Wednesday | December 13, 2017
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Canoe racing: Kawaihae youth crews continue to click

The Kawaihae boys 14 crew is unbeaten in the Moku O Hawaii Outrigger Canoe Racing Association and the fastest in the state but that’s not all.

Coach Manny Veincent’s young guns of Kuhao Kane, Micah Mahiai, Joshua McPeek, Kawaihiwa Rios-Griego, Laif Showalter, and Jaydon Tripp have covered the quarter-mile race in 1 minute, 40.35 seconds.

A majority of that crew is also on the Kawaihae boys 15 crew, which is pretty good, too.

The next fastest boys 14 time among Hawaii Canoe Racing Association clubs is Kawaihae rival Keoua Honaunau, which has a best of 1:43.37.

Tanyo Crivello-Kahihikolo, Jesse Duarte-Mahi, Kuhi Enos-Chase, Dylan Green, Sebastian Noll, and Ikie Sanchis have finished second to Kawaihae in the last four races.

The two clubs recorded their fastest times at last week’s Kamehameha regatta. It was a sizable gap that showed the peaking power of Kawaihae.

The last four races were held at Hilo Bay, and the first was the Kailana regatta. Kawaihae beat Keoua Honaunau, 1:43.97 to 1:44.65.

To shave off three seconds is pretty impressive, not to mention encouraging for the longtime HCRA state power in Division A (1-6 races).

Kawaihae repeated for the state small-events title last year at Oahu’s Keehi Lagoon, which was flooded with bacteria-infested brown water.

The young guns were on the boys 13 crew and placed sixth at states, right behind Paddlers of Laka, another Moku O Hawaii rival.

In fact, Paddlers of Laka edged Kawaihae in the boys 13 for the Aunty Maile Mauhili/Moku O Hawaii title last year, 1:55.96 to 1:56.26.

Kane, Mahiai, Rios-Griego, Showalter, and Tripp were on that 13 crew who all jumped up an age division. McPeek is the only new guy.

Not to be outdone, Kawaihae’s young guns also hold the fastest state time in the boys 15 race, a half-mile event.

The crew of Kane, Mahiai, McPeek, Rios-Griego, Showalter, and Owen Sarasona have clocked in a 3:59.46.

Right behind are two Moku O Hawaii rivals, Kamehameha (Apuwai Alfiche, Makani Aukai, Kukuipahu Decker-Lilly, Devon Joaquin-Valentin, Kapana Kanae-Kane, and Shamar Sarme) in 3:59.80 and Kai Opua (Hunter Ellis, McKale Hill, Jake Honl-DeGuair, Te Awa Manning, Makoa Ng, and Orion Smith) in 4:01.00.

There are no such things as automatic locks in sports, but the undefeated Kawaihae boys 14 crew are a safe bet to claim one of Moku O Hawaii’s two lanes for states, to be held on Maui.

The young guns sit in first place in the Moku O Hawaii standings with 63 points. Keoua Honaunau is second with 54 points.

The Kai Opua boys 15 have given hard rubs to Kawaihae, which has seized the last two races and has four wins. Big Blue has two victories, so far.

Kawaihae holds the slimmest edge in points over Kai Opua, 49-48. Kamehameha is third with 36 points and has placed runner-up the last two races.

Most of Kawaihae’s young guns have been paddling together since they were 11 years old, so their experienced blending is a major weapon.

Paddlers can only compete in a maximum of two races. There’s a strong possibility that the Kawaihae blazers could pull a double gold at the Aunty Maile/Moku O Hawaii championships next week.

But first, there’s the Paddlers of Laka/Hanakahi regatta on Saturday, a primer of sorts for fast times and a final tune-up for island gold.


Besides the Kawaihae boys 14, the other undefeated crews are Kai Ehitu boys 13, Kai Opua girls 18, Puna men freshmen, sophomore, junior, women 60, men 55, women 50, and mixed 55.


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