Women of the Sea

Photo by Blaze Juario

For this year’s Na Wahine O Ke Kai on Sept. 24, a group of Molokai wahine paired up with paddlers from Japan to form Team Japan Molokai, finishing the grueling Ka`iwi Channel race in 10th place. Tiana Miguel, Teave Heen, Sydney Kalipi, Bobbi-li Morris, Pualei Lima of Wa`akapaemua Canoe Club formed the alliance, while other Molokai paddlers also joined forces with various other teams to make the crossing.

Miguel said they were approached by the Japanese coach to join the crew. She called it “an amazing opportunity to meet new friends.”

“Only a couple of them [from Team Japan] spoke some English, but communication wasn’t really an issue because we all had a common goal,” said Miguel. “We did well, 10th to the beach, and were thrilled with how everything went.”

Team Japan Molokai finished the 41-mile race from Molokai’s Hale O Lono Harbor to the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki in 6 hours 25 minutes 47 seconds.

“Conditions were excellent,” added Miguel. “The Japanese women were awesome, totally devoted and disciplined…they were also excellent cheerleaders!”

Team Bradley of Maui won this year’s Na Wahine O Ke Kai, in 5:55:22.

The men’s race, Molokai Hoe, is this Sunday, Oct. 8, also starting at Hale O Lono at 8 a.m.

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