HoloHolo Hawai`i Ocean Sports News




With a record 72 crews entered, Australians take the title of
the Silver Anniversary Hawaii Modular Space Na Wahine O Ke Kai

Mooloolaba finishes the 25th Moloka`i crossing with second fastest time
misses record by just over 2 minutes

Contact: Diane Fujii Johnson
Cellular: 808-381-9763

Honolulu, HAWAII (September 28, 2003) - Determination is what drove Mooloolaba Outrigger Canoe Club from Australia to dominate today's Hawaii Modular Space Na Wahine O Ke Kai. From the 7:30 a.m. start time, Mooloolaba who came in third last year - held a dominant lead over the rest of the 72 entered crews. Off the start line, they quickly gained an 8 minute spread ahead of Honolulu's Outrigger Canoe Club and held the one-mile gap the duration of the race.

Lisa Curry, coach of Mooloolaba who also paddled in the race had a gut feeling about what the weather would do; information that can dictate strategy. "Last night, I just knew (the ocean) was going to be hot and flat. We were ready for those conditions." She went on to say that it seems the Na Wahine lands in a period of "no waves and no wind", which typically slows the race time. Not this time though. Even when faced with variable wind conditions and the currents of an outgoing tide, Mooloolaba finished with the race's second best time of 5 hours, 26 minutes and 37 seconds; missing the all time record set by Offshore of California in 1995 by 2 minutes and 5 seconds.

"We had been winning all the races we entered in Australia - masters, open, etc. And Hamilton Island Cup was a great race since we finally felt like we were competing against other crews. We were surrounded by the men, and went on to take the title for the women's crew and place 21st overall." Says Curry, "We were ready for great race even though our last competition was back in June."

Waikiki's Outrigger Canoe Club was the next crew to cross the finish line with a time of 5 hours, 36 minutes and 20 seconds. Outriggers Malia Kamisugi was happy with Outrigger's performance but says of their competiton, "Mooloolaba was so far ahead that they weren't even in the race. It was against Outrigger, Kai Opua Jr. Masters Crew and Wailua Kayak and Canoe Club." Just off of Diamond Head and 30 minutes from the finish, Wailua Kayak and Canoe Club's third place position but was overtaken by Kai Opua.

Kai Opua, the first Jr. Masters Crew to cross the finish - and third overall did so in 5 hours, 44 minutes and 31 seconds. Kai Opua's Open Crew had disbanded after winning three of the past Na Wahine O Ke Kai races leaving the Jr. Masters Crew to pull the load. The Jr. Masters crew this year was made up of women from the island of Hawaii and Kailua, on Oahu. "We put together a group of women from both islands looking just to have fun. We ended up paddling really good together and we are really happy about that." Said one of the paddlers as she was interviewed by local media. Wailua Kayak and Canoe Club from Kauai finished just 8 seconds after Kai Opua with a time of 5 hours 44 minutes and 39 seconds.

This race was full of emotions from the opening ceremonies when Race Director Hannie Anderson said she would have never thought she would be standing here 25 years later. Hannie went on to thank her committee: Shelly Gilman, Haunani Campos-Olds, Carleen Ornellas, Sig Tannehill, and Rosie Lum, her volunteers and most of all the women that were paddling today and have paddled in the past. "I love you all." said Anderson. And that summed up the feelings of this, a pinnacle year in women's canoe paddling.

Television airing of the Hawaii Modular Space Na Wahine O Ke Kai will first appear on Oceanic Cable Channel 16 on October 12 at 7:00 p.m. with 6 repeat airings occurring that week. Photos of the event to follow to local media and websites.

This year's Na Wahine O Ke Kai was made possible with the support of Hawaii Modular Space as title sponsor, and associate sponsors Hinano Tahiti Beer, Ocean Club, RCI Construction Group, Lazer Eye Center of Hawaii, Hawaiian 105 KINE and XCEL Wetsuits.

Coming up next:
Hawaii Modular Space Molokai Hoe
Moloka`i-to-O`ahu Men's World Championship Canoe Race
Sunday, October 12.

*2003 Na Wahine O Ke Kai

Last Modified: 20031007.1159 EDT Sunday
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