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Lahaina to host state championship regatta on Saturday

By Staff | Aug 4, 2011

Top paddlers from around the state are coming to Lahaina for the Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association’s State Canoe Championship Regatta at Hanakao‘o Beach Park (Canoe Beach) in Lahaina on Saturday, Aug. 6. The opening ceremony is scheduled for 8:15 a.m., and the first of 39 races will begin at 9 a.m. This photo was taken at Lahaina Canoe Club’s Keiki O Maui Regatta on July 23 at the start of the Sophomore Men’s race. Photo by Mahina Martin.

LAHAINA — As Maui prepares to host thousands of outrigger canoe paddlers and spectators at the State Canoe Championship Regatta on Saturday, Aug. 6, at Hanakao’o Beach Park, the public is advised that parking at Hanakao’o will be restricted to race organizers and officials.

Public parking will be available above Lahaina Civic Center with continuous shuttle service starting at 6 a.m.

Motorists that park illegally alongside Honoapiilani Highway outside of Hanakao’o Beach will be subject to tickets by police.

Maui’s canoe clubs will be selling a large variety of menu items at food booths all day.

Commemorative T-shirts and other event merchandise will be sold at the regatta site, and canoe paddling-related items will also be available from vendors.

The day will have 39 events ranging from quarter-mile to one-mile races.

The regatta begins at 9 a.m. with the Girls 12-and-under event.

In a special quarter-mile event, paddlers who are cancer survivors representing different canoe clubs will participate in an exhibition race at 8:30 a.m.

Paddlers who are survivors and wish to participate should contact Mahina Martin at 385-1221.

The opening ceremony scheduled for 8:15 a.m. will include the recognition of recipients of the inaugural Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association’s scholarship awards.

Each of HCRA’s six canoe racing associations will have a recipient who will receive a $1,000 scholarship to help further their education.

“We’re looking forward to showcasing Hawaii’s official state team sport and welcoming canoe clubs from across the state to Maui,” said Walter Vierra, president of HCRA, the statewide organization that oversees the championship regatta.

“Each year the competition is fierce among our state’s 60 canoe clubs, and this year is no exception.”

An added feature to the weekend will be a distance race on Sunday, Aug. 7. Na Kai ‘Ewalu will host the “Race for the Koa,” a six-mile canoe race along Kaanapali’s coastline for koa and fiberglass canoes starting from Hanakao’o Beach.

Proceeds will benefit Na Kai ‘Ewalu’s koa canoe fund. For information on the “Race for the Koa,” contact Hans Harder at 250-2312.

For more information on the championship regatta, go to www.hcrapaddler.com.