“WE DID AS WELL AS WE COULD”

That was the lead on the story of the race today in the local paper. That I suppose represents the sentiment of the 114 womens and 110 mens crews that participated in the race. Kona is famous for its’ hot weather and though it was hot this year, the women got a strong head wind at the start which cooled things a bit. Unlike the other islands the mass of the Big Island diminishes the effect of the tradewinds, and so you hope for thermals which are created by the land mass…The men got a bit of a tailwind and even late clouds but also plenty of mid-race heat…running the shore this year down seemed the ticket for the women and most of the mens canoes ran close on the way back. Not alot of wind nor current but boat chop made it challenging at times with crews changing, boats motoring around and canoes battling for position. The winners were Team New Zealand for the men at 1:50.20, and Lanakila for the women at 2:12.06…Ocean River was fourth in the Iron Masters division at 2:17.30 and Lotus 34th in the Open division at 2:12.14 in the mens’ races. Lotus had 2 womens boats in the Iron division, finishing 25th (2:32.05) and 68th (3:00.42) There were alot of other Canadian paddlers all over the place mixed into boats…Randy, Eric and Brian all familiar faces to Canada were in an open class with a boat designed by some guys at Kona Athletic, and finished in 2:09.02, only boat in their category though!!!! 12 categories for men alone in this deal…8 for the women…Today are the small boat races, a 10 k triangle course…but last night was the dreaded torch parade…actually a lot of fun with people all over the street, drums hammering and everyone in high spirits, covered with leis and maile vine and celebrating everything from in your face wins to My God we did it…my crew! Anyway let you know how the small boat race and the luau after goes…

~ JON – CCC

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