The Last Race
Outrigger regatta season leaves winners ready for states.
Competition was fierce as paddlers battled it out for the last races of the season on Molokai.
By Andres Madueno
Rain couldn’t dampen spirits at the outrigger regatta races this weekend. The final competition of the season to decide who goes to states was held on Saturday, July 19 at the Kaunakakai Wharf. Though the conditions were not ideal for spectators, faithful family, friends, and fans were all there to show their support.
Up and down the Wharf people cheered as the teams of paddlers went out for their final races of the summer here on Molokai. Glassy water made for quick times and fierce competition.
And the concession stand had the good stuff like pickled mangos, chili bowls, nachos, shaved ice – all the foods that make regatta races great.
“We did a good job, we got the lanes we wanted,” said Bozo Dudoit, coach of the Wa’akapaemua boy’s team. Wa’a boys ages 12 to 16 won all of their events this Saturday.
“It’s nice to be able to win with more than just one group. It’s good for the younger guys to have this so they will keep coming back,” said Dudoit. Wa’a girls also did very well with the 12- to 16-year-olds winning their races this Saturday. All the teams did a good job this weekend.
Molokai clubs will face some tough competition at states where 14 lanes will be filled with the best crews in all of Hawaii. There are supposedly 50 clubs on Oahu alone, which means the competition will be stiff. So as the season ends here on Molokai the final battle awaits the few.
Molokai paddlers will continue to train until the state races on Aug. 2 and 3. Although some are sad to see regatta season end, most are excited knowing there is still the final showdown.
Congrats to all the clubs. It takes a tremendous amount of effort just to get out there. And it was a blast to see the people come together here and support the young and experienced alike. To all the clubs: good luck at states; we’re rooting for you.