Beach Walk 215 – Na Wahine O Ke Kai Part 2

Part 2, so you can hear from the paddlers themselves. There’s nothing like the first time crossing the channel!

Let’s remember, it’s rare to have a whole crew (except for the two steerswomen Gail and Kuuipo) be composed of first timers, given the very challenging conditions and nature of this race. Then, many of them have husbands in Iraq, fighting a war. Plus, these women’s families come from different branches of the military service. Most military people I’ve met will agree that there is plenty of “inborn” rivalry between the army, navy, air force, and marines! This is a true accomplishment on so many levels.

Mindy Clark’s Outrigger Canoe Video Blog. She continues to post great footage from the entire weekend, starting with the short flight over to Molokai. The military wives we’ve been following this summer raced in a canoe from Keahiakahoe Canoe Club.

Susan summed it up so nicely when she expressed her gratefulness for all of the aloha and support from the paddling community.

P.S. For those of you who are travel buffs, there are lots of great with Diamond Head in the background.

Hawaiian words
WaÊ»: canoe
Wahine: woman

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Beach Walk 214 – Na Wahine O Ke Kai Part 1

Finally! After months (and for some, years) of training, the Na Wahine O Ke Kai 41-mile canoe race was held today.

This is the state sport of Hawai’i and this race is considered the world championship long distance event. It is long, it is across 41 miles of some of the deepest ocean on earth, and it is exhilarating once you’ve gotten the bug.

Our paddlers whom we’ve been following the past several weeks did great and loved it! Congratulations also to Team Bradley (with paddlers from Oahu, Maui, Kauai, the Big Island, and Australia) for First Place and Hui Lanakila for a very close Second Place. And big aloha to all of the teams who traveled from not just Hawaii, but also Tahiti (4th place), Australia, California, and Canada.

More Links:
Mindy Clark’s Outrigger Canoe Video Blog. She has lots of great footage from the entire weekend, starting with the short flight over to Molokai.

Robin’s Club in Australia is the Southport Yacht Club.

The military wives we’ve been following this summer raced in a canoe from Keahiakahoe Canoe Club.

Outrigger Canoe Club won the koa division, is a perennial local favorite, and had four crews in the race.

Lanikai Canoe Club had three crews, including Kris Krengle (remember the guest director from show #64 “Lost?”) and many more of my paddling girlfriends.

The Puakea Foundation raced a Masters crew (over 50) in the traditional koa canoe.

This event turned into a two-part show so please come back tomorrow for the emotional moments after the race.

Hawaiian words
WaÊ»: canoe
Wahine: woman

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Beach Walk 208 – Molokai Channel Here We Come

After months of training, the Na Wahine O Ke Kai canoe race is this Sunday.

UPDATE: You can follow the play by play from Molokai courtesy of Mindy Clark’s Outrigger Canoe video blog!

Lexi and I went to visit the Wahine Paddlers (military wives who are mostly all doing their first channel crossing) and give them some hugs and aloha. For those of you new to Beach Walks, this is considered the premier canoe race – 41 miles across open ocean six miles deep. Many of these women have husbands who are in Iraq. They represent several branches of the service, and are pulling together in a feat of incredible personal and team accomplishment. This race requires so much training; it will take them 6-8 hours to complete most likely.

It also requires a lot of money, as there is so much involved: shipping the canoes over to Molokai, flying the paddlers to Molokai and putting them up overnight are just a few. They estimate it is costing them over $10,000. Please consider making a contribution. Here is how you can Help the Honolulu Pearl Paddlers. (PDF)

We plan to be at the finish line, where we will also meet up with some Masters Women paddlers from the Puakea Foundation who are paddling a koa canoe about the same age as they are!

Here are some previous episodes featuring the Wahine Paddlers:
Beach Walk #171 – Wahine Paddlers Prep for 41-mile race
Beach Walk #172 – Enjoy the Moment
Beach Walk #176 – Meet Some Honolulu Pearls
Beach Walk #179 – Honolulu Pearls Part 2
Beach Walk #181 – Huli Happens

Hawaiian words
Wahine: woman
Kai: sea

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Beach Walk 172 – Enjoy the moment…

We’ve got great advice from Diane today as I continue my interview with the wahine paddlers.

h3. About Today’s Show

More details on the race prep today: the difference between regatta season (short distance races) and long distance (change races and “iron” endurance races). But smack in the middle of all this physical training, is the emotional-spiritual excitement that we paddlers feel as we approach the Molokai to Oahu race. I think it is most intense before the very first crossing, as that 41 mile open sea is so full of potential and unknown.

Diane reminds us very wisely that her goal is to not to get caught up in all the trappings of the race and instead to just enjoy moment.

Now I learn that Mindy (a long time beach walks viewer and videoblogger herself) is also coming for this race. You can bet I’ll be doing more shows on this topic, as outrigger canoe paddling is such a true Hawaiian experience but also a powerful experience of sharing our spirits with other paddlers, the canoe, and the sea – a wonderful abundance of feminine energy!

Queen Liliʻuokalani Race on the Big Island

Hawaiian words
Ikaika: strong
Manawa iki: moment
ʻiako: outrigger boom

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Beach Walk 171 – Wahine Paddlers Prep for 41 Mile Race

Imagine crossing 41 miles of open ocean in a 6-person canoe!

h3. About Today’s Show

I arrived at the beach this morning with Lexi to do our walk and show and ran into my friend Gail Quitevis who is steering a crew of women in the upcoming Na Wahine O Ke Kai race. This is the premier canoe race in the world! So I am going to follow their progress for these last six weeks before the race so you can get a taste of the hard work, excitement and exhilaration that goes along with this event. I did it in 2003 and it was an amazing experience!

This is a special crew of military wives. Some of their husbands are in Iraq. And despite being temporary single moms, they are taking on this gigantic challenge of mental, emotional and physical stamina. I’ve promised them the support of our Beach Walks audience, so please call call the Conch line skype:roxannedarling or call +1-949-544-1456. with your messages of inspiration!

Men started this race in 1952, yet it took over 20 years for women to have the chance to race. Like so many things, the general consensus was that women were not strong enough to do this race. With the backing of coaches, women were refused the use of club equipment and club support. 41 miles of open ocean, across one of the deepest ocean channels. Not only can we do it, but some of our women’s crews are faster than some of the men’s crews. There is plenty of blur between men and women as we keep discovering, one prejudice at a time!

Hawaiian words
Wahine: woman
Kai: sea
Na Wahine O Ke Kai: women of the sea

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