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Napili Canoe Club crews win medals in long distance races

By Staff | Oct 5, 2017

Napili Canoe Club paddlers recently traveled to Newport Beach, California, to compete in the 26-mile Catalina Island Race. Pictured, from left, are: top row — Amie Gerber, Nalu Sampson, Jolene Giles, Ashley Montgomery, Kapena Burgain and Amy Bodnar; bottom row — Kona Maielua, Theresa Marzan and Bubba Kukahiko.

LAHAINA – Napili Canoe Club tuned up for the premiere event of the long distance season – Na Wahine O Ke Kai, placing 23rd – with several top finishes in races around the Valley Isle and in California.

Most recently, NCC traveled to Newport Beach, California, for the 26-mile Catalina Island Race, where the Open Mixed crew of Kona Maielua, Annie Gerber, Nalu Sampson, Jolene Giles, Ashley Montgomery, Kapena Burgain, Amy Bodnar, Bubba Kukahiko and Theresa Marzan took first place, and the Open Women’s crew took third. Guiding the Napili effort were coaches Steven “da Bear” Keahi and Bubba Kukahiko.

Prior to the Catalina race, the Gold and Black had won a gold medal in the women’s Queen Kaahumanu Maliko to Kahului Harbor event, a third at the Great Kahakuloa Maliko to Canoe Beach race, and another first place finish in the Iron Women Division of the Pailolo Challenge from Fleming Beach to Molokai in a record time of 3:42. That crew included Amy Bodnar, Diana Esposo, Jolene Giles, Ashley Montgomery, Stephanie Franklin and Theresa Marzan.

Kahana Canoe Club also had strong finishes in the Maui County races, particularly the Pailolo Challenge, where their crews ranked among the top five in several categories.

A club spokesperson noted that Kahana’s long distance season ended with the Pailolo event.