It was a beautiful day for the first race of the Kanaka Ikaika 2017 racing season, the Pacific Paddler race for V-1 (rudderless canoes).
This race was the start of the Maui Jim Waterman Series, a multi-craft point series. Race #1 was for the V-1.
The kickoff was held on the Windward side of Oahu between Makai Pier, Waimanalo, and Kailua Beach Park. There were 146 who came out to race; 21 were on a V-1, 92 raced an OC-1, 15 were on surf skis, eight paddled an SUP, seven OC-2s entered, and three paddlers raced their prone boards.
Winning highlights: V-1, Jeff Metzger on the short course, Bobby Pratt on the long course. The overall winner was Patrick Dolan on a surf ski. First OC-1 paddler was Kaihe Chong. Kamanu Composites creators, Luke Evslin and Keizo Gates, were the first OC-2 team. On the SUP, it was Jane McKee who took top honors, and Peter Balding III won the prone board division.
This first race also kicked off the Scott Hawaii Gold Challenge. Points are accumulated throughout the season and a $50 American eagle gold coin is awarded to the most consistent paddler in his/her division, of any craft, short or long course. There is also the Team Gold Challenge. For more on the Kanaka Ikaika series, browse kanakaikaika.com.