By Laura Greene
Kihei Canoe Club enjoyed a range of wins across the board on Saturday in the annual ‘Alau Island race in Hana.
The event, which draws outrigger crews from all corners of Maui, is hosted by Hana Canoe Club and comprises a six mile open-ocean paddle around ‘Alau Island back to the starting line in Hana Bay.
With relatively calm conditions, the first race of the 2011 meet began at 9am, with the Open Women, Mixed Masters and Mixed Senior Masters (50+) jostling for position as the green flag was raised.
The red and yellow colors of Kihei were the first to cross the line, as their Mixed Masters took first place in their division, with a time of 54:19:00. Hawaiian Canoe Club took first place in the Open Women division, placing a time of 55:36:00 – followed closely by three Kahana boats in second, third and fourth place. Kihei’s Mixed Senior Masters took first place in the 50+ division, finishing the race in 58:01:00 with Napili bagging second place in 59:35:00.
The second race of the day was the Mixed Open and Senior Masters Women. Hawaiian were at the forefront again, winning the Mixed Open with a time of 48:41:00. Kahana came in second place, with a time of 52:47:00 and the Kamamalahoe boat took third in 53:13:00. Kihei and Hawaiian took first and second place for the Senior Masters Women, clocking in times of 59:40:00 and 1:04:20 respectively.
All eyes were on the men’s crews for Race Three as 18 wa’a lined up at the starting point to paddle it out for the Open Men and Senior Masters Men. Hawaiian’s Open Men came in first, with the quickest finish of all the outrigger races, the Kahului club finishing with a time of 44:50:00. The purple and white colors of Na Kai Ewalu were a close second over the line, finishing nine seconds behind Hawaiian on 44:59:00. Wailea’s crew took third with 47:05:00. Kihei took first place in the Senior Masters Men race, finishing with a time of 57:34:00.
It was an exciting precursor to the 2011 Maui County Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association (MCHCA) regatta season, which begins on June 4 and a fantastic fundraising opportunity for Hana Canoe Club, the day’s hosts.
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