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Top West Maui crews qualify for state championships

By Staff | Aug 1, 2019

LAHAINA – The Maui County Hawaiian Canoe Association culminated its 2019 season with the championship regatta hosted by Lahaina Canoe Club at Hanakao’o (Canoe) Beach Park on Saturday, July 20.

The top crews in the 49 race categories will now advance to the Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association State Championships on Aug. 3 at picturesque Hanalei Bay on the Garden Isle of Kauai.

In near perfect racing conditions, Napili Canoe Club led the charge for the West Side representatives and finished the season in third place behind perennial kingpin Hawaiian – winner of 35 straight MCHCA titles and 14 state crowns in that span – and Kihei in second.

Napili will send 12 (and perhaps more by “buying” open slots) to the state event. The Black and Gold will compete in the AA Division.

By finishing first or second at the MCHCA event, crews receive automatic tickets to the state meet and can purchase lanes for third place teams where they become available.

Napili qualified its gold medal crews in the Girls 14 race, Women Open 4, Boys 16, Mixed 15, and Mixed Open races. Silver medals went to the Girls 12A, Girls 15, Girls 18, Boys 12A, Boys 12B, Boys 13, Boys 14, Men 40, Men Open 4, and Freshmen Men.

The gold medal-winning lineups included: Girls 14 – Maile Cacal, Quinsea Loft, Taimana Cajudoy, Tiana Rose Naki, Shyla Rodrigues, and Puliki Rogers; Women Open 4 – Chelsey Erickson Vierra, Aubrie Danielle Morrell, Annie Gerber, and Theresa Marzan; Boys 16 – Justin Jr. Kaupe DeLeon, Kelii Snyder Opunui, Kawaiola Kauhane, Joshua Tihada, Finn McAfee and Treven Tihada; Mixed 15 – Patricia Haufekai, Treven Tihada, Taimana Cajudoy, Tiana Rose Naki, Josese Kaina and Benjamin Lolesio; and the Mixed Open crew of Kona Maielua, Brian Morris, Aubrie Danielle Morrell, Cord Munoz, Chelsey Erickson Vierra and Theresa Marzan.

Kahana Canoe Club took seventh place at the MCHCA Championships and will send two gold medal-winning crews to Kauai to compete in the A Division.

The Boys 12B team of Brayden Swanson, Teva Loft, Rex Culligan, Zeke Gobel, Khai Mullen and Kainalu Teeters, and the Novice B lineup of Neri Duarozan, Rodrigo Rodriguez Diaz, Thomas Thomas, James Strickland, Vladimir Porac and Cesar Garcia qualified for the state meet with their top finishes.

Host organization Lahaina Canoe Club completed the 2019 inshore regatta season in ninth place with a total of 40 points and was congratulated for hosting the year’s biggest canoe racing event on the Valley Isle.