Wa`akapaemua kicks butt.
By Laura Petersen
Kukui `o Molokai canoe club hosted the first regatta of the 2008 season this past Saturday. The day was full of excitement and enthusiasm from both spectators and participants; the entire wharf was lined with cars in support of the event.
The community came together to make the event happen. Some were racing, some cheering, and others were helping out in the water, behind concession stands, taking times or just keeping the music going.
“Our literal club meaning is first canoe on the beach which has a hidden meaning of taking care of your responsibility first,” Kim Markham, a member of the Wa’akapaemua Canoe Club said. “Our philosophy is building the club from the ground up.”
The club starts kids as early as eight years old, so by the time they’re eligible to race they have had much practice.
The Wa`a’s philosophy truly showed during this regatta, as the team finished first place in all events, except one in the Girls and Boys category.
“I remember learning good values such as laulima (working together), kokua (to help), and ha`aha`a (to be humble),” Wa`a club member Penny Martin said, remembering her experiences as a child.
Aunty Penny has taught many people how to paddle and now coaches the Novice A women. She enjoys coaching them because they are full of excitement. She said many of the Masters become fresh again by feeding off of the Novice’s positive energy.
Throughout the day overall thoughts and feelings of paddling and the regatta were the same; ohana, working together, playing together, being supportive and positive, and most importantly preserving and practicing the cultural sport they have known since youth.
The next regatta will be hosted by Wa`akapaemua on the 21 of June followed by Mana’e club on the 5 of the July and ending with the Molokai club on July 19.
Molokai Canoe Racing Association (MCRA) will be having up to four special events at the end of each regatta, beginning at the June 21 event. Each race will be against similar groups - ohana teams, classmate teams, business teams, etc.
The special events will serve as a fundraiser for the association, and paddlers must pay $5 to participate.
Last year was our first time having these special events. Every participant had a great time and MCRA raised extra money for our 2008-2009 paddling season expenses.
If anyone is interested in putting a crew together, please come during the next regatta to the officials stand and sign up. Or make up one of your own events and call out any challengers.