[Pacific Paddler Photos] courtesy Ropati
[Y2Kanu Photos] courtesy Rick Leton
[Team NZ/HI reclaims Moloka'i Hoe title] Honolulu Advertiser
[Team NZ/HI wins channel race] Star Bulletin
[OCPaddler Poll Results]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Diane Fujii Johnson, Johnson LLC
Cellular: 808-381-9763 Email: DianeFJohnson@aol.com
Team New Zealand Hawaii captures 52nd annual
Hawaii Modular Space Molokai Hoe
After coming in a close second last year, team stayed together
to give it another go
Honolulu, HAWAII (October 12, 2003) - Team New Zealand/Hawaii was first off the line at the 7:25 a.m. start and never relinquished their lead during the entire 41-mile race course. Along with New Zealand/Hawaii, 95 other crews lined up at Hale O Lono Harbor on Molokai this morning to attempt to capture the 52nd annual Hawaii Modular Space Molokai Hoe, what many deem the world championships of long-distance canoe paddling. Seas were a bit choppy with wave heights in the 3 - 5 foot range and normal 10-15 mile an hour north-east trade winds.
Many of the crews knew competition would be keen and chose a northerly route, including the lead teams: Team New Zealand/Hawaii, Lanikai Canoe Club, Outrigger Canoe Club and last year's champions Ra'i Tahiti. With a sizable south swell drumming up surf in the 6 to 8 foot face range, most avoided the breakers and kept outside the current line. Team New Zealand had kept nearly a mile between them and Lanikai until just outside of Diamond Head. At that point some major shifts took place including Lanikai closing the gap with New Zealand/Hawaii to within a ¼ of a mile and Ra'i Tahiti overtaking Outrigger's third place position. But Team New Zealand wasn't about to replay last year's scenario where they came in second place by a mere 20 seconds.
"We saw Lanikai gaining on us by Diamond Head and was shocked to see that they had come within a quarter of a mile," says Karel Tresnak, coach and steersman for Team New Zealand/Hawaii. "That's when we picked it up, I didn't want it to be a dog fight until the end. I wanted to keep our lead." And that they did, winning the Hawaii Modular Space Molokai Hoe with a time of 5 hours, 2 minutes and 24 seconds. Lanikai 1 came in 5 minutes later and took second with a time of 5 hours, 7 minutes and 15 seconds. Surprisingly Hui Nalu, who was either in 5th or 6th place during the entire race came in third. They took a more direct route possibly avoiding most of the currents and took a strong third place finish with a time of 5 hours, 12 minutes and 47 seconds. Outrigger Canoe Club place fourth and Hawaiian Canoe Club of Maui placed 5th. Please see below for full results.
Television airing of the Hawaii Modular Space Molokai Hoe will first appear on Oceanic Cable Channel 16 on October 26 at 7:00 p.m. with 6 repeat airings occurring that week. For accredited news media, please email any requests for photos or footage of the event.
Ken Nagamine won the corrective LASIK eye surgery courtesy of Laser Eye Center of Hawaii. He guessed the winning time of the crew to be 5 hours, 2 minutes and 25 seconds - a guess that was off by only one second. The winning time was 5:02:24.
This year's Molokai Hoe was made possible with the support of Hawaii Modular Space as title sponsor, and associate sponsors Hinano Tahiti Beer, Ocean Club, RCI Construction Group, Laser Eye Center of Hawaii, Hawaiian 105 KINE and XCEL Wetsuits and Friends of the Race; Hale Koa Hotel, Happy Shirts, Pacific Paddler, Menehune Water, Kualoa Ranch, Reid Inouye Productions, JOSS Photo and Ocean Cable Channel 16.
For more information, visit www.MolokaiHoe.org.
1st overall: Team New Zealand/Hawaii 5:02:24 Open Division
(Kea Paiaina, Billy Pratt, Andrew Penny, Maui Kjelosen, Raven Aipa, Thibert Lussiaa, Robert Kaiwai, Eugene Marsh, Karel Tresnak)
1st Masters 35: Mooloolaba from Australia 5:22:49
(Phil Thistlewood, Marc Haine, Russ Johnson, Ron Grabber, Ken Powel, Greg Rynne, Andrew Sprizzi, Rob Gowland, Guy Wilding)
1st Masters 45: Namolokama O Hanalei 5:49:41
(Steve Cole, Steve Baker, Togo Humsurr, Lance Lawey, Mick Callahan, Gene Lopez, Mark Daniels, Leslie Yokotake, Kauaika Goodale)
1st Masters 55: Kailua Canoe Club 5:47:00
(Hank Leandro, Mike Watson, Bob Bruce, Paul Gay, Bruce Clifford, Bob Thurston, Willy Dunhour, Sean Murphy, Kalani Delovio, Jeff Metzger, Paul Aguirre, Chris Crabb)
1st Koa: Lanikai 2, 5:43:34
(Kalani Irvine, Mike Smith, Zane Chess, Aaron Creps, Jeff Cummings, Scott Freitas, Bruce Lucas, James Bustamante, Herb Nahinu)