O`AHU'S LANIKAI BREAKS OWN RECORD TO WIN
49TH ANNUAL BANK OF HAWAII HINANO MOLOKAI HOE
Presented by Ocean Club
Honolulu, HAWAI`I (Sunday, October 8, 2000) Oahu's Lanikai Canoe Club #1 today broke their own race record in the 49th annual 41-mile Bank of Hawaii Hinano Molokai Hoe, presented by Ocean Club, in a time of 4 hours, 50 minutes and 31 seconds. In challenging seas of up to 12 feet and winds of up to 30 knots, Lanikai corrected a poor start, finishing first ahead of Team New Zealand/Hawaii, 4:58:18, and Rai Tahiti, 4:59:51.
When Lanikai viewed the conditions this morning at Hale O Lono Harbor on Moloka`i, they knew their 1995 record finish of 4:53:03 and first place was within reach. But after poor positioning on the starting line, amidst a starting field of 110 canoes, they knew it would come down to a close finish.
n the end, it was strong steersmanship, some long surfing runs and a unique course that brought them into Duke Kahanamoku Beach as the champions.
"We totally lined up in the wrong place on the starting line," explained Jim Foti, who co-steered the race with teammate Karel Tresnak Jr. "We were nowhere near our competition and by the time we hit Laau Point we must have been a quarter mile behind New Zealand and Kai Opua (Big Island).
"When we finally caught up to them we started surfing like crazy. Then we had some incredible runs down, but then really had to fight the slop working our way back up to where New Zealand was. But the runs we had paid off."
Tresnak Jr. was ecstatic with the performance of both the crew and their canoe, which was built by his father Karel Tresnak Sr . "This canoe was made to surf," Tresnak Jr. said. "We had a lot of wind and waves out there today and it went great."
As a testament to the surfing strength of Lanikai, second placed Team New Zealand/Hawaii was also racing in a Karel Sr. design canoe and had Karel Sr. as their head coach, but they could not match the surfing prowess of their rivals.
"There was plenty of good surfing but we came across a lot of sloppy water (mixed swells) and the Lanikai guys fit into that kind of water really well. They just seem to move better in the seam of the trough," commented Team New Zealand/Hawaii steersman Todd Bradley.
The top finishing Masters team, 35 years and over, was Outrigger Canoe Club, who finished fifth place overall. The top Senior Masters team, 45 years and over, was Kauai's Hanalei.
First in the koa division was Keoua, from the Big Island. Their finish time of 5:58:56, in 41st place overall, came as a proud moment for a canoe which was smashed to pieces during the Bank of Hawaii Molokai Hoe of 1996.
"It really means a lot to us to finish first in this canoe," said Keoua paddler Billy Duiquan. "This canoe, Ka`ahumanu , broke up during the race of '96 after being hit by a rogue wave on a day much like today. Part of it was found on the island of Kaua`i and sent back to us. Kurtis Yamauchi, our head coach, did most of the rebuilding during 1997. He also paddled with us today, so it was a great day."
One hundred and two canoes completed today's race. Eight canoes withdrew due to various reasons ranging from canoe damage to escort boat problems. In all, nine countries were represented in today's race a credit to the ever-growing international stature of both this race in Hawai`i, and canoe paddling world-wide. Countries present today were the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, New Zealand, and Tahiti.
In conjunction with today's race was a highly successful finish-line celebration, featuring keiki activities, a local craft fair, the popular music of Keali'i Reichel, Pure Heart and others, as well as a koa canoe display by the Polynesian Voyaging Society.
Jodi Young, OCEAN PROMOTION
Hele on to Canoe Club News
Last Modified: Tuesday - 20001010.11:01 EDT
Copyright © 1995-2000 and produced online by
HoloHolo Internet Publishing, all rights reserved.