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Na Keiki O Ka Moi paddles to win

LAST UPDATED: 10:29 p.m. HST, Aug 5, 2011

Something that will never get old for Na Keiki O Ka Moi is getting points from its youth crews.

All five Na Keiki O Ka Moi race victories Sunday came in youth races, as the canoe club won the AAA division of Na Ohana O Na Hui Wa‘a's event at Maili Beach Park.

Na Keiki O Ka Moi, which practices about 1 mile away at Pokai Bay and hosted the regatta, finished with 61 points in the AAA division (25-39 crews). Kaneohe finished second with 57 and Manu O Ke Kai third with 45.

"It was a close one, and I was kind of worried at the end that we'd be counting those points," said Na Keiki O Ka Moi head coach Lisa Ka‘aekuahiwi.

Na Keiki O Ka Moi won the girls 12, girls 13, girls 14, girls 15 and boys 15 races. The club also got 11 combined points, including two runner-up finishes, over the final nine races.

There were 39 events Sunday, with points awarded on a 5-3-2-1 basis.

"Everybody has to do their part," Ka‘aekuahiwi said. "We cannot rely only on the kids. They helped to get us started, but at the end we were relying on adults to bring us up there, too."

It was Na Keiki O Ka Moi's fourth Na Ohana O Na Hui Wa‘a victory of the season. Kaneohe and Manu O Ke Kai also have won in the AAA division this season.

The canoes paddled out to sea and back toward shore Sunday. There was a strong breeze blowing straight in toward shore, which made heading out difficult and coming back much easier.

Waikiki Beach Boys won the AA division (13-24 crews) with 50 points, followed by Ka Mamalahoe with 33 and Lokahi with 32.

Kamehameha won the A division (6-12 crews) with 35 points, followed by Kalihi Kai with 24 and North Shore with 16.

Manu O Ke Kai won a tightly contested 1½-mile men's senior race, finishing in 12:06.17. Waikiki Beach Boys finished second in 12:09.03 and Kaneohe placed third in 13:03.73.

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

Manu O Ke Kai had the lead after getting to the final 1-mile turn, but lost ground to Waikiki Beach Boys and had to play catch up.

"Actually going into the turn we came out a little wide," Sanborn said. "They got in front (by half a boat length). Lucky thing we caught some (wave) bumps coming in and that's how we got in front of them and we kept the lead after that."

During the final turn, Manu O Ke Kai's crew had to bail out ankle-high water from the canoe, according to Sanborn.

"It was kind of rough the water, it was kind of hard. The water was coming in the boat. It was hitting us from the side," he said.

Waikiki Beach Boys easily won the 1½-mile women's senior race, finishing in 13:26.09. It was a great battle for second, with Kalihi Kai crossing in 15:00.01 and Lokahi right behind in 15:00.59.

Members of Waikiki Beach Boys' winning crew were Jen Polcer, Andrea Messer, Frances Lichowski, Lindsey Shank, Dana Gorecki and Kaui Pelekane.

On Saturday, 10 female members of Waikiki Beach Boys paddled roughly 30 miles from Waikiki to Maili Beach, with a few sleeping over at Maili Beach.

"We had a pretty long, hard practice yesterday. It was good to push ourselves again today," Messer said.

Na Ohana O Na Hui Wa‘a's next event is the Waikiki Beach Boys Regatta on Sunday at Waikiki Beach.

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