The first race wasn’t until 8am but Lahaina Canoe Club’s regatta started around 4.30am for its members. The day started with getting coffee ready at Livewire – Carlee’s cafe provided much needed caffeine supplies for the regatta so a few of us helped to get her set up. When we got up to Canoe Beach everyone was pitching in – it felt a bit manic at first but once the tables were set up, coffee was being served and breakfast service had started, everything started to fall into place.
Molly - serving up breakfast and coffee at LCC's food tent. Pic courtesy Carlee Sutherland.
The Novice B teams had organised a raffle and it was incredible to see the response we got from local businesses, who very kindly donated some amazing prizes. Erin and Kenny worked wonders in organising it all and it turned into a huge team effort, of which everyone played their part. It was last minute and there were some frayed nerves but it was seriously impressive. With just under $1600 raised it was also a great success. Imua to everyone involved!
Carlee - on much-needed coffee duty at the Keiki O Maui Regatta.
With discount card selling, raffle organising, breakfast service, giving all our keikis candy leis and more, there was little time for us to get nervous about our first race. Unlike other weeks we didn’t warm up, we didn’t have a pre-race pep talk and when we got out to our lane we didn’t have boat holders to hold us in place at the starting flags. Strangely, it seemed to work for us…
Lehia - our beautiful koa canoe. Pic courtesy Joe Morgan.
We were in lane six and Elisa was stroking, I was in seat two, Lindsey was in three, Aviva was in four, Erin was in five and Jenny was steering. It was a good crew and the boat felt great. We had a strong start and we were leading for most of the quarter-mile race. You have to keep looking straight ahead when you are racing but we could tell there was no-one out ahead of us. Three boats started to catch us up as we neared the finish line and we started to fall back near the end. It was really unfortunate not to come first and we finished three seconds behind first place. We were milliseconds from winning a medal – Hawaiian came in third with a time of 2:07.11, we registered a time of 2:07.91, Lae’ula O Kai were second with 2:05.96 and Kihei came in first with 2:04.84. We were so close! So, we won one point but we had a great race and enjoyed every second of it. It was definitely an improvement from the previous week where we came in last. If no warm-up worked for us it’s tempting to imagine what else might work? Hangover perhaps? Caffeine buzz maybe? No sleep?
The Novice B girls and a hanger-on, pictured before their race at the Keiki O Maui Regatta. Pic courtesy Joe Morgan.
In Kihei last week, our Novice A men smoked all the opposition – they had been consistently impressive all season with their wins but at the Moki Kalanikau regatta they were outstanding. They finished with a time of 7:55.04 – over 25 seconds ahead of their nearest rivals. Great work! This week things got even better for the Novice A’s. They built on the previous week’s result and finished in first place again with an even better time of 7:24.69. This was the fastest time in the state for their division all season and for the second year running they’ve sealed their place and first seeding at the state championships on Oahu – well done guys it’s an incredible achievement!
The Novice A men - they're going to states!! (L-R: Jordan, Seth, Michael, Mone, Eric, Luis and Kenny) Pic courtesy Carlee Sutherland.
More points were won from a variety of crews – our Keiki 12 A Boys won third place in their race, our Womens Juniors took fourth place with a time of 8:45.20, the Open Four Men won two points with a time of 4:11.13, the Open Four Women earnt a point with a time of 5:19.00, the Men’s Juniors won three points in their one mile race, as did the Men’s 40 crew. Congratulations to all!
The whole day was amazing – we had face painters, magicians, food from Lulu’s, great races, a superb feeling of team spirit and so much more. We even had a pod of swimmer dolphins make an appearance during the Mixed novice B race - how’s that for entertainment? Adam – where did you hire the dolphins from? It was a masterstroke. What a great idea for the Keiki O Maui Regatta… ;-)
Lahaina's Eli Montoya and Nakai Young. Pic courtesy Carlee Sutherland.
When the races were over and the sun went down we had some lovely music from Marvin (who paddles for Napili) on the ukulele and Souley on the drums – it sounded gorgeous and fit the atmosphere perfectly. Beer flowed and flowed some more and Lahaina’s hale had a bit of remodelling in the shape of a stripper pole, flashing lights and a fog machine. Yes ladies and gentlemen, you read that correctly, a stripper pole. Ahem… I think the boys enjoyed dancing on it more than anyone else! I’m sure some embarrassing pics will start surfacing soon, so watch this space.
Daniel and Elisa - they will be missed! Pic courtesy Carlee Sutherland.
It was an amazing, unforgettable day and I think LCC did themselves proud. The only part that was not so good was the departure of two much-loved members of our team – Elisa and Daniel. They had a fantastic opportunity to move to Santa Cruz in California, to work on a NOAA research vessel and we all wish them well. We miss you already guys – you are great paddlers and even better friends. I am sad to see you go but so glad we could give you a send off with the Keiki O Maui regatta. Imua Elisa and Daniel, come back and visit us soon!
Many mahalos to all of you for reading and commenting on my blog – last week I hit the 2000 mark for page impressions and it’s building all the time. Thank you so much!
Aloha for now, Laura