Team OluKai Wins Ka'iwi Challenge
It was a great start to the weekend with light winds for the 51 mile sailing canoe race from Kaanakakai, Molokai to Kailua, O’ahu on Saturday. Team OluKai (Marvin Otsuji, Joe Sawyer, Butch Keahiolao, Scott Wagner, Keone Miyake and Kalani Vierra) took a 6 seat plane from Kaua'i to Molokai, rigged the canoe and towed into the Ka'iwi channel to start the race at 2:00pm. From start to finish, Team OluKai was able to hold the lead and finish off Saturday with a victory. It did not come easily with the Maui Jim Canoe Tui Tonga challenging the team. After a half hour dual, Team OluKai broke away and gained sailing a minute ahead of the next competitor.
On day two, OluKai switched out a couple team members, adding Lauren Spaulding, and Keone and Mahea Botello. The race proved to be just the opposite of day one. The teams raced off the beach with team Hui Nalo and Kamakakoa jumping out to the lead. After rounding Moko Manu Island, Team OluKai began to surf their way into the lead. By the second hour, the race was called due to lack of wind. At this point, Team OluKai had forged their way to a half-mile lead and was declared the winner on Sunday. Due to Coast Guard rules that canoes must be off the water by dark, crews ended up towing both days for part of the way. Team OluKai now has four first place wins and two second place wins for the 2014 sailing series, currently the lead over the entire fleet! On July 26th
, OluKai will be gearing up to sail from Hale’iwa to Kalapaki Beach and will be looking to add a fifth victory to this years 2014 sailing series. The final race of the 2014 Sailing Series will take place September 6th
at the Kauai South Coast. For any additional information regarding the Hawaiian Sailing Canoe Association (HSCA) you can visit their website here.