Several Kahana Canoe Club crews shining this summer
LAHAINA – John Kuia has been a part of the guiding group of dedicated leaders of Kahana Canoe Club since its formation back in the mid-1970s at the sleepy fishing village a few miles north of Kaanapali. He is a big man with a big heart who has been involved with the organization going on 40 years now, and Kuia continues in his leadership role as president of the club with the gentle positivity that so characterizes Hawaiian culture.
Kuia expressed his joy in his position in saying, “I am so proud of all of the club members as they work to be better as a group. It is so good to see people from everywhere working together with the guidance of the coaches and board members. Their hearts are full of positive energy to improve in all of the club functions and in passing along the knowledge. All of the aunties and uncles still are helping out – it’s a real team and family effort. I am so proud of them all.”
The 2016 board of directors of KCC includes President Kuia, Vice President Danielle Kuck, Secretary Chanda Kiley and Treasurer Natalie Marcus. The keiki coaches include Ana Farmer, Genevieve Ruvald, May Wedelin and Suzy Tucker, while the adult crews are mentored by Danielle Kuck, Cynthia Conrad, Mason Panis, Kawehi Kaina and Gentleman Jim Kohler.
Kahana boasts an active membership this year of 175 active paddlers, and the Green and Purple are currently in the middle of the pack of the Maui County Hawaiian Canoe Association Inshore Regatta standings after four events.
Top competition crews for KCC include the 12 Boys, 14 Girls, Mixed Open, Senior Women, Junior Men, Novice B Women and Novice A Women.
The Novice A crew of Ana Farmer, Genevieve Ruvald, Jenna Hunter, Katie Bacon, Ashley Ooley, Elana Campbell, Jess Loncar, Chanda Kiley, Natalie Marcus and Naomi Posh has been particularly dominant for going on three years. Since 2015, this crew has developed into a two-time MCHCA champion in the Women Novice B and Women Novice A divisions, and has carried home to Maui the gold medal in division competition at the state level.
The 14 Girls crew led by Quincy Loft and Breauna Higgs has also dominated this season.
Kahana has traditionally been well represented in the senior divisions, and 2017 is no exception. Led by Coach Kohler, the five senior crews include the 65 Men, 65 Women, 55 Mixed, 60 Mixed and 60 Men, and all have all put points up for KCC.
Said senior leader Wala Delos Reyes, “Our 65 and Over crew is doing really good – we’re always in last!”
Kuia noted that the club’s top fundraiser is their smoked meat sale at the County Fair later this year.
“We also had a successful day with our Naleieha Regatta, as the hard work of our club members paid off in a successful day and a good time for all. We really have great camaraderie this year after the regattas – the people are really tight together. The roles are more defined for all to help. More members are being educated and are taking part in the process, so everybody deserves thanks. The coaches are learning how to coach – from top to bottom, all hands are here to help. It’s been an awesome job by all,” he concluded.