Before the Mast:
Hawaii Yacht Club
HOE-Molokai to Oahu Mens Outrigger Canoe Race:
1030-Go fishing . MAKAU first does some fast donuts o/s harbor at 30k.Turns
in 3 boat lengths. Pass Laau Pt. Fish in/out all over West end.
Go way into Ilio Point area, Papaloa roadstead, and around into Kalaupapa
another 2 miles North. Seas near cliffs, steep and rough 6-8, bash right
on through it all.
1500- Head back to Lono. Gary needs to cook some more for us.
1000- We get our team assignment #32 from Bradley. Meet our crew-just
in today from Tahiti. Their village in Tahiti-Nui all chipped in $60k,
to send them to the world series of canoe racing in Hawaii, the HOE. 1200-
We get back to MAKAU to prep for departure. Stow all our stuff. Crew will
each bring one bag plus extra paddles. 6 paddlers, 3 with us to rotate,
a coach, sponsor, and local navigator from Kaneohe. Total of 7. Heavy
load. again. I guess Gary wont let me fish tomorrow.
1500-Go to a BQ with leftovers with all other boat crews and paddlers
on the wharf. On a diet next week.
0600- Loading crew and freight. Getting water, ice, energy bars, and
deck assignments. So many boats hard time to get to our stern anchor up,
and get out to sea.
0700-All is well, we are ready to get to Oahu first. No one talks, we
just know we have a race to win, and a boat to drive. These Tahitians
boys are in our hands, to be safe, and do our job they have trusted us
with. Heading into the channel. Check in with RC on channel 1.
0730- So many boats and canoes, victory at sea. Looks like a Nimitz fleet
of Navy ships. All prop wash/white water from a washing machine.
0800-Race starts canoes all inside close to beach moving fast.. We have
to stay behind MAGGIE JOE. Canoes in a pack blasting to Laau Pt. Tahitians
VAA way ahead already w/5 teams behind. Brookins driving like a race horse
to get to the first turn at Hollywood Park. Im trying to balance
boat, and kept a look out for our team #32, with all the crazy drivers
yawing all over the watery highway. We get up in front.
0830- I locate our team, 3 boats back just before the point. We cant
go in until they pass Laau Pt. Then all hell breaks loose, trying to get
in position for 1st crew change. Gary driving and pushing MAKAU like a
mad man on a race horse. We get there; make the change and a loose paddle
in the water. All is well, seas 4-5 -22k wind.
0930- Heading for the banks. Team 32 is yawing all over wasting time.
Swells coming larger, surfing more now. Front pack over 2 miles away now
outside. We are headed in to Koko Head. Still going side ass. They cant
see KH or DH yet. I tell them must steer 240, get into the current
1000- Over the Banks. Helicopter following us now. We are the only boat
out here. Make crew change every 20min-lots of pressure, very dangerous.
Brookins driving unreal-seas bigger 6-8. Reallying surfing now.
Helicopter flying very low 100 above us, wind wash, filming us,
Flying backwards and side ways. Go away dude, we are busy here. Very scary.
1100- They are on my track now- looking for the current. Got it- doing
10k now sometime 12k surfing. Current is going, some swells 10.
I help the boys, they have got to jump off MAKAU now into 10 faces
of incoming swell. We are all laughing, enjoying every minute of sharing
my backyard of Kaiwi.
1200- Coming down from Koko Head out of a rain squall. We know that we
are doing well now. We may in fifth place. Gary hears VHF, lots of trouble
with boats and accidents. We press on. Crew is focused; never look up
while paddling, looking for more speed. DH in site.
1230- Passing DH into Tongs, watching for the surf line. Crew change
for finish at Publics inside. Heading for finish line at DUKEs. Our team
finishes 8th place for their first HOE. We are very proud and tired. MAKAU
goes in dropped off relief crew and all cargo. Finish in under 5hrs.
1300- Land at ALOHA dock HYC. Cold beer, sandwich, and a nap. Long day.
Good day on the Kaiwi Channel.
Mark C. Olsen