Team Kanaka Ikaika

Hope to get updates by people in the know for the Tahiti Nui Vaa 2013.
I would love to rally as much support for the Kanaka Guys as possible, they deserve it! also i think updates would be lots of fun.
Just speaking for my self, but I am really rooting for our guys!

Maybe some inside info would be cool...
What canoe design you guys chose?
-Crew set up per leg
-Race conditions per leg
-Placing per leg

Anything to keep us all checking every 5 mins.

Of course if they rather be incognito then ill just wait to see the results and try to make an educated estimate on how things went down.

"I hope to avoid the latter"

Keep up the fun


Submitted by kauaisurf85 on Wed, 05/22/2013 - 9:04am

There's some stuff about Kanaka Ikaika on the Facebook page for Tahiti Nui Va'a.

#1 Wed, 05/22/2013 - 9:57am

This topic has been an ratings bust. What started off earlier in the year with much fanfare is now DEE OHHH AYE (DOA).

You can check some of their fb pages but doesn't seem to be much following. KIRA fb page had one post up until last night.

#2 Wed, 05/22/2013 - 10:03am

iaorana from Tahiti...we just ate, now we're gonna take a's that for an update

#3 Wed, 05/22/2013 - 2:02pm

Let me help translate the comment to the non Tahatian speakers here in Hawaii.
"F U fanboy and no I will not sign your autograph!, Thanks for buying my shoes, Oh if you have a sister over 18 have her send me a picture and maybe I'll give her the Black Mamba. Also, try to keep your hands above your desk when thinking about me in your cubicle".

#4 Wed, 05/22/2013 - 2:51pm

The race starts tomorrow, on thursday and it will be from Mahina-Vairao which is roughly 43.5 miles. The first hour or so will be down wind, and as we make the turn the wind will be in our face for the rest of the leg. so the 1st leg will take roughly 5-5:30 hours. We are going to be using a boat from Matairea Hoe and the boat came in 3rd last year in the Hawaiki Nui. There are pictures of it up on Tahiti Nui Vaa Facebook of us trying it out. The lineups aren't set yet, we're probably just going to pull straw's out of a hat to decide that...who knows. That's it hope you're happy any more just ask.

#5 Wed, 05/22/2013 - 3:13pm

right on kaihe!
good luck! rooting for you guys!

#6 Wed, 05/22/2013 - 3:50pm

Sorry my facebook postings are minimal. I am trying to keep it updated, but we are busy as hell here getting ready. Plus I am a paddler, not a techie. I hope to send during the race updates to my wife so she can post on Kanaka Ikaika facebook during the race. What does DEE OHHH AYE mean anyhow?

#7 Wed, 05/22/2013 - 10:34pm

Right on Kai, thanks for the info.
I had the opportunity to tag along last year as they placed 3rd, that boat is nice. Sponsorship on the canoe is
Polysac & Polyoute my family.

@healthyearth the rest of the world will never catch up to Tahiti in the outrigger world if there aren't a few fans. No need to cutdown interest.



#8 Thu, 05/23/2013 - 8:59am

In looking at the past season, not much fanfare for any of the races. Pretty quiet in OCpaddler and traditional press. Paddling needs a PR firm to provide more exposure to the sport. Sadly, national sports get the press in the Honolulu Star Advertiser not Hawaii's state sport. Christian is correct in that we need more fans.

#9 Thu, 05/23/2013 - 10:09am

You are correct K85 about the fans. The irony here is that a bugger was thrown at us fans (maybe just me, maybe you). I am on your side and was not tying to cut down interested parties. My love is blind also- the facebook pictures are awesome and I keep refreshing them myself.

I would love ot know the same things you want to kmow k85. Here's an answer to one of your questions.
I beleive it is a change race and they change 6 at a time.

14 paddlers are on the list. Who are the two that will be carrying everyones slippers, or simply put- not racing?
I'd like to know how fast that starting group goes? Did they really pick straws? How'd they choose who sits where?

They are living the dream and I love watching that awesome time they are having. So please; keep letting us in on it.

I believe the fans are out there. But without information to feed on they will not grow. With FB and this forum their is no reason to not have info flow. Secretely I wish Jimmy Boy was there cause he gave great updates on FB on past races.

#10 Thu, 05/23/2013 - 10:19am

10th after 2.5 hours!!

#11 Thu, 05/23/2013 - 10:57am

There were a lot of us that followed last year's Olamau down in SoCal.

Being that we have one of our own down there, there are a lot of followers keeping track of this Tahiti Nui race even though a lot don't post anything here on OCP.

#12 Thu, 05/23/2013 - 11:13am

Here Comes Hawaii....7th place now. Don't know how much longer to go in the race. Seems like the boys are starting to dial in to one another. One of the problems with pick up crews...that blend just not a sharp at the beginning. Hopefully they can pick off a few more boats. Tahiti Nui facebook page has good info.

#13 Thu, 05/23/2013 - 1:03pm

The ranking of the top 25 of the race at 12:50: Top 25 at 12 h 50: 1) Shell Vaa 2) EDT 3) Paddling Connection 4) Team OPT 5) Hititoa 6) Air Tahiti 7) Kanaka Ika Ika from Hawaii 8) Vairao 9) Raiatea 10 Jagat) Beachcomber 11) Tohivea 12) Ihilani will ' to 13) Toa Enana 14) Fare Rua 15) Enviropol 16) Arue 17) Toa Marina 18) CPS 19) Bank of Tahiti 20) Paea 21) Pirae 22) Air Tahiti Nui 23) Punaruu 24) Turei

I presume 12 h 50 is the local time.

#14 Thu, 05/23/2013 - 1:15pm

That is a huge problem Ratchet, especially since Hawaii has a lot of paddlers with different strokes.

Anyway 7th seems really good. How far back are they from the top 6? How well have other Hawaiian teams done in this race?

#15 Thu, 05/23/2013 - 1:24pm

Need translation:

Team Hawaii 7th

  1. shell
  2. edt
  3. paddling connection
  4. opt

#16 Thu, 05/23/2013 - 1:49pm

Translation is in each post.

#17 Thu, 05/23/2013 - 1:49pm

From race fb page: "Shell arrives 1st. Edt 2nd. Paddling connection 3rd...hawaii 6th !!!"

#18 Thu, 05/23/2013 - 2:01pm

Does the 12 guys that race on the first day,have to race the rest of the race? Or can they be substituted by the alternate paddlers?

#19 Thu, 05/23/2013 - 8:10pm

I saw on TV tonight that Manutea Owen from Matairea Hoe was steering the canoe.

#20 Thu, 05/23/2013 - 8:23pm

Top 10 is awesome.
Manu steered team kanak? If so that is epic. I'm sure that any tahitians who didn't know a few of the guys on team Kanaks will definitely remember the names now.

Go get um!


#21 Thu, 05/23/2013 - 9:26pm

Hiro C....this is probably what happened in Tahiti.....

Jim Foti.."Manutea, I like borrow canoe"
Manutea.." NO"
Jim Foti.. "Come on Manutea, I like borrow canoe?"
Manutea.." I said NO"
Jim Foti.." I let you steer?"
Manutea.. "OK Den..."

That is how Sh$t happens......and...probably how Manutea went end up steering the Kanak's. Jimmy gave up his seat. Good guy Jimmy.
I think that as the Kanak's paddle more and more together, they will get better and better. Hope for a solid day today.

#22 Fri, 05/24/2013 - 8:27am

So I thought it was odd. At what point does it not become a measurement of Kanaka Ikaika? How many Tahatians do they put on the team before they say "Oh none of us are paddling, but the boat we borrowed is doing awesome. Boy we really know how to pick a Va'a!".

I know how sh$t happens, and sometimes you just gotta deal with your weaker hand.

#23 Fri, 05/24/2013 - 9:11am!/photo.php?fbid=10151492195599531&set=a.269372924530.140583.248187279530&type=1&theater

#24 Fri, 05/24/2013 - 9:38am!/polynesie1ere.officiel?fref=ts

Hawaii team escort boat

#25 Fri, 05/24/2013 - 10:54am

Après 2h15 de course:
Top 10 after 2h15 of racing on this 2nd day of the Tahiti Nui Va'a:

1) Shell Va'a
2) OPT
3) Hititoa
4) EDT
5) Paddling Connection
6) Kanaka ikaika de Hawaï
7) Toa Enana
8 ) Vairao
9) Air Tahiti
10) Hinaraurea

Aotearoa from New Zealand is 24th

#26 Fri, 05/24/2013 - 11:05am

TOP 6 after 3h15 min of race for this 2nd day of Tahiti Nui Va'a 2013, the canoes are going to hit the finish line soon !!!

1) Shell
2) EDT
3) Opt
4) Hititoa
5) Paddling
6) Kanaka ikaika from Hawaii

#27 Fri, 05/24/2013 - 11:41am

TOP 6 for this 2nd day of Tahiti Nui Va'a 2013, the canoes have hit the finish line in Tautira !!!

1) Shell
2) EDT
3) Opt
4) Hititoa
5) Paddling
6) Kanaka ikaika from Hawaii

#28 Fri, 05/24/2013 - 11:48am

OK fans.... sorry for such delays but even Jimmy Austin would not have been able to flip a facebook switch on this one. You try from somewhere twice as remote as the north shore of Molokai. Anyhow, here is a re-cap of today:

Start in Vairao, inside the lagoon. Winds calm, seas flat inside. Out the lagoon Shell leads with Hititoa, EDT and OPT close behind. Behind a short distance is Air Tahiti, Vairao, KANAKA IKAIKA and Paddling Connection to round out the top 8. Within about 15 minutes this 8 starts to separate from the pack. 15 more minutes Shell kicks in and opens up a sizeable lead on the pack. EDT falls to 4th. Paddling Connection makes a move and pulls up to 5th and tries to make seperation from the pack. KIRA takes an inside line and holds the gap from being too big. 45 minutes the first change. KI holds the boys in until the others have changed and we pull back even. Make the change and our second crew hangs right there. Wind is now picking up and in our face 15 knots. Another bit and Air Tahiti and Vairo fall off the pace making it a two canoe race for 5th. The race passes Teahupoo and heads up to the "no can change" zone due to adverse conditions. We are neck and neck with PC. We are matching their changes, we set up for the 45 -60 minute no change section and make our change. Then they make a short change on us and we match it. This messed us up with our water systems, etc… because we pulled out our crew and had to put them right back in…. in the end it worked and we were 2 boats behind going into the zone. At the end of the 45 minute zone, we were 4 boats ahead. We matched their change and they pulled a move to take a 100 yard lead which we never got back. The island is now curving and the seas are broadside turning to a slight downwind quarter. All the sudden, Hititoa is just ahead of us on the inside. We charge on them and pull within 100 yards with surf running out before we get to the reef line and start to approach the finish. They make a short change to get their A team in, that we don't match. We just took our A team out. This allows us to put the nose of our canoe up to their back iako. The immediately push us into the reef and force us to back off and try move on the outside. They are too strong and hold their lead by less than 30 seconds. We are able to see second place finish telling us how close we actually were to the top this day. Successful as we were with the front pack this day. 7th place was at least 5 minutes behind.

Day 3 outlook: Low wind, 12 knots. down sea run from Tautira to Mahina. for an hour and half it will be a quarter from behind right. Then the race will go straight down the coast. should be a good surf run. We need to beat Hititoa by like 7 minutes to end up in 5th place. Air Tahiti will have to romp us by probably 5 minutes to get back to 6th. I haven't seen the official results yet but this is close. look at the race site and I am sure they have the results and times posted.

#29 Fri, 05/24/2013 - 10:31pm

Official results through two days........

#30 Sat, 05/25/2013 - 4:08am

thanks for the commentary. fun to visualize the battles.

#31 Sat, 05/25/2013 - 9:28am

Day 1 7th
Day 2 6th
Day 3 5th

Starting to figure it out. Thanks for all the support! Check out the kanaka Ikaika Facebook to see the recap and photos! Great finish!

#32 Sat, 05/25/2013 - 2:46pm

I second jc9 thoughts. Love to see some video

#33 Sat, 05/25/2013 - 5:00pm

Wooohooo good job team! All the Tahiti lovers like jc9 are prolly all weak that you guys killed it!

#34 Sun, 05/26/2013 - 9:34pm

I understand Manutea is from Huahine and they didn't have enough guys to make a (strong) team. Plus having Manutea helped get a good canoe. And he steered only part of each race, Kekoa Cramer jumping in on the changes. Everyone had a good time and learned a lot. Main thing. A lot of respect all around. And the Kanaka Ikaika team did very well. Tahiti paddlers are tough as we all know- they learned from us in the past about surfing and now it is our time to learn from them more efficent technique.

#35 Sun, 05/26/2013 - 10:48pm

Having Manutea on the team was a compromise. Everything about the team was a compromise. It wasn't a Kanaka Ikaika team (Totally obvious by the fact the team was never announced till people asked who it was, totally let's keep this hush hush since it's nothing like it was sold in the beginning of the season) it wasn't the best paddlers in Hawaii team either (By the fact no Livestrong /Mellow Jonny guys on the team). It was all the bro's getting together that knew eachother doing a race. I'm sure Jim wanted it to be a Kanaka Ikaika team but I'm sure paddlers were like "No.....I'll do the race if so and so does it Yadi Yadi Yadi"!

I think it was a total lost oppurtunity to finally have Hawaii represented by the best paddles (defined by merits in a 6 man with some type of reasoning for being chosen). Now up and comming paddlers know that to be a part of a team that is supposed to represent the best 12 out of 20, it's best to know the right people than to try to get in the crew based on the criteria that was set forth and merits.

If the crew was based on the criteria set in the beginning I know they probably wouldn't have done as well. But, it would have set forth the criteria that medium term would have paid off more than the short term strategy that was used.

What system will produce better paddlers in the future? One that says "get in with the right boos and you'll be on the team", or one that says "be the best 6 man paddler and be chosen on how well you move a 6 man, and no matter who you know you'll make the team"

I'm fully aware I'll not have any paddling friends after this post and every solo race I'll get a dnf result.

#36 Tue, 05/28/2013 - 10:43am

I've read enough...

I dont do this often, but this one is getting to me. Call me selfish, but I just had the opportunity to race in Tahiti with guys I consider paddling legends, and not too mention a few of them raised me and taught me just about everything I know about paddling. Not only that, but we got to race with a Manutea F**kin Owen, a Tahitian paddling god who I've idolized for a long time. Tell me when I'll get to do that again.

So when I think back, I say f**k the criteria, yeah it does matter who you know, but hard work gets noticed, unfortunately there's only so many seats in a canoe. I was just part of an opportunity of a lifetime, it would be hard to ever duplicate the trip we had.

Will out

#37 Thu, 05/30/2013 - 5:24pm

So, when all is said and done, the team ended up representing the U S instead of just Hawaii. 2 California paddlers and one Tahiitian did definitely help them to do well. The main thing is it was a god crew, and something to build on in the future! Well done crew!

#38 Thu, 05/30/2013 - 9:48pm

I'm going to sound like some blood sucking do-gooder here.

Hard work does pay off.........if you know the right people in this situation.

If we truly want to be dominant then these selfish (your term not mine, I wouldn't define it that way) ways can't be justification of a deeply flawed way to make a team that represents Hawaii or the US for that matter. It needs to be system where EVERYONE that works hard can get noticed and have a way to test if they are truly the top 12. The top 12 one manners in Hawaii are not going to be the same top 12 that make a 6 man go fast. The way Jim presented it in the beginning was a great start to mix the two philosophies (you need to use one man to widdle down the candidates. Just like college football filters out the ones that were good only in HS). On my team I'm by far the best one man guy. Last year I was seat raced against a guy that has eaten a lot of my cream pies, he actually get's cream pies from a lot of women too (that't not really a bad thing though). This particular cream pie eater gave me some cream pie after the seat race.

In saying all this; Tahiti Nui guys could've said "Bring name brand guys over here or no get da monies". So now that Kanaka Ikaika did well, maybe it will be more likely they sponsor it again. I imagine they are not doing it to help build Hawaii teams but rather to build up there race and get more attention.

To find the best 12 we need to look outside the Hui.

I aint saying nothing here, I'm just sayin.

#39 Thu, 05/30/2013 - 11:18pm

You know what, I made a big mistake entertaining your post. The fact that you believe a deeply flawed way of selecting a Tahiti race team is by picking kaiwi channel victors and 1 super aito champion is wrong, is really fucking unreasonable.

Ps. Cream pies suck


#40 Fri, 05/31/2013 - 6:38am

Healthyearth, I think you should change your name to scorchedearth, you seem to be kind of toxic.

#41 Fri, 05/31/2013 - 2:39am

Congrats to ALL of you who competed! Will, I want to here about it at KK if you're back, sounds unreal!

As Will stated an "opportunity of a lifetime, it would be hard to ever duplicate the trip we had."

It is what it is....The crews were selected how they were selected. There will always be someone arm chairing every decision made. Teamwork, comradery, competition! All of you will remember this trip and tell stories to your kids and grandkids!

Kudos again!

#42 Fri, 05/31/2013 - 4:28am

Good Morning OC Paddler Fans,
After having a few days to decompress and reflect on an unbelievable week in Tahiti, I ran across this thread. At first I was angry, because someone who is not, and was not a part of this trip, felt it was their responsibility to tell our story. And while telling that story, somehow turned something wonderful, into something evil. But then I realized that this is partially our fault. We as team KANAKA IKAIKA are a group of exceptional paddlers, however, we are terrible at getting our story out. So to set the record straight, and to apologize for taking so long to tell the people back home our story, here is my personal account Team Kanaka Ikaika.

When first approached by Jim Foti this year, he mentioned he had come into some sponsorship money, and he wanted to put together a team of top paddlers in his Kanaka Ikaika Series, to go compete against the best paddlers in the world at race called the Tahiti Nui Vaa. I was told it was a 12 person change race around the island of Tahiti, and that he had some sponsorship money that would help cover most (Not all) of the cost. Later we found out you could have up to 15 people on the roster, but you could only use 12 paddlers each day. After learning this Jim went back to his sponsors and dug up a little extra money to bring at least 1 more paddler. By the time we got to Tahiti we have a 14 man roster including Jim Foti.

Kanaka Ikaika's Mission
After spending a week with these guys and getting the opportunity to race with some familiar faces, AND SOME NEW ONES the Kanaka Ikaika mission became clear. This trip wasn't about winning the race and bringing glory back to Hawaii. It wasn't about getting the same old boys together for a week away. This race was about learning to bridge the paddling gap. It was the first step in a serious of steps. Tahiti is so far ahead the rest of the world and we need to do something. This experience that Kanaka Ikaika provided took a competitive crew that was a mix of good, already proven paddlers, who have been there and attempted to bridge the gap, and placed that experience with a new group of young, talented, up and coming paddlers.

To my understanding Jim Foti's criteria for team selection was you had to ENTER a kanaka ikaika event. Ideally you would have to perform well and get noticed. However, the selection process was to be a hand selected team by Jim Foti.

So healthyearth, in response to you claiming you have to know someone to make the team, you are correct. You have to know Jim Foti, or Jim Foti has to know you. In response to the selection process is unfair, yes. To be selected by the coach, you have to impress the coach. In this particular case if you are old, the selection process is unfair. Young paddlers were specifically targeted for development. In response to hard work goes unnoticed, you are wrong. Several young paddlers put in long hours and nights training, and have performances that show that. This includes the Big Island boys and Billy Lawson. It is my understanding that the Big Island Boys and Billy Lawson originally turned down the offer to focus on Olamau. I personally admire and respect their choice as it shows dedication to the their club teams.

And finally, the straw that probably broke heathyearth's back I will set the story straight on Manutea Owen. Only after arriving in Tahiti and testing out several very good Tahitian canoes were we made aware that Manutea's Team was not coming, and the canoe they were going to race was available. Seizing the opportunity we jumped at the chance to use canoe that placed top 3 in Hawaiki Nui. After a little more questioning we learned that even though Manutea's team was not coming, he was still willing and able to race. He made his availability known to both us and the New Zealand crew. Since we only have a 14 man roster we had an available spot to put him on the roster. Most teams would jump at the chance to have a Legendary Steersman, who knows the local competition, waters, and has intimate knowledge of the canoe, on their team.

We on the other hand (the Whole Team) sat down and discussed the situation. Every team member had input and made their feelings known. On one hand this is a Kanaka Ikaika Crew that has competed in a Kanaka Ikaika Race and has been flown out to Tahiti to compete and represent Kanaka Ikaika. On the other hand, we have an open spot on the roster and Manutea already lives here and isn't getting anything from Kanaka Ikaika except a chance to paddle. On one hand, bringing in outside help last minute would dilute any success we have by taking away from the all Kanaka Ikaika line up we have and possibly bump out someone already on the roster, but on the other, if we are here to learn, and to bridge the gap to Tahiti, there is know better way then have a Tahitian there to teach you and show you the way.

At the end of the meeting MY position was clear. We are here to build something, and to teach the young guns how to compete at a world class level. Given this opportunity I wanted Manutea in. We may never have a chance to learn so much in such a sort period of time again.

The offer to Manutea the team was please fly yourself over and we will put you on the roster. You may paddle all 3 days, you may only paddle 1 day, you may just be on the boat coaching but we would like to learn from you and have you on are on our roster. He graciously excepted our offer. I was very humbled that a man of his abilities and reputation would accept an offer like that. From the moment he joined our camp we saw we had made the right decision. He helped us with course strategy, showing us where the currents and wind lines were. He helped us with race strategy, telling us who was who and when they were going to make a push. He even helped us with technique strategy, showing us how that particular canoe runs and what it likes to do. His knowledge and experience were everything we hoped for and then some. And in addition he wanted to compete and help us succeed.

As for the races, I feel we got better each day. Even being relevant against Tahiti at the end of some days.

Day 1 we had a decent start. Having a group that doesn't really paddle together in a canoe we've never paddled took some getting used to. But fortunately we had 1 hour before the 1st change to figure it out. We struggled a bit off the line but made up for it with strength and fitness. We came out of the start battling at the front of the 2nd pack. The first pack consisted of all the semi pro teams, Shell, EDT, OPT, Paddling Connection, Air Tahiti. As the day went on we battled in about 8th-10th, finally making a big surge at the end and nearly catching the 1st pack finishing 7th 2 mins behind 6th. My feelings were I am not satisfied but I was impressed by a number of the young paddlers that day. This was my first chance to see them perform on a stage this big. The rosters were TEAM 1 Will, Pat, Kai, Danny, Manny, Kekoa, TEAM 2 Simeon, Alfred, Mael, Aaron, Kaihe, Manutea, OUT Jim, Justin, Makana

Day 2 we had a better start. This day we had only 45 min start piece before the first change. I remember we were much smoother and controlled. I also, remember the heat. It was HOT! We got off the line with all the top crews and were at the back of the front pack at the first change. At the change we dropped in our next 6 guys and to my surprise we were battling with Hititora (finished 5th day1) and Paddling Connection. We battle these 2 crews for most of the day. After a few short changes there was a section where no crews could change. It was about 45mins to 1 hr long. In this section we were side by side with Paddling Connection. We raced side by side for 40 mins finally dropping them at the end of the no change section. In the end Paddling Connection got away from us and it was down to us and Hititora for 5th place. The Top crews on this day were Shell, EDT, OPT, and Paddling Connection. We battled Hititora all the way to reef. They made a last second change falling behind by 2 boat lengths but then with a fresh crew powered past us finishing 20 seconds in front of our crew. We were 6th across the line this day but more importantly not far behind the leaders. On this day, for the first time in my paddling career, I could look out and see Shell Vaa's finish. I have never seen it in really life. Not while racing them. They were still 5 mins in front of us but after day 1s 15 min beat down I glad to see us improving. We finished in the 1st pack 5 mins out of the lead, and 2mins out 3rd, in 6th place. The gap was closing and the team was learning.
The rosters were TEAM 1 Will, Pat, Kai, Danny, Makana, Manutea, TEAM 2 Simeon, Alfred, Mael, Justin, Kaihe, Kekoa, OUT Jim, Manny, Aaron

Day 3 was tough decision. We had used Manutea steering twice. Each crew got a chance to experience his steering and coaching from the canoe. We were in the position of too many good paddlers and not enough seats. Jim Foti made the final call at our meeting the night before Day 3. He personally put his own ego, and competitive side aside for the good of the team. He chose to sit himself out and run the final day coaching from the motor boat. He gave up his seat to Manutea steering and so that every paddler on the team got at least 2 days of racing in. The team recognized his sacrifice and gave a great performance for day 3. We had the best start we had all week. For 10 mins we were ahead of OPT, EDT and Shell Vaa. By the end of the first change (1 hr in) we were behind them but still in the mix. As the race continued, the wind picked up from behind and Team Kanaka Ikaika battle several teams including Air Tahiti, Hitiora, and Paddling Connection. 3 days together and little downwind really got the team paddling well together. As the race progressed we got stronger. Between miles 22 and 25 of day 3 we averaged 10.4 mph battling Air Tahiti all the way to the finish. We went wave for wave with some of the best teams in the World and held our own. At the final change Air Tahiti swapped in a fresh crew, while we held our team for a long piece. They fell behind 2 boat lengths on the change giving us a chance at 5th. But they soon came storming back with a fresh crew. We battled around the final turn, nose to tail ahead of Air Tahiti, and in the end, had enough to hold them off.
The rosters were TEAM 1 Will, Pat, Kai, Danny, Aaron, Manutea, TEAM 2 Makana, Justin, Mael, Aaron, Kaihe, Manutea, OUT Jim, Alfred, Simeon

Day1 7th Day2 6th Day3 5th Overall 6th on time

Overall I believe the KANAKA IKAIKA Team did its job. Its goals were to
1. Create something exciting and new in our local paddling community. CHECK!
2. Expose the next generation of paddlers to world class paddling. CHECK!
3. Learn from experienced top paddlers and learn to compete in Tahiti. Check! and CHECK!
4. Be relevant when competing against Tahiti. CHECK!
5. Do all this while remaining humble and respectful. CHECK!

Thank You to Kanaka Ikaika and Jim Foti for what you put together. It was truly an exciting and great experience. I am honored to be a part of such and amazing group of paddlers and I look forward to seeing the next generation of young paddlers take what you have started to the next level.

Danny Ching

#43 Fri, 05/31/2013 - 6:38am

Well said Danny, a much more mature answer than my late night self could come up with. Thanks for setting the record straight

#44 Fri, 05/31/2013 - 6:49am

Big mahalos to Danny and Will for their firsthand input. Sure would like to see more information like this disseminated BEFORE and DURING the big races. Perhaps some of the more competitive organizations that race in the big races will consider using a sure ain't gonna come from the Star Advertiser. Well done you Magnificent Bastards!

#45 Fri, 05/31/2013 - 7:25am

Danny, Will, and Team Kanaka Ikaika:
Congratulations on a great job down in Tahiti last week. Your efforts are helping Hawaii paddlers become relevant again against excellent Tahitian teams. Dont let anyone of this forum suggest otherwise.
Heath Hemmings

#46 Fri, 05/31/2013 - 8:40am

Mahalo, Danny brother. We can always count on you to be positive and diplomatic. You are a great waterman who embraces the spirit of Duke Kahanamoku. You share your enthusiasm and knowledge with all. Thanks for taking the time and writing this. I read the whole thing.

#47 Fri, 05/31/2013 - 10:43am

great job Jim Foti. Not many knows how much effort it takes to get sponsors, put the team together and then run a series of races in Hawaii- and Jim sacrifices lots to get it done for us paddlers. Manny knows it takes a lot of hard work as he does it for PAA. Jim did a super job with Kanaka Ikaika this year putting excitment back into the Oahu racing program along with PAA and Manny. Also congrats to each paddler who made the team- there were a few others who fit the mix but each paddler that went was top notch and HAwaii can be proud of them. And to learn from Manutea- a bonus! Hopefully Jim has the energy to create another great year for Kanaka Ikaika. Best way to show our thanks to Jim for his hard work is to get out and race the Kanaka Ikaika events. Thanks Jim and the paddlers who represented Hawaii and paddling in the USA as well (even if two of you were from Calif- Danny won the MOLOSolo and Will is tough too and deserved to be part of the crew.)

#48 Fri, 05/31/2013 - 9:16pm

Nz team only had 12, they didnt want a tahitian steerer as they wanted their own to do the race. Had lots of fun. everyone except for two 1st time in tahiti. First time the 2 steerers steered in big ocean like that. No point going all the way to tahiti to get a tahiti steerer. Not like those guys havent race there before. Good result, but everyone in tahiti saying its because of manutea, not because you guys are good paddlers.. hope you did learn.

#49 Fri, 05/31/2013 - 10:34pm

Wow peowpeow. Way to take the heat away from Healthyearth. Fire away guys. By the way I love the f bombs, Will. This site is exciting again!

#50 Fri, 05/31/2013 - 11:01pm

Peowpeow, i heard that manutea was going to go with NZ if he didn't go with hawaii. Do you know if that is true? Just curious, your post sounds like you are affiliated with those braddahs so maybe you get da answer.

Justin watts

#51 Sat, 06/01/2013 - 12:22am

Way to go Kanaka Ikaika!
I have really been a side liner on OC Paddler for a long time and really like to read, learn and dream. However the posts above motivated me to sign up and comment.
My two cents........ Smart folks always reach out and learn from others ! I have been involved in racing sailboats at an International level and last 8 years building a canoe club in Florida and traveling to Hawaii regularly. I have always reached out to folks and been humbled by being able to have folks like Rick Nu'u, Johnny Mac, Mike Giblin help us along by steering for us, sitting seat 5 and partnering on the various relays, or simply joining me for a Moliko run. I now have 9 Kaiwi crossings including a solo to my name and I still have so much to learn... just running out of years....... Simply said, every time our club or myself have paddled with these guys we have elevated our paddling exponentially. Now we are no Kanaka Ikaika by a long shot but the comparison is the same, Florida learning from all the great guys in Hawaii. In the original Pa'a Eono Hoe it was super rough, we had Rick (I know he is smiling at this post) sit seat 5, my son was steering and Rick took us right in against China Wall....... would we ever have done that in a thousand years in those conditions, no ways. But with local knowledge and a very experienced paddler on our team we all learnt a ton. I can say my son elevated his steering skills after that race incredibly, all thanks to having Rick on board and his sharing of his knowledge. Next time we will be right back in there if the conditions require us to do so, we have learnt and got better!
Going back to my sailing years and racing in most parts of the world on keelboats at very high levels, we always had a great local person on board, local knowledge is normally the difference between being competitive or not. There is NOTHING wrong with this, it is simply smart. In my opinion having Manutea on board was a super smart thing.
As for the whinging about not making the team, suck it up, paddle faster, smarter, be humble and who knows about next year.
As for Jim Foti, don't know him personally but all I can say is that paddling needs more folks like Jim, Danny, Kai, Mael, Manny, Pat, Will and all the others on the Kanaka Ikaika team, you guys rock ! There will always be snipers in the bush and Monday morning quarter backs, all I say, it is a free world, don't like it, get out there and make it happen yourself but DO NOT drag others down, that is shameful. And yes, I know the Tahitian paddling scene, I escorted a Hawaiian team for the Hawaiiki Nui race a number of years ago and yes, they are awesome and there is a lot to be learnt and no better way to learn than directly from them. However, we all know one guy does not make a team, it takes a team to do as well as the guys did, lets not forget that, the best steersmen in the world still needs 5 great guys pulling, and as we know Manutea did not steer all the time, clearly other great steers folks on board!
Last comment....... what Manutea shared with the rest of the team will now be used to take another step closer to going toe to toe with Shell, not overnight but having Shell insight after a VERY long leg, that is already a HUGE step forwards. Congrats guys, you are not only great paddlers but smart paddlers !

#52 Sat, 06/01/2013 - 6:51am

Hey, I didnt mean to offend anyone if i did. justin, Manutea was never going to go with the nz team. Im under a rock, so sorry if i was misunderstood. but that is what people are saying here in tahiti. Sucks to get that glory away from the hawaians beast braddahs.

#53 Sat, 06/01/2013 - 9:26am

Does anyone know how tahiti learned to steer here in hawaii?? I wasnt there so maybe I was lied to but several different people have told me they HIRED, yes HIRED knowledgeable steersman who knew the molokai channel to train their guys. And im sure paddling with a waterman like Manutea was a once in a lifetime experience, but he didnt steer the whole race, roughly half of it. Kekoa Cramer was steering on the opposite shift.

The haters will never lose, in their mind...

#54 Sat, 06/01/2013 - 10:40am


Hey guys. Kingi here. Hawaii/US boys did mean, congratulations gang on a great result for a challenging race! our team were not approached by Manutea or 'Mate' (who owns the canoe hawaii used), or it could be that perhaps we were next on the list if Hawaii declined his va'a? but either way we didn't know about Manutea until we saw the hawaii boys rerigging the ama the eve of the race. i also saw Manny steering the race too, or maybe its the photo angle?

#55 Sun, 06/02/2013 - 7:34am

Not to mention you guys also had a cool mentor in Lewis Laughlin hey Kingi, bet you all also took home plenty of stuff to pass on and mull over a Steinlager or two. Awesome to see the culture of sharing and openness from all involved, Hawaii, New Zealand and Tahiti, congratulations.

#56 Sat, 06/01/2013 - 1:20pm

Just want to say thank you to Danny for putting that out there. The whole gang kicked ass.

Peowpoew. So do most Tahitians think Maitai and Jean luc are JUST lucky to have Manu steer them and place 3rd all three legs last years Hawaiki nui?

I highly doubt that people think that those guys aren't worth their weight in gold. And i sure hope you aren't basing the whole of Tahitians opinions on your own.


#57 Sat, 06/01/2013 - 1:33pm

Wtf is up with this guy healthyearth? Always talking shit and stupid stuff like cream pies. Yeah , it's a free country and you voice your opinion but reading his posts over the years he comes across as an ass! Who does he think didn't deserve to be on that team and why? Who is he anyway? Lives in Hawaii but kinda think he not from here cuz he definitely ain't got the mana. Not that you gotta be from here to have it, jus gotta get that vibe, live it and learn it. Team kanaka Ikaika, we proud of ALL you guys! No matter you from here, Cali, Tahiti. With or without Manutea you guys did Hawaii proud especially with some new young bloods in there. Way to go Jim, eff that cream pie eater healthyearth. He just another hater.

#58 Sat, 06/01/2013 - 4:02pm

I dont recall Manutea ever approaching us and i know we never approached him. Personally im not a fan of nz teams going to molokai and picking up a steerer like they have been. We have to learn somehow. But im sure the experience of being with a top steerer would help also. Our team had a goal, to train and do our best. Bring together boys from 6 different teams, learn as much as we can and get as much experience for the young and old so they can take back to their own clubs. We achieved that. I am a lil gutted we were battling in the mid 20s but thats racing. EDT need to be thanked for getting both NZ and Hawaii to the event. They put alot of money into paddling in tahiti and now they are helping us out too. There is no way we could have afforded the event without their help. EDT the team also asked us to train with them. very helpful. Awesome guys. Rambo. We were stunned when Lewis came up to us while we were training and offered his help. He took time off and used his own escort boat to follow us with his mega phone. He even fed us out of his own pocket when the event food was having problems. The man is amazing and we cant thank him enough. We are glad he told us the top teams training schedule, as our team could never do that haha. us older guys were excited to have his help while some of the younger guys were excited to meet Danny Ching. Our 2 youngest. 19 stroked the whole way and impressed everyone. 21 steered the wholeway and had Lewis in his ear the whole way. I bet they learnt so much.
I think Kanaka Ikaika should be proud as of their efforts. I am. top 6 is a huge deal. I know manutea didnt steer the whole thing and as you said you got closer to the lead pack each day. Thats huge leaps for the future. And you had some young boys also. I steered the whole way, but i am very interested to know what it is like to be in a canoe with a top steerer. So i know if it was just me. haha. I bet the time manutea spent on the escort boat, the team never lost any boat speed.
We have 2 years for our team to take what they learnt back to their clubs so our level gets higher in races and then hopefully we get under the top 20 at the next Tahiti Nui.

#59 Sat, 06/01/2013 - 8:50pm

No matter what the level, from novice b to something like this Kanaka Ikaika team, someone will be sour about the selection process.

#60 Sun, 06/02/2013 - 3:04am

Just curious, would team kanaka ikaika think about staying together and training for the molokai hoe? It seems that if the team was able to train together more than just couple days we might see our team cross that finishline first! (This is not intended to offend anyone, or any of the paddlers that is apart of the kanakai ikakai team)

This could be an excellent opportunity to see if the sponsors are willing to backup one of our teams like the tahitians do. I can see this leading into a very interesting opportunity for the team. With the amount of time and limited resources I know that many clubs will suffer, but if we are able to train with the best available resource and have the time to train 3, 4 times a day, I think it would be a start.

#61 Sun, 06/02/2013 - 9:30pm

I don't think it really matters what people are saying about you -- what matters is that they are talking. When the Tahitians first won the Molokai Hoe, instead of congratulating them, everyone was making excuses as to why they won. But, they were talking. It took many years of consecutive wins for Hawaiians to finally say, "Hey, them Tahitians got somthin'." The same will happen in Tahiti if an outside team happens to win. So, don't worry about what people say about you. If they are talking, that is a good thing. Besides that point, knowledge gained is much more valuable that what people think about you.

#62 Mon, 06/03/2013 - 9:05am

Oh sorry guys. Someone hacked my account and posted stuff. Think I left my account open on a public computer at work.

I would never underestimate the community's ability to figure out that anything said would because cause of "sour grapes".

Looking forward to Olamau

#63 Mon, 06/03/2013 - 11:22am

I like to read this forum... Some evenings, when i'm back from work, it almost feels like a cold beer !

#64 Mon, 06/03/2013 - 7:10pm

Aloha forum readers,

I apologize for such a late entry in this discussion but needed more detox time than even Danny. I will be brief so as not to kill a dead horse, nor re-iterate too much of what has been said. I have to say, Danny really summed it up well. Thank you Danny for doing a well documented and accurate re-cap of the trip and explaining the Manutea issue, which was a big decision, and one that I knew would create controversy. Hence, I have a few words to add:

The decision was not easy. As Danny explained, the opportunity with Manutea arose, and my hunch was that our sport in Hawaii and elsewhere needed this learning opportunity. After an open discussion with the crew, it was obvious that it would have been a selfish move to NOT add Manutea to the crew. All that was gained was so much more than what we gave up. For me, the pro and con list was as follows:

1. Manutea knows the va'a
2. Manutea knows the course
3. Manutea knows the way of the Tahitian style
4. Manutea was willing to share all the above information to help us in our endeavor to not only do the best we could in the 2013 Tahiti Nui Va'a, but also in our future goals.
5. Manutea is a really cool guy and fit right into the crew.
6. Manutea speaks English really well and could help us in language barriers through the week
7. Manutea just happens to be arguably the best steersman in Tahiti
8. etc...

1. I compromise my core criteria which was that you had to race a Kanaka Ikaika race to make this crew
2. I would not get to race

So there it was, I knew there would be some potential controversy, but the pros were too heavy.

As for healthyearth: His devils advocate approach is all good. Without some questioning and needling, some things might get overlooked and not brought to attention. It keeps us thinking and in check if nothing else. I think the discussion is complete and we are ready to look ahead.

I don't think the answer is to do a Molokai together as there are so many variables. But more importantly, we need to go back to Tahiti, over and over until we can beat them on their turf. They own it and it is up to us to go there and take it back.

Ragi dat!
Jim Foti

#65 Tue, 06/04/2013 - 5:18am

Well done Jim! Congratulations on a terrific effort and performance!! Your perspective and vision for the future is admirable and you have all of my support in pursuing it.

#66 Tue, 06/04/2013 - 8:38am

found this little gem. not only do all these guys dance better than me but they also paddle infinitely better. very cool footage and also cool to see the boys compete in tahiti with top tier guys. i think JimFoti said it best. it's theirs till someone goes down there and takes it.

#67 Tue, 06/04/2013 - 9:57am

jc9_0-->great video

#68 Fri, 06/07/2013 - 8:55am

Makana always delivers. Can someone estimate their rate?

#69 Tue, 06/04/2013 - 10:55am

Great Video. At the 1:15 mark of the video, was that Kai Bartlett in #3? In the Pit?? Yeah, atta baby...welcome to the Pit Kai..."where the big boys roam"....alright now, flex those muscles....

#70 Tue, 06/04/2013 - 11:41am

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