Shell Vaa

No question Shell Vaa paddled one hell of a race. Impressive is putting it mildly. Congratulations to the Tahitians and all paddlers who competed.
We will never know for certain what might have been, but how was Primo doing and feeling when one of their paddlers
was injured?

Submitted by MikeA on Mon, 10/11/2010 - 3:09pm

No excuse.The peperu of shell no change for all time of the race.Same for team OPTA and OPTB.What's more as EXCUSE.BLA,BLA,BLA.

#1 Mon, 10/11/2010 - 3:48pm

teraiuira1- peperu?

#2 Mon, 10/11/2010 - 4:35pm

steers man. they stay and steer the whole race. thats how they race in tahiti. in hawakii nui, the top teams dont change

#3 Mon, 10/11/2010 - 4:42pm


       First man - faahoro
       second    - piti 
 3eme-4eme    -moteur
        5eme      -pae
        6eme      -peperu

   TO TAHITI Eiaha e haapao mai

#4 Mon, 10/11/2010 - 5:03pm

Ia ora na every body,
it is just awesome & I'm very proud and happy for the Tahitian people,congratulation to Shell for the fifth time in a row, hoping for a sixth, also congratulation to the other Tahitian team and to Primo team too, because with the results they've done yesterday with only 8 instead of 9 paddlers is a very good results.

#5 Mon, 10/11/2010 - 5:25pm

Teraiuira1- Thanks for that piece of knowledge, its always a pleasure to learn. Shell Vaa looked like the champions they are, simply perfect.

#6 Mon, 10/11/2010 - 7:32pm

Ia orana teraiuira1,

Nobody's trying to take anything away from the incredible achievement of Shell Va'a... it was/is simply outstanding. I hope they continue to come back each year.
The point is it was unfortunate that other teams had some bad luck in their race, and some alot more than others... but like someone else said - that's racing for you. Its how you cope in the face of adversity that really matters, and by all accounts there were some pretty great efforts shown out there on the water (the Kailua crew is one that comes to mind).
And your point about the steerer, well many teams I know don't change their steerer, so its the same for most - no different than for Tahitian teams.
But anyway, congrats once again to Shell Va'a (and the other teams from Tahiti) for once again setting the bar in terms of their awesome efforts.

#7 Mon, 10/11/2010 - 8:13pm

@ teraiuira : Même si les peperu sont restés sur toutes la course sans chagements, les 8 autres rameurs ont tourné sur les sièges 1 à 5 : il ont donc ramé à 9 rameurs. Ce que font nos représentants à Hawaii est exceptionnel, ne diminuons pas leur réussite en exagérant leur mérite, cela devient ridicule et je suis sûr que ce n'est pas ce que tu souhaites.
Je ne veux pas te donner de leçons, mais quand on lit tes messages, tu donnes parfois l'impression que tu les prends pour des cons (les hawaiiens)... essaie d'être plus cool, tu verras qu'il y a plein de gens sympas et intéressants sur ce forum.

PS : 3=toru, 4=maha, "moteur" ce n'est pas du tahitien.

#8 Mon, 10/11/2010 - 8:54pm

Sounds kind of mouthy for someone who didnt race?

#9 Mon, 10/11/2010 - 9:00pm

Thankyou Hiro. We appreciate your participation in this forum. All Tahitian crews performed phenomenally. Many stories were created across the Kaiwi channel this year... some are more fun to tell than others.

As for steerers ironing... I agree that is not uncommon; I did it 2 weeks ago in the women's race. Granted, we took 2 hrs longer than Shell did. ;)

#10 Mon, 10/11/2010 - 9:55pm

thanks Hiro, i was thinking the same thing.

#11 Mon, 10/11/2010 - 11:05pm

Any speculation on the winning time if there had been a favorable tide? All other things equal. 4:30? 4:25? 4:20?
I thought the winner on Sunday would be around 4:50.

#12 Tue, 10/12/2010 - 11:19am

Another thing that helped the record time were the conditions at the start. The surf and wind were really up and right at the back for the first 6 miles and helped them make up of for some of the time lost due to tide push. Compared to other year it might have gained them 5 to 6 minutes.

#13 Tue, 10/12/2010 - 11:35am

Shell's time in 2008 was 4:38:35. Their time this year was 4:38:50...15 seconds slower. It's not a new record right?

For some reason KHON2 claims Shell's 2010 time was 4:35.... I don't get it.

KHON2, 2010

Star Bulletin 2008

Star Advertiser 2010

#14 Tue, 10/12/2010 - 12:14pm

Ia vai haeha'a noa tatou, no tatou hoa te faufa'a e te maitai no a muri ae e no to tatou mou tamarii. No te mou "moteur" e parau hia na roto te reo tipe'e, e parau hia ia numera maha e numera pae.
Hiro, mauruuru roa, te reira i hoa te fa'a nahao ra'a, Teraiuira, te eini haeha'a to'a tu nei au e ia fa'atura tatou i to tatou mau taeae vaihi, ua nareira mai au i tera mau matahiti i hoe to'a ei au i Molokai i te matamua ra, na roto ia reva nui i te matahiti 1997 e na roto ia shell i te matahiti 1998 ra.

Gardons notre humilité pour que nous soyons toujours respectés. C'est tout à notre honeur.

Mauruuru fa'a hau a.


#15 Tue, 10/12/2010 - 12:24pm

Anyone care to translate?

#16 Tue, 10/12/2010 - 12:45pm

put your paddle where your mouth is.

#17 Tue, 10/12/2010 - 3:55pm

google translation for hiro's post:

@ Teraiuira: Although peperu remained on all the race without drying, the other 8 rowers turned on seats 1-5: So there have rowed at 9 rowers. What are our representatives in Hawaii is unique, not lessen their success by exaggerating their merits, it becomes ridiculous and I'm sure this is not what you want.
I do not want to give you lessons, but when you read your messages, you give the impression that you sometimes take them for idiots (the Hawaiian) ... trying to be cool, you'll see there are plenty of nice and interesting people on this forum.

PS: toru 3 =, 4 = maha "engine" that's not Tahitian.

#18 Tue, 10/12/2010 - 4:00pm


mauruuru roa mana me hiro.
@ teraiuira - aue! talk about lost in translation.
shell was pretty mean, no one could even come close - couldnt believe how fast off the start.


#19 Tue, 10/12/2010 - 4:29pm

E ko Primo ma, maikai loa ka oukou hana. He minamina ka eha o kahi poohiwi o Peter aka no ka oukou hana me 8 wale no poe kanaka hoe a puka ma ke kulana 5....ia 'oukou piha hoi ka haaheo nui. Ke Akua pu me oukou me ka mana nui loa e hana hou ai oukou i ka imi kaili lanakila ana ma Molokai Hoe.

#20 Tue, 10/12/2010 - 7:37pm

Hiro C,bien dit.Mauruuru

#21 Tue, 10/12/2010 - 9:41pm

edhay,maita'i roa tau tatau'ana i ta reo matuahine o ta pae'aina 'o Hawai'i,aloha 'ino ho'i 'a'ore e ho'orono pinepine'ia teia 'oero makamae,e ho'omau 'oe i te tatau'ana ma o ta 'orero Hawai'i

#22 Tue, 10/12/2010 - 9:51pm

Mana987.Hiro c.Moteur parahui MATINI o te tiaraa toru e te tiara maha ia.Aita roa tu vau e fifi ra ia TEAM primo.Tera ra mau feia e utata noa ra i muri i teie ravea papai ..Ite matahiti i haere mai ia o PIRAE,tiaraa matamua tona, ite taeraa tu coco head, i taua taime pirari anei te paruru miti i mua i te faahoro,i ainei te pape i roto i te vaa, topa roa tu ai o pirea ite tiaraa 4 aore ra 5.Parauhia tu ai e EXCUse na pirae.
Haere mai nei RAI, re mai nei.Parauhai utuai aita pai e are.
Haere mai nei SHELL 2006 aita atoa e are.2007 ua inu to SHELL ma te raau faaitoito.2008 12 taahoe ta SHELL.
2009 oaoa roa to vaihi tiara piti.2010 Ua fifi te hoe taata hoe no primo.E pauroa teie mau parau,ua tae roa i TAHITI
Ehaia to teie matahiti muri nei.Ati re ra,mea tia roa iau e faahaeha mai ta oe e parau ra,o to taua ia huru.E te tatarahapa atu nei mua i te mau feia e taio nei.TO VAIHI.Tera noa ia,maite peu e tia ia orua e tatara atu na roto i te reo marite mea maitai roa ia na to vaihi no te faaite atu i to manao tatarahapa.MAURURU.
For k.I speak tahitian,french and i try to speak english if you can help me,it's so good.

PARAHI ANAE                         

(I said mana and hiro translate for all).I'm SORRY for all)

#23 Wed, 10/13/2010 - 6:13am

Kava- Mahalo nui ia kau olelo ana mai. He makamae no ka olelo makuahine. He minamina nae no kona olelo ole ia ana mai ma keia forum nei.

Ia Lanikai C.C m?, ia oukou hoi ka haaheo ma ka oukou heihei kekahi. O oukou no ka oi o na hui hoe waa no ko Hawaii paeaina holookoa. O oukou no ke KAHE KOKO OMAO!!

#24 Wed, 10/13/2010 - 7:56am

Aue! Kare au e mareka roa ana no te reo tuketuke, penei ka tuatua maori au...!

#25 Wed, 10/13/2010 - 10:25am


Je seul me sens, tellement peut-être je devrais écrire dans ma propre langue: te Reo Maori (les Isles Cook)

¿Ahora, decir en español?

#26 Wed, 10/13/2010 - 10:34am

One thing I think we all understood from teraiuira1 - 'le moteur'....! That is a 'coined' word, n'est pas?
We say 'engine' or 'engine room', so I guess that is a universal expression for anyone that is too err, 'heavy' to sit anywhere else (or at least in my case it is - hehe!)

#27 Wed, 10/13/2010 - 10:44am

Ia ora na Teraiuira,
Te ta'a tunei au i ta oe mau tatara ra'a, ti o to'a au tera matahiti i fifi ei o Pirae, e o Lanikai canoe club tei poti'a, aita i mo'e hia ia u nei.
Te tu to'a nei to'u mana'o ia oe ra no te ta'ato'a o ta oe i fa'a ta'a i honei, teie nei ra, te haere nei tatou ( to tatou nuna'a) na muri ia Shell i te tahi faito i te e noa'a fa'ahou, e ti'a hoaia i te nuna'a ta'ata uo uo e fa'atura ia tatou i teie nei, ta ratou ia e rave ra i teie nei( aita hoa e rave'a fa'a hou). Na tatou ra i tei nei e fa'a ite ia ratou e, ti roto i te haeha'a te fa'a tura e vai e.
Mauruuru maitai e to'u taeae iti e.

#28 Wed, 10/13/2010 - 6:55pm

Maururu roa e MANA.Na reira,faahaehaa anae.Maururu roa no to oe mau manao.

#29 Wed, 10/13/2010 - 8:06pm

Not exactly about paddling but something I'd like to share.
Aldo (singer-guitarist) is a wonderful person.

* When are we going to realize,
* Quand realiserons-nous,
* that once on earth,
* q'une fois sur terre,
* life in society becomes a struggle,
* la vie en société devient un acharnement continuel,
* indeed a struggle for survival.
* un acharnement de survie individuel.

* But as to life in the islands, the one
* En ce qui concerne la vie dans les îles, celle
* in the Pacific, is a worriless one.
* dans le Pacifique, elle est sans soucis.
* From New Zealand up to Hawai'i and down to Easter Islands, these are peoples from Oceania.
* De la Nouvelle-Zélande (Aotearoa) à Hawai'i (Vaihi) en passant par le Iles de Pâques (Rapa Nui) sommes des peuples océaniens.

#30 Wed, 10/13/2010 - 8:11pm

Uhhhhhh......yay-yah She boogie Cutty bro Sweet azz
Da kine Mean bah Boo yah nails son.(Tahiti is fast.)

#31 Wed, 10/13/2010 - 8:29pm

Kudos to the all the peoples of have given us so much. Lets not get caught up in competition's aftermath. Aloha to the winners and aloha to all those that gave their best. All to be thankful for the opportunity to live in this time and to experience this great sport.

#32 Wed, 10/13/2010 - 8:33pm

Question about paddling in Tahiti.

How many sprints races a year do the the top OC-6 teams in Tahiti participate in? If any?

The reason I ask is I am thinking about the Hawaii training and fitness. Many of the top Hawaiian paddlers are spending 10 full Sat or Sundays doing sprint races, and obviously preparing for them and coaching teams.

Does this model inhibit overall speed and training for long distance OC-6 racing?

#33 Thu, 10/14/2010 - 7:34am


#34 Fri, 03/02/2012 - 10:07am

247365, how?

#35 Thu, 10/14/2010 - 9:39am


#36 Fri, 03/02/2012 - 10:08am

@247365- in a weird way I think I know what you're getting at lmao!

#37 Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:34am

Shell is amazingly fast. Didn't get to see the start of the race but heard from other people that by la'au pt, they were gone. Watched it on the livestream and found myself analyzing their stroke (shell and opt). Much respect to the tahitian's cause their on point in all aspects of the game. @ one point, the front of the nose was roostertailing for about a good 30 sec. Usually paddling the Hoe so it was intresting to see the tahitians in action. Now the question is where do we (as hawaiian paddlers) go from here so we can "MAYBE" cut some time off and get closer?....dunno...just throwing it out there. By the way, hats off to Primo and to all the hawaii crews. Great job!

#38 Thu, 10/14/2010 - 1:27pm

Mahalo 247365,
Good points.
Many marathon runners and trathletes, while training for a longer competition, also train for and compete in shorter events. 5k's 10k's, 1/4 and 1/2 distance triathlons
While they may not be 1/41 the distance of their target event, the shorter, more intense workouts can be benificial.
Physiologically it is better to do longer training & racing before shorter distances, but with the oc1/oc2 season starting not too long after the oc6 long distance season ends, there is very little break in training.
Also, most Hawaiian regattas allow racing in 2 events in a regatta. If the training program for the Molokai races is a year round thing, regatta racing can be a benificial and enjoyable part of that program. Looking at past HCRA State Championships, Hui Lanakila, Lanikai, Outrigger, team Primo, and Waikiki Beach Boys wahines do pretty
well at the sprint distances too.
Love Love

#39 Thu, 10/14/2010 - 1:44pm

good points by marathon runners all have elite 1mile/5K/10K/half times. Wasn't it last year that Taaroa Dubois won both the sprint and the Super Aito ? I think one of the Dolans said in some post somewhere that to be fast you have to train all the different systems. If you don't have the speed for the shorter distances, you won't have it for the long distances. Also, with Molokai it is basically a 4-5 hours of long interval sprints with pretty good recovery chunks in between.

The thing that was amazing about Shell is the ability to just crush it all the way without having any other crew nearby to push them...the discpline and the heart of the paddlers are amazing. One thing that I wonder about is that whether we can assemble the best paddlers in Hawaii to compete with Shell ? Not to say that Team Primo guys are slouches, I mean 5th overall with 8 guys speaks for itself on the quality of Team Primo paddlers. But maybe with larger pool of talent from all the islands to draw from, we can get a better representative of the best paddlers in Hawaii to compete. We know that Shell has arguably the best paddlers in Tahiti paddling for them (except for Manutea, who is a bad ass). Maybe we can do the same for Hawaii.

#40 Thu, 10/14/2010 - 2:59pm

Don't think that you'll find world class marathoners seriously competing at less than 1/2 distance just as you won't find world class sprinters seriously competing at mid distance or longer. For sure distance runners put in short distance speed work and sprinters put in some lsd work but not at a competitive effort.
The crews you mentioned do well in sprints but think how much better regatta paddlers they would be if that's all they trained at. Similarly just think if they trained year round just for distance.
At the world level if you're competing in a sport that has real depth, you have to specialize. Being good at every thing just translates into not excelling at anything.

#41 Thu, 10/14/2010 - 3:13pm

Does anyone know if any of the Shell, OPT, Paddling Connection, Bora Bora, etc., paddlers compete in the IVF Sprints? Team Primo was in New Caledonia this year and did pretty well.
If it is beneficial psychologically to alternate workout type i.e. sprint, cardio, endurance, is it also beneficial mind wise to alternate racing i.e. sprints, regatta with turns, iron long and changes long?
Jibofo, you're right about being a jack of all but master of none, but every long distance race has a point where you need to sprint, or keep the pace up for awhile.Just as you might get anaerobic in a regatta sprint, it could happen at the finish of a long distance race. If you've trained for it in regatta competition, you'll be better able to handle it in a long distance race.
What was interesting watching Shell, like Paddle Easy noticed, was, with no other crews close to them, they would go from 72/76 strokes a minute to 84 strokes a minute and hold it.
Through all this thread, we need to look at Team Bradley. While they may not win by as big a margin as Shell,
they have dominated for many years. Most, if not all of them do regattas. What is their program?

#42 Thu, 10/14/2010 - 5:00pm

From many years trianing & competing in numerous sports, i have found & had it confirmed by numerous coaches that to be fast over a given race distance, your training needs to include long steady sessions (for endurance) and sprint/interval work (for speed & increased lactic tolerance). Even in long races, you still need the ability to sprint to catch a bump, overtake a rival, sprint to the finish etc.
Marathon/long distance runners, swimmers, triathletes, cyclists include short, high intensity sessions in their programs to improve their overall performance. Too much emphasis on only one type of training can be detrimental. Your body need variety in order to perform at its peak.

#43 Thu, 10/14/2010 - 5:10pm

When I was in French Polynesia a coupla times ago the Shell Va'a doco film was coming out in the cinemas, Whatever happened to it Hiro?
It apparently showed a warts and all view of their training and racing over a full year.

#44 Thu, 10/14/2010 - 7:12pm

Betta den poi betta den peeg, Shell Va'a's lead was freeken beeg. Those guys paddle not too crazy, not too mellow, but juuuuuuuuuuus right!

#45 Thu, 10/14/2010 - 8:39pm

the tahitians dominate the molokai hoe, no question about it. far ahead of everyone else and pretty much at another level. some say they're profesional paddlers that's why they're so good. whatever it is, so be it. if hawaii and the rest of the world wanna get at that level is gonna be hard. paddling is their national sport, they take it very seriously. was wondering why they don't enter the molokai oc-1 race, i would think they would do well in that also. another thing; where are the tahitian women in the na wahine o kekai race? would also think they'd do well.

#46 Thu, 10/14/2010 - 8:43pm

"was wondering why they don't enter the molokai oc-1 race"

because oc1's have training wheels.. I mean rudders

#47 Thu, 10/14/2010 - 9:08pm

@ kevin : is that what you're looking for ?

#48 Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:52pm

@ Hiro i think its a movie Vetea has been working on but never got released...but if i remember right he have a movie about Shell for sale...i got one :-) Doesnt he have some homepage where he sells his movies? tahitian689 i´am talking about....

#49 Fri, 10/15/2010 - 4:50am

Ia ora na every body,
Shell va'a paddlers are not proffessional, for most of them they works for shell petroleom company, and the others for other job like Taaroa Dubois he works at the city hall of Punaauia, they just training hard, wake up at 4.00 am, from 5 to 6.00 am paddle with series, at the evening time paddle again with a specific program, running twice in the week up on the hill for the cardio, paddle on Sunday morning for hours depend of the program, on Sunday, run again for 15mn then after rest the hall day, eating ma'a tahiti taro, fish, fafaru and what else.
Its just that.

#50 Fri, 10/15/2010 - 6:30am

Lilo, Manutea Owen did go in the OC1 Molokai race one year, as did Maitai Danielson... they finished up somewhere near the top (around seventh for Manutea I think). Which is a pretty good result given he has never raced in an OC1 before. Also Lewis Laughlin paddled in an OC1 (at last year's Molo Solo?) but pulled out because of some cramping/pain - and also because he was going to race in the surfski comp as well the following weekend. I think he was actually sitting in about third place up until he pulled out.
In my opinion, if you add a rudder, it evens things out a bit more, and basically boils down to surfing skills, where I think both the Hawaiians and Tahitians are much more even - although again I think Karel Junior in the surf is a class apart....
As far as the training goes - well I've had the benefit of training under a Tahitian coach, and as others have said, there is no secret to it - they train extremely hard, and make a lot of sacrifices for the sport. They'll train twice a day, up to three hours at a time, and mix it up - interval training, volume training etc etc... but sheer amount of mileage they clock up each week really sets them apart... their precision and timing is something they've grown up with, everybody has the natural timing together (which as we know is the most important thing, especially with a faster stroke rate).
As for teams like Shell, or the Post Office team - it is correct to say they are not professional in the true meaning of the word, but if you are in one of these teams you can be sure everything is prepared for you - you turn up and train hard. In some clubs, breakfast, food etc is prepared, the canoes are prepped, and even work hours structured around the training. But yes, the paddlers do work for their sponsors - however, no expense is spared to make sure the paddlers can just focus on what they do best.
Of course, for the vast majority of the clubs in Tahiti and the outer islands, it is the same as it is for everyone else - you fit it in with your regular day and make the sacrifices in time that we all do...

#51 Fri, 10/15/2010 - 9:40am

Venus Va'a from Tahiti sent a team this year for the women's race. They were in 5th place but unfortunately a few of the girls got sick. They ended up a respectable 8th open, 9th overall.
Unfortunately the women do not get the support in Tahiti that the men do, so you see fewer women coming over for the race.

#52 Fri, 10/15/2010 - 10:15am

I was looking at photos of the Shell party after the race. It's cool how they all seem to know how to play an instrument, and also how many of them looked like they had family nearby. A happy and well rounded group.

#53 Sat, 10/16/2010 - 1:52pm

I have the utmost respect for what Shell and all the other Tahitian teams have accomplished. But, if any member of Shell were to switch to OPT or any other team, do you think they would keep their job with the company? I highly doubt it. If thats not a professional - or paid - then I dont know what is. Regardless, they still accomplished what they accomplished. But for what the Hawaiian crews have done while holding their own jobs/careers/business in this economy is underrated, in my opinion. Paddling appears to be a way of life in Tahiti where in Hawaii just being in the ocean is a way of life for many - but not all - and paddling is just another avenue for them to be in the ocean. Id say Hawaii does pretty good considering their many other "hobbies".

#54 Sat, 10/16/2010 - 3:07pm

This maybe an olympic sport someday. Want to beat the Tahitians...have to train like Tahitians. A generous corporate sponser(s) would help...if this gets to the olympic level there will be sponsorship that exceeds what shell and opt can provide. i would love someone like Ellison from Oracle to get interested. Forget those sail boats. Hawaii should have a sports facility dedicated to paddling...OC 1...OC6...olympic kayaks and C1's. Even racing shells.

#55 Sat, 10/16/2010 - 6:39pm

Poidog, that would be good to see, but S.U.P will be in the olympics long before OC paddling.
So maybe just give all the money to Riggs.
(now thats a scary thought)
By the way do you know the group Poidog Pondering from the 80's?

#56 Sat, 10/16/2010 - 7:10pm

Any Updates from Tahiti?

Has the betting on Hawaiki Nui Va’a race changed-Is OPT still considered a favorite? Shell now favorite?

Any thoughts on the new coach of Shell and how that has changed things?

Reaction and thoughts on the streaming video?

I was thinking about the racing specs in Hawaii and how it is good for visiting teams. All of the Tahitians and Australians were probably happy that they would have a fair shot at the race. Same canoe, Same design, Same weight. There are no discussions on the beach about your canoe was better at surfing so.. Our canoe was poorly built.... Your ama..... So as we talk about opening up to unlimited designs top visiting crews would be scrambling to find or obtain high-tech canoes. As Hawaii crews did for many years in Tahiti.

#57 Sun, 10/17/2010 - 4:32am

Shell Tahiti sponsors paddling because the owner loves paddling and wants his team to be the best,that's a personal commitment,and he needs to be lauded for that,those are not expenses that he can write off..Paddling has prestige in Tahiti.Same can be accomplished here,nothing to keep Hawaiian Electric,UPS,Maui Electric,Honolulu Advertiser,etc....from doing the same.How about getting Bill Gates to sponsor a team?(Only half joking!!)Paddling does not have the same prestige over here because too much emphasis on Mainland sports.You barely get a few seconds on the news,after all the mainland sport results.I wish we could have a half hour of Hawaiian language news at least a night,with more emphasis on local sports and cultural activities.

#58 Sun, 10/17/2010 - 9:06am


I've paddled with a few Hawaiian, New Zealand, Australian and Tahitian teams. I'd say the main difference is dissemination of paddling knowledge. I've found the largest technical vocabulary of paddling in Tahiti. The different strokes and when to apply them in certain conditions is well defined in some top teams in Tahiti and widespread amongst some groups (not all). In Hawaii and my home country Aotearoa only a few select paddlers hold the knowledge about these techniques, tricks, finesse points. Primo is one such team where the knowledge level is extremely high. Shell has many secrets amongst Jimmy, Roland, Tepava and Lucien that give them the edge. As well as an unreal physcial conditioning regime.

#59 Sun, 10/17/2010 - 12:07pm

I agree with Kingi that the average paddler in Tahiti has a much higher skill level, whether due to extra water time or through paddling only rudderless. The other factor is that their great paddlers from the 60's and 70's are now involved in coaching and administration where a lot of younger paddling countries have their top paddlers trying to do all of these important jobs. So the paddlers just paddle and have great support from family and federation.

#60 Sun, 10/17/2010 - 12:17pm

another way to look at it.

Say someone pledged a million dollar budget and said you can stay in our clubhouse BUT you have to be the best in the world. You have to get up early 6 days a week and spend hours on the water, then you work, then you do some cross training, then you get back out on the water for another 3 hours or so. You are required to do this 6 days a week almost the entire year. In exchange for this you will be the best paddler you can possibly be and you just might get to race. 5-6 years from now someone younger and faster will come along and take your seat. At this point you will be released from this program that you spent thousands of hours building and you will have no retirement plan, no formal education (except in paddling), and the rest of your life to think about it. Would paddlers in Hawaii still go for it? My guess is about 1% would actually be able to handle the physical and mental strain. I'd say training at an elite level is way harder than most people think. Pushing your body to the point of exhaustion and being nearly broken day in and day out to make minute gains (regardless of whether or not you have an employer or life that can be molded around your paddling schedule) is brutal.

It's very easy for all of us to sit here and say "hell yeah I'd do it!" But I for one can say that even if I wasn't
married with a child and a job I'd probably never be able to handle such a program.

Reuben has really hit on something when he talks about elite paddlers from the 60's and 70's are still giving to the sport they love. Take a look at the most successful paddling programs in Hawaii and they all have a few things in common. One of those things is their elite paddlers from past generations are still around helping with coaching and passing on everything they know to new paddlers.

#61 Sun, 10/17/2010 - 1:44pm

I think part of the reason tahiti dominates is because they believe in their youth. Hawaii based crews is dominated by paddlers in their late 30's to early 40's not passing the torch to the youth. until that happens tahiti will always dominate. I know thats how most of the club's here in oahu operate and looks the same on the neighbor islands. Time to look deeper and stop making excuses.

#62 Sun, 10/17/2010 - 8:05pm


#63 Sun, 10/17/2010 - 8:44pm

good point akeo, all of the top tahitian crews are composed of a young bunch. there is no doubt that hawaii can put together a group of young guns together to make a killer crew, and we should seriously think about it if we want to raise paddling to the next level. that is why a program like HVA is an ideal program, we just need more support for programs like these so that the young guns can go for it and compete at higher levels.

lets step up and do something about it

#64 Sun, 10/17/2010 - 11:20pm

What are the ages of Shell Vaa and OPT paddlers?

#65 Mon, 10/18/2010 - 7:24am

As I said before, lower the age to 14, so the kids can gain the experience, and by their senior year, they ready for take on the world. Once they graduate from high school, we lost them to mainland schools and working 2 - 3 or more jobs in order to survive in high cost Hawaii.

#66 Mon, 10/18/2010 - 9:15am

What were the ages of their crews in Molokai Hoe this year?

#67 Mon, 10/18/2010 - 9:55am

I agree with youngbuck, we need to look torward our youth that's where it start!

Jc9 I bet there are a bunch of guys who would b willing to undergo such a program, its not jus how much you train but how smart you train; I believe we have the guys here in Hawaii who can pull it off, I could name 2 full crews with that ambition jus those guys all paddle different places but I know for a fact thay will do what it takes to win but they need the right guidance.

As for me being married with kids and full time job with full time school I still put in the time to b in there with first crew and we do damn good but I can still put in more time in a smarter way to get to Tahitis level don't believe we are at a disadvantage jus need to train smarter.

#68 Mon, 10/18/2010 - 10:57am

@ia, one wold think there would be many people willing to commit. but club loyalties and life ousted of paddling are important to many. as an example, the HVA youth program started off with a meeting that had 50+ paddlers and parents in attendance. as we near the race for hawaiki nui the workouts now consist of exactly 6 committed individuals. mind you these are teenagers with no children, no mortgages, and no wives. sorry if I sound skeptical, but this is what I base my estimate on.

#69 Mon, 10/18/2010 - 11:23am

Jc9 I have to say tho its the first year on doing the HVA Program and and 6 committed is a very good sign that's a base crew already all teens, to me that's outstanding considering the turnout this year with those few exprienced Teen paddlers. That's growing, if HVA started 8 yrs back I would have been a teen committed and thus would have been til now and which I do support HVA and will help with the youth if needed yet trying to get faster myself. Paddling as a Teen it seemd like no one focused on the youth and clubs resorted to the same people so it was hard to get noticed and even get a shot to paddle with the top guys. Now we need to change and open up more.

I believe its the club thing that holds Hawaii back from being near Tahiti, clubs are good but not every person has the same goal. Every 9 must want to win not jus do good and end up top 5 or top 10. I think in a few years HVA can put a solid teen crew together and jus rapidly grow from there. The guys r out there they jus need to come together.

#70 Mon, 10/18/2010 - 11:54am

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