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Waikiki Beach Boys paddle to AA win

By Kyle Sakamoto
Special to the Star-Advertiser

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 03:05 a.m. HST, Jun 27, 2011

The sophomore women's crew of the Waikiki Beach Boys Canoe Club -- Alexia Lopez, Dana Gorecki, Susannah Johnson, Laura Birse, Cindy Takazono and Andrea Von Burg Hall -- paddled to a first-place finish in their 1-mile race on Sunday in the Alapa Hoe Regatta.

Waikiki Beach Boys' accumulation of points during Na Ohana O Na Hui Wa‘a regattas this season is like clockwork.

It falls behind early since the club has no youth crews, thenpiles up points from event 26 to 39.

Waikiki Beach Boys scored 50 points to win the AA division at Sunday's Alapa Hoe Regatta at Keehi Lagoon. Waikiki Beach Boys' point total trailed only AAA division club Manu O Ke Kai, which tallied 71.

Waikiki Beach Boys scored four points through event 25, thanks to a fourth-place finish in the mixed novice B race and a second in the women's novice B race. There were 39 races, with points awarded on a 5-3-2-1 basis.

"We do three novice B races (events 8-10) and then we're not racing again until the novice A's (events 26 and 27)," said Waikiki Beach Boys president Dana Gorecki, who added her club goes nearly 3 hours between races. "It's a long wait and you cannot pay attention to all the points throughout the day."

Waikiki Beach Boys, which competed in just 13 races Sunday, won events Nos. 26 through 30: women's novice A, men's novice A, women freshman, men freshman and women sophomore. It also claimed the women senior (event 32), women open 4 (36) and mixed open 6 (39) races.

Waikiki Beach Boys used the finish-strong method to win the AA division in all five Na Ohana O Na Hui Wa‘a regattas this season.

The Waikiki Beach Boys women have been strong for a while, but the men also have contributed recently.

"We've maintained for the last five, six, seven years on the women's side and our men have crawled up to compete with the other crews," Gorecki said.

In the AA division (13-24 crews), Lokahi finished second with 40 points and Ka Mamalahoe came in third with 38. Finishing behind Manu O Ke Kai, which had five race victories, in the AAA division (25-39 crews) were Na Keiki O Ka Moi with 42 and Kaneohe with 17.

Kaneohe, which had won the AAA division twice this season, used an illegal paddler in the women's novice B race and was banned from competition for the remainder of the day and fined, according to a Na Ohana O Na Hui Wa‘a official.

Competitors in novice races must have no paddling experience prior to the season. The individual in question had paddled previously, the official said.

Kamehameha won the A division (6-12 crews) with 32 points, followed by North Shore with 13, and Windward Kai and Olelo O Keola, both with 10.

Manu O Ke Kai won the 1½-mile men senior race for the third time this season, finishing in 11:34.63. Waikiki Beach Boys, which captured the event twice this season, came in second in 11:46.56 and Koa Kai third in 12:26.19.

Members of Manu O Ke Kai's winning crew were Ben Wilkinson, Moku Sanborn, Glenn Williams, Tim Vierra, Paki Lagunte and Robert Pactol.

"It's pretty unreal because it's the main event of the day and everybody watches for that," Pactol said. "And we have a good rivalry with the Beach Boys. We always go back and forth."

The six members of Manu O Ke Kai's men senior crew paddled together during the long-distance races from early April through late May, so they have a tight bond, Pactol said.

"We do everything together. We paddle together, we hang out together, we run together," Pactol said.

Waikiki Beach Boys won the 1½-mile women senior race for the fourth consecutive time this season, crossing the finish line in 12:36.93. Lokahi placed second in 14:16.90 and Waikiki Yacht Club was third in 14:23.48.

Members of Waikiki Beach Boys' winning crew were Frances Lichowski, Andrea Messer, Eko Lapp, Lindsey Shank, Laura Birse and Kaui Pelekane.

Birse was paddling in the women senior race for the first time.

"It was just amazing. I loved it. I was lucky to do it today," she said."I think we blended pretty good."

Hui Wa‘a's next event is the Koa Kai Regatta on Sunday at Keehi Lagoon.

Lanikai tops OHCRA race

Lanikai (114 points) beat Kailua (89) to win the AAA division of the Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association's Waimanalo Regatta on Sunday at Waimanalo Beach Park.

Keahiakahoe (39) won the AA division, and Waimanalo and Anuenue tied (four points each) for the top spot in the A division.






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