Before The Mast by Mark C. Olsen- 5/19/2011-#3
Gary Brookins and I, aboard his new Makau 8-Ball, were honored
and privileged to escort two ladies with team #61, Hawaii 5-0 to paddle
across the Kawii channel. This was for the Worlds One Man Outrigger
Canoe Relay Race, Kalulakoi , Molokai to Ala Moana Park. Distance:
Over 40 miles.
Our team consisted of Kelly Fey, and her childhood friend Pauhi Loane
(Princess), they also brought their support coach as well. Kelly has won
these races over twelve times before.
Kelly had just, the week before, bought a new Scorpios canoe on Maui.
Instead of shipping it back, the new canoe was launched for the first
time at Flemings beach on Maui. Kelly then paddled it over to Molokai,
down the slot, and on to the start at the West end of Molokai. You do
the math on that course traveled.
The start had over 100 canoes going over to Oahu. Our job was to get them
across safely, find them the current, and pick them up when transferring
every ½ hour. We had to find Kelly at the start of ½ hour
crew change. Not easy to do, takes good boat handling skills, and lots
The first paddling team we encountered was 75 year old Nappy Napoleon
paddling side by side with his 12 year old grandson ( he hulied twice).
Very heart warming and historic. Like all the paddlers say wear
Halfway across the Kaiwi, making crew changes every half hour with no
mishaps. Kaiwi was being kind to us today. She seems to be in a good mood.
She allowed us to play with her swells. We caught her bumps, took her
lumps, and surfed the swells up to 9 knots.
It was a good day to paddle, surf, and swim in the bosom of the Kaiwi,
at the Penguin Banks.
Gary and I drove the girls with all the focus on getting them to Oahu,
and staying on course. Our GPS went out, phone call to Lenny at West Marine
took 1 hour.
We still pressed on and paddled. Put the girls right on the track for
Koko Head. No GPS-wayfareing-done it enough. GPS came on, our track was
Took the girls across the finish line at Ala Wai in 61st place, in 5:57:38.
Raced over 40 miles, canoe traveled over water 100 miles. Cheers girls.
Nappy came in 62th, behind us. HYC won Lipton Cup!!!
Mark C. Olsen