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Lahaina Canoe Club focusing on teaching its keiki paddlers

By Staff | Jul 19, 2018

Lahaina Canoe Club keiki paddlers gather at a recent regatta. PHOTO BY ROSE CRICHTON.

LAHAINA – At Lahaina Canoe Club over the past two seasons, the crusade has been for the keiki and a return to the spirit of the founding fathers of the organization.

Guided by a new millennium leadership core, the senior canoe club on the West Side has turned its attention to focus on the education and inspiration of the children to develop the integrity and culture of the Hawaiian canoe.

“It is so awesome to see all of the clubs focusing on the keiki and unifying the community,” said Head Coach Walker Boi Crichton.

“That’s what we’re trying to do by going back to the roots and thinking of Lahaina Canoe Club’s founders -George Paoa, Sam Kaai, Earl Kukahiko, Bob MacDonald, Barbara Long and so many others going back to 1971.

“We’re rebuilding by giving the kids our attention and going back to the roots and doing the right things,” Crichton continued.

“We want to perpetuate the Hawaiian culture through the kids in education and having fun. It will be a three-year process, and we have big expectations to get even more kids involved. We went from 60 active members to 112 from last year to now, and most of that is due to bringing in more kids.”

Lahaina’s board of directors for 2018 includes President Mark Shimer, Vice President Jeremy Delos Reyes, Secretary Rose Crichton and Treasurer Ala Cordero.

Coach Crichton is joined by Kirk Snyder, Mike Buden, Shimer, Rose, Daniel Tancayo, Delos Reyes and Geoff Bogar for the adult crews, and Mamo Hussey, George Vierra and Vae Maluia with the keiki.

The season has been highlighted thus far by an undefeated run by the LCC 12A Boys crew, the 12 Mixed and the 15 Girls – all qualifiers for the state championships at the end of the month.

“We are truly grateful to everybody that participated in our Industry Races that took us way past our (financial) goals for the year, which enabled the club to award a scholarship to Lahainaluna grad Laakea Shim. And our big project for this year is the restoration of our koa canoe, the Lehia. We will take the Lehia back to Sonny Bradley to restore the canoe that was the second one he made. This has been a unifying project for us, and it has been awesome to see the membership coming together to learn and participate in the effort,” Walker concluded.