Focusing on fun and family, Lahaina Canoe Club is making a comeback
LAHAINA – With hopes of renewing the glory of decades gone by, Lahaina Canoe Club launched into the 2017 Maui County Hawaiian Canoe Association (MCHCA) inshore regatta events with renewed vigor for a successful season.
The disappointment of last year’s non-participation due to a lack of qualified crews fresh on their minds, the leadership board of LCC looks to be turning things around down at Hanaako’o Beach Park (Canoe Beach).
Lahaina Canoe Club is led by President Mark Shimer, Vice President Jeremy Delos Reyes, Secretaries Gracie Delos Reyes and Rose Crichton, and Treasurer Dick Yannacome.
The coaching staff of the 100 active member roster includes head coach Jeremy Delos Reyes, keiki head coach Mamo Hussey and assistants George Vierra, Franklin Laborte, Boy Crichton, Vae Maluia, Clark Chacon and Mark Shimer. The organization’s board of directors is made up of Daniel Tancayo, Jamie Banlingit, George Asio and Chad Santiago.
According to Hussey, the club wants to renew the cultural emphasis of canoe paddling within the family structure.
“We want to make a comeback this year and spread the attitude of our love for ocean sports. We all have family connections to canoe paddling and we want to continue that,” he said. “We’ve got about six keiki crews and ten adult crews, and so far our 12B Boys crew is doing really well.”
That 12B lineup is the youngest to race in the MCHCA inshore regattas. After two events in the six competitions of the season, the Lahaina youngsters are tied for the lead.
The LCC 12B Boys lineup includes Hoku Asio, Nixon Moffett, Xander Moffett, Kupono Smith Dapitan, Shadd Blando, Kahanu Opunui Snyder and Reily Holder.
After two regattas, the 12B’s are tied for the lead with a gold and silver medal thus far in the 2017 season. “That crew is doing really well,” said keiki coach Hussey.
Added assistant coach Boy Crichton, “We are hoping to make a comeback by promoting a ‘happy boat’ atmosphere to promote the culture of the sport and to compete with our focus on the kids. That’s the way we want to go. And we are amazed by the effort of our kids and especially the 12B Boys. Our emphasis is on happy boats and trying to perpetuate a positive family attitude. We are truly grateful and blessed with this opportunity.”
The inshore regatta season runs through June and July with events in Kihei and Kahului on Saturdays, and then culminates with the Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association’s state championship regatta that will be held here on Maui at Canoe Beach on the first weekend of August.