Hawaiian Airlines Na Wahine O Ke Kai 2014
Waikiki Beach Boys put the second notch on the club’s tally of Na Wahine O Ke Kai wins finishing first in 5:29:12. Their first win came in 2011 when they defeated Team Bradley, who have won this race eight times since 2005. Team Bradley took second with 5:30:25 and Hui Nalu third with 5:39:27. Hui Nalu’s Masters 40-plus finished strong in 5th place with a time of 5:53:01 and easily won their division. The first out-of-state crew was Bora Bora, from Tahiti, placing 6th overall with their time of 5:55:32. Outrigger 50’s won their age-group, 15th overall in 6:13:40, and Kailua 60s took their division in a time of 7:20:05. There were three koa canoes racing across the Kaiwi Channel, Hui Lanakila (also on the cover) had the fastest time with 6:18:56.
The turn out wasn’t as high as in previous years, with a tally of 60 crews lining up outside of Hale O Lono on Molokai, but the race still attracted paddlers from places as far away as Japan, Australia, Canada, Tahiti and both coasts of the US Mainland.
Since 2005 Team Bradley has dominated the channel with a combination of 23 different paddlers from clubs from around the state. They set the record in 2008 with their time of 5:22:05. The Beach Boys, on the other hand are a club who have put together a paddling program that brings new paddlers to the sport. They have managed to avoid a lot of the ‘paddle-tics’ that seem to wreck other clubs, sending paddlers searching for alternatives. This year the Waikiki Beach Boys entered four open crews. Only Kailua Canoe Club had more teams taking part with six. For more insight and complete results visit www.nawahineokekai.com or click on this link in our digital version of the magazine.
Photos by Ropati Hebenstreit