Paddle to the Medal

Molokai wahine wins first place overall in Ironman canoe race on Maui.

By Léo Azambuja

Molokai’s wahine brought home another outrigger canoe title this past weekend. The Wa`akapaemua Canoe Club, competing in the Junior Master Women division, took first place in the Queen Ka`ahumanu Ironman Race, on Maui.

But there is more to it. The wahine accomplished an amazing feat – they came ahead of every competitor in the event, including all divisions.

Tammy Castor stroked in the race. Tania Kaholoa`a was right behind her, calling the changes. Joey Dudoit, Vicky Underwood and Desiree Puhi, sitting in the middle, added power to the crew. From the steersman seat, Choppie Kalama guided the team to the victory. The wahine were coached by Mervin Dudoit, Jr., who is considered to be among the best steersman in all of Hawaii.

The Ironman race has its name for a reason. The race starts at Maliko Gulch, and paddlers have to race almost 10 miles until the finish line, at Kahului Harbor, without water changes. It is a true test of endurance. The same crew that started the race finishes without any rest.

The race is also known statewide as the Maliko Gulch Race. Maui’s Na Ka Ewalu Canoe Club organizes the annual race, which is run only by women.

Congratulations to all Molokai wahine who represented Molokai on Maui.


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