The NaWahine from Purgatory-based on a true story

I would like to give 12 thumbs up to my senior masters crew who took second place by a very close margin after enduring the most radically trying race weekend in recent history. Broken canoe trailer, broken rental car, overbooked hotel rooms, being relocated waaaaaaaaaaaay outa town, escort boat started the race with one broken engine and the other one broke down mid channel. Keoni Miyake was the first escort boat to deviate from Kukuiula's course to inform us "eh Laola your escort stay broke!!!" Shortly after that Lisa Curry's luggage boat came over and threw us some water. A short time later Lisa and her crew also came along and offered to run side by side with us. It was still only about mid channel though and the "racer" in me said lets take it as long and we can on our own and see how far we get....after all, they ARE our competition!!! That being said, it was a very gracious and sportsmanlike gesture on her part and not one that a lot of competitors would necessarily care to do for one another. I sheepishly asked if they knew exactly how far we were from the island (of Oahu) and it did look ridiculously far away. The crew of JoJo Toeppner, Katy Bourne, Margie Goodno, MJ Gumbert and Cindy Grover stepped up to the plate and with our 3 bottles of Aquafina safely tucked under the canvas took off for ...sing with me everyone..."a three hour tour....a three hour tour." Just about the time the officials were ready to yank us and call it a race the engine sputtered and they got it underway. I was amazed at how quickly they found us. As our coach Kainoa Downing said "I know how you steer, I knew where you'd be." Interesting comment. We let our Down Under team mates finish the race since it was their first channel crossing ever. Our escort dropped us off, sputtered away and ran out of gas on his way to Sand Island. I thank God that he created each of my team mates with a fantastic sense of humor! I thought to myself the only thing that needs to happen now is for me to step on dog poop. Once we landed back on Kauai one of our friends picked us up in her truck and as we threw our dry bags in the bed of her truck she yelled "No don't throw your bags back there there's dog doo doo!" Lesson according to Margie: You can have a plan A, a plan B and a plan C.....God's still in control. P.S. This truly is the short version- the entire saga will be published in our collection of short (and long) stories of paddling adventures. Mahalo to Raymond Lii of Hawaiian Kanaktion, Kainoa Downing, Jo Hookano and the Hawaiian Australian Kanaktion gang, the Molokai canoe hauling group: Gerome,Mel, Ron and rest of the boys and ladies who endured a lot of hard knocks this year; 4 broken trucks (and a few broken backs).

Submitted by laolalake on Tue, 09/29/2009 - 1:23pm

Can't wait to read it all ... those Aussie senior masters are a great bunch of girls and great sports to boot.

Cheers Rambo

#1 Tue, 09/29/2009 - 3:53pm

ive always thought a book of paddling experiences from 6 and 1 man's, would be really great to see.

#2 Tue, 09/29/2009 - 4:31pm

think we saw you mid channel. wondered why you were flying solo. you guys looked awesome. just think what the results coulda been. still placing second is huge accomplishment. kudos to you ladies. we were the team with the yellow jerseys that came close to check you out.

#3 Wed, 09/30/2009 - 7:31am

There was a team from Maui that huli'd right by where our coach's dry bag was drifting, after it got lost off of our escort boat. They recovered the bag. There's a very trippy story that goes along with it. I'm trying to find out who the crew was. Please contact me if you are part of that crew. It adds a great chapter to the whole story.

#4 Thu, 10/01/2009 - 6:42pm

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