Brave Wahine Cross Angry Channel

Kaua‘i’s Makuahine O Puuwai Masters at the start. Brian Curll photo

What an opportunity it was for me to participate with Niumalu Canoe Club last month in the 34th annual Na Wahine O Ke Kai paddle from Molokai to Oahu race.

And what an amazing job the Kaua‘i women representing the island did, especially given the monster 10-foot-plus waves (Hawaiian-style measurement). Putting on wind-breakers that morning and watching as early-season north swells gave rise to large waves roaring into Hale O Lono Harbor made for an intimidating start, to say the least, and 10 canoes never got the opportunity to do so. It made for a challenging 42-mile paddle, a journey that took the winning Team Bradley of Maui 85 minutes longer to finish than last year, with a time of 6:14:47.

I’d like to commend the senior women master aunties from Kaua‘i’s Pu‘uwai Canoe Club — you may have seen them on the news — for having the stamina and mental strength to finish the race following a huli and swamping before the start. The wahine in the canoe attempting to punch through the wave were Annie McEveety Allen, Nancy Graf, Margaret Steinhardt, Suzette Smith, Dr. Mary Pixler and Joey Thomson (on their escort boat at the time were Mickey MacMillian, Joanne Woltmon, Judy Byfield, Darcy Attisani, Janette Wolff and Cynthia Osborne).

Congratulations, too, to Hanalei’s open women, which was the first team from Kaua‘i to finish. Here are the Kaua‘i race times: Hanalei, open women, 7:03:24; Niumalu, open women, 7:17:58; Namolokama, open women, 7:28:00; Kukui‘ula, master’s women, 7:28:19; Makuahine O Pu‘uwai, senior master’s women, 7:59:29. Hana hou, ladies! …

For more on the race, see David Simon’s column on Page 35

Crews punch through the break at the race start. Brian Curll photo

It will be easier to keep track of what is going on in Kaua‘i County these days, especially as its successful Kaua‘i Festivals website has added a mobile application. George Costa, director of the Office of Economic Development, says with the growing number of people using their mobile devices to do research while on vacation, it is key to easier mobile searches of festivals, events and fundraisers on-island. The design was put together by Tsunami Marketing in partnership with the County of Kaua‘i, Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau, and Hawaii Tourism Authority. Costa says 26 percent of those who access the Kaua‘i

Festivals website do so with a mobile device. In addition, Kauai Visitors Bureau executive director Sue Kanoho says KVB has taken Kaua‘i Festivals and Events into its marketing plan, and aims to help reach even more visitors on their mobile devices. To check it out, go to http://m.kauaifestivals.com on your phone or iPad …

A big mahalo to Philippine Island Hawaiian Island Cycling Club (PIHI) members who voluntarily removed graffiti from Hanama‘ulu Beach Park last week. PIHI director Lemuel Soria, referencing a mission of community service, says the club has officially adopted the pavilion at Hanama‘ulu, where their monthly meetings are held. Eighteen PIHI members participated in the recent cleanup of the pavilion, restrooms and shower areas — and even some homeless Kaua‘i residents joined in the effort. Parks and Recreation director Lenny Rapozo lauded the effort, which took 50 manpower hours. Volunteers to help with the Adopt-A-Park program are always needed says Eddie Sarita, coordinator of the county’s Adopt-A-Park Program and manager of Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall. Anyone who signs up as a volunteer in the Adopt-A-Park program can choose how to help, from picking up litter and removing graffiti to sweeping the courts and pathways or raking leaves. For more information about the program, please contact Sarita at 241-6623 …

The Kaua‘i Lifeguard Association “Second Wave” fundraiser is around the corner, and will be held Sunday from 3 to 9:30 p.m. at Kilohana Plantation. Thanks to the KLA, Ocean Safety Bureau and other partnerships, the number of drownings has decreased significantly (it was 15 last year, with two so far this year).

Roy Hirano (left) and Dario Sibolboro paint the ceiling of the Hanama‘ulu Beach Park pavilion. Photo courtesy Mary Daubert

“We knew we had one of the finest training programs and qualified life-savers on duty at 10 key locations around the island,” Kalani Vierra, Kaua‘i’s Ocean Safety Bureau director, says. “The next step was to increase the number of power-equipped vehicles, followed by a strong media and communications program that brought ocean safety and awareness to the forefront.”

The upcoming fundraiser will be a “Hawaii Superstar Sunday concert,” and entertainers will include Willie K and his band, Henry Kapono, John Cruz and comedian Andy Bumatai. There also will be live and silent auctions coordinated through Leadership Kaua‘i, and food service by Kaiola Canoe Club. General admission tickets to the concert cost $60, and are available at Big Save and online at Kauailifeguards.org. VIP reserved tables for 10 as well as a handful of platinum tables are available by calling Kilohana at 245-5608. Tickets also are being given away on KONG Radio 93.5FM and 570AM … It’s almost time for the eighth annual Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital Golf Tournament, says occupational therapist at KVMH and tournament chairman Steve Kline. Donations to the tourney, slated for Oct. 28, can be in the form of major sponsorship levels, from $1,000 or more to the $100-$300 range. Door prizes also are welcome. The KVMH Charitable Foundation, formed in 1998, supports the major needs of the hospital, and raises funds for equipment, patient care, staff programs and education, building renovation and expansion. Members of the foundation obtain funds through grants, community events and individual donations. For more information, call Kline at 338-9452 or via email at skline@hhsc.org …

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