwai, started paddling for them, in 1994. I paddled with him.”
She added: “He had a great laugh and just a really wonderful voice. He was awesome. He was all about bringing people together, and I think that this really showed that. It was all about bringing the club together and bringing the community together. So, I think his daughters would be proud.”
The first mixed crew that crossed the finish line was Kaiola Canoe Club’s mixed 50 crew. Crew members were Arthur Chow, Joy Chow, Clyde Weddell, Edwin Santa Maria, Lorna Dela Cruz and Joanne Woltmon.
“It was a little bumpy,” Arthur Chow said. “On the way back, we had surf. It was pretty good. We did fine.”
Chow, 69, is one of Kauai’s most seasoned watermen, paddling for about 40 years and has coaching for Kaiola for five years.
“You have to prepare yourself. You got to hydrate. The longer the race, you got to train a little bit more,” he said. “The endurance part when you get older, it’s kind of stiff, yeah? You really got put in a lot of work. You got to love to do paddling, not like. You got to love to do it.”
Hanalei Canoe Club’s open men’s crew was first overall in the men’s race with a time of 1 hour, 6 minutes. Crew members were Adam Roversi, Waioli Forrest, Kaiola Forrest, Jason Ito, Ikaika Pidot and Kolo Kaaumoana.
“It was a lot of fun. It was a beautiful day,” Roversi said. “The wind conditions were not ideal. It was kind of sideways — southeast winds. It was hot and bumpy. I personally could be in much better shape, but it was fun.”
Men: 1. Horomoana Hanalei Open Men, 1:06:54.9; 2. 85K Kahaloahiwahiwa Kaiola Open Men, 1:08:00.1; 3. 84L Fugazi Puuwai Open Men, 1:14:31.6; 4. 85A Awiwi Kaiola 50 Men, 1:16:51.9; 5. 80 Kalapaki Niumalu Open Men, 1:17:33.8; 6. Kamakhiapo Puuwai Men 50, 1:19:04.5; 7. 88J Mahalepu Kukuiula Open Men, 1:23:01.5; 8. 81A Hui Ohana Men 40, 1:27:39.1; 9. Kahaloahiwahiwa Kaiola Men 60, 1:30:23.0
Novice men: 1. Waipoli NaMolokama Novice Men, 1:10:14.1; 2. Hui Ohana Hanalei Novice Men, 1:16:24.0
Women/Mixed: 1. 84 L Fugazi Puuwai Women 40, 1:25:06.4; 2. Kamaluokekuni Kaiola Open Women, 1:25:43.7; 3. Puuwai Kamakiahiapo Open Women, 1:26:22.5; 4. Horomoana Hanalei Women Unlimited, 1:27:40.0; 5. 85B Hihimanu Kaiola 50 Mixed, 1:27:58.0; 6. 85A Awiwi Kaiola Women 50, 1:29:32.0; 7. 81D Hihimainau Hanalei Women 50, 1:31:12.4; 8. 85K Kahaloahiwahiwa Mixed 55, 1:34:33.0; 9. 88J Mahalepu Kukuiula Women 55, 1:36:30.5
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island