West Maui’s top crews compete at state regatta
WEST MAUI – Strong contingents from both Kahana and Napili Canoe Club traveled to Keehi Lagoon on Oahu Saturday, Aug. 2, to compete in the Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association (HCRA) state regatta.
After the Maui County Hawaiian Canoe Association (MCHCA) championship regatta two weeks ago at Canoe Beach determined the top seeds, Napili, the defending A Division (one to six crews) state champion from last year and fifth place finisher on Maui, moved up to the AA classification for 7-12 entries.
Kahana, with a fourth place MCHCA standing, stayed put and also raced in AA.
There are four divisions in the HCRA state competition, ranging from AAAA down to the A category, to race in the 41 events for crews ages 12 to 65 and over.
Kahana entered nine crews, including the 14 Girls, Novice B Men, Novice A Women, Novice A Men, 65 Women, 65 Men, 60 Women, Junior Women, and Open Mixed.
The Novice A Men (Kadilak Woolbright, Justin Collier, Boe Greene, Scott Chisolm, James Nichols and Ryan O’Mara) and Novice A Women – Jamie Kranberg, Allyson Johnson, Cynthia Conrad, Mindi Hawman, Melissa Kikkert and Suzi Tucker – were county champs and leading contenders in their races.
The Black and Gold from NCC qualified eight entries to the championship regatta, including the 12 Girls, 12 Mixed, 13 Girls, 13 Boys, 15 Girls, 18 Girls, Novice B Women, and Sophomore Men.
The 15 Girls lineup of Lina Nolan-Criste, Ana Lukela Kobatake, Tavi Viela, Kelsi Badua, Andilyn Alavazo and Amber Shim led the way for Napili all season long and looked to be a favorite going in at Keehi Lagoon.
At the state regatta, Kahana’s Novice A Women won the gold medal, the Novice B Men (Matt Siler, Aaron Griffith, Cord Cuniberti, Steve Egner, Jeff Reed and Alfie Pecson) placed second and won a silver medal, and the Novice A Men earned a fifth place finish.
Napili’s Mixed Boys and Girls 12 crew came in fourth, Girls 13 crew earned a fifth place finish, and the 15 Girls crew came in fourth.
Kahana Canoe Club Secretary Cynthia Conrad noted, “We had 12 crews race this year, and all of our crews had so much fun! This year really brought our club together, and we owe a lot to Uncle John Kuia and our president, Cameron Jacome, and vice president, Danielle Kuck.”