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Kahana Canoe Club battling for second place

By Staff | Jul 1, 2010

Bobo Naleieha serves as president of Kahana Canoe Club.

LAHAINA — With the family leadership of the organization intact, Kahana Canoe Club continues the successful legacy established 35 years ago in the sleepy fishing village north of Kaanapali into the 2010 season of the Maui County Hawaiian Canoe Association (MCHCA).

Bobo Naleieha, whose family was part of the founding group of KCC, begins his second year as president of the Green and Purple with Vice President Buddy Greig, Treasurer Diane Delos Reyes and Secretary Danielle Kuck forming the leadership group, with Kekai Keahi, Colin Delos Reyes, George Vierra, Cameron Jacome, Walter Delos Reyes and Strider Kurick manning the coaching staff this year.

Hawaiian Canoe Club continues to dominate the team standings of the MCHCA — as they have for the past 20 years or so — but Kahana, Kihei, Lae Ula O Kai and Napili continue to battle for second place.

At the halfway point of the season, KCC is in fourth place — only two points ahead of West Side neighbor Napili.

“We’re entering 31 of the 42 regatta events,” said club Secretary Kuck. “We have 176 registered members, so we’re able to fill most of the races, including the Manini division, which is the little kids’ race.”

Two weeks ago, KCC hosted the Naleieha Regatta, named in honor of the club’s founding fathers, at Hanakao‘o Beach Park (Canoe Beach). The event was the fourth of seven MCHCA regattas scheduled for this year, with all races crucial in determining state championship seeding.

The Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association (HCRA) state championship regatta will be held on Aug. 5 at Keehi Lagoon on Oahu.

According to club spokesman Walter Delos Reyes, a 35-year veteran of KCC, the organization has 11 fiberglass canoes in good shape for practicing and racing.

The club also has a koa canoe that they plan to break out during the final events of the MCHCA season to get ready for the state races that require the traditional canoes.

“Everything is running smoothly, and everybody is working hard at our kalua pig and smoked meat fund-raisers for the club’s future efforts,” explained Delos Reyes.

“The smoked meat event for the Maui County Fair booth that we run is our biggest money maker and helps us get ready for the next season.”

Delos Reyes added that Kahana has launched a project to refurbish an old koa canoe that once belonged to Lahaina Canoe Club.

“It is called the ‘Kai Nalu,’ and a group led by Danny Palakiko, Moki Keahi, John Kuia and Herman Naeole, among others, has worked to bring the project along. Sonny Bradley is doing the refurbishing work on the canoe on Oahu,” he concluded.