Hawaiian Canoe Sailing Season Kick off!!!
The Hawaiian Canoe sailing canoe association kicked off the start of the 2009 sailing season with the Kahalui to Kaanapali north shore coastal race on May 29th 2009. The conditions were less than ideal but the race was scheduled and the canoes and teams were ready for the challenge. The light winds and reaching out of the Kahalui harbor proved to be one of the defining moments in the entire race. Team OluKai in the distinct yellow and brown Kamakakoa canoe, once again continued where they left off last year and took an early lead.
The light winds proved to be too much for over half the fleet with only 5 canoes completing the course under their own power. Team OluKai lead by Master Steersmen Marvin Otsuji, Noe Auger, Jason Dameron, Scott Wagner, Kai Bartlett and Peter Konohia finished the 37 mile course in 3 hours and 10 minutes. A distance second was a team from the big island.
Once again the 2nd leg of the season, the Kaanapali to Haleolono race was held in light wind conditions. Team OluKai with a new team member Tyson Kubo was tested by Tui Tonga from Kauai. The two teams distanced the pack with in the first 1 hour of the race. At the 30 mile mark the two teams were within shouting distance of each other. At mile 32 team OluKai walked away and was the only team to complete the race without being towed. Conditions were light and proved to be tactical duel. The experience of the OluKai team once again left all the other teams wondering what they have to do to win.