P-A-D-D-L-E-S UP …In unison, six paddlers in each of the Hawaiian style outrigger canoes lined up at the starting line raised their paddles towards the blazing sun, their muscles coiled and ready to stroke into the placid waters of Seattle’s Green Lake…..there were the rowers from Hui Wa`a Puget Sound (Everett, WA), from Hui Wa`a Kikaha O ke Kai (Federal Way, WA), from Hui Wa`a Hei Hei (Silverdale, WA) and a combined team from Wa`a Wakinikona/Seattle Outrigger Canoe Club. Then came the shout I-M-U-A…..the rowers dug their paddles into the water and the canoes surged forward, leaving rippling wakes behind them. The 6 th annual Ka Po`e O ke Kai Green Lake Outrigger Regatta was under way!
It was almost like being back in Hawaii…tons of Hawaiian Islanders and Hawaiian at heart folks sharing tents, food, laughter and even canoes…strolling along the walkway, strumming her ukulele was Tina Rose Quidachay of Kikaha O Ke Kai….over the sound system, M.C. Uncle Ed Tanaka was playing some fine Hawaiian music or alerting paddlers to get ready for their next race…..Since the Wakinikona Wa`a (in partnership with Seattle OC) was host for the regatta, Stan “da man” Dahlin was running around checking the detail stuff like registrations/keeping the races on schedule/tracking results/etc. Overseeing the whole thing, as usual, were Boy (still limping around with his broken foot) and Brenda Chun Fook…..Rod Rodenhurst and his Silverdale Wa`a had lots of keiki racing; I think they also had the largest group there. Actually a most noteworthy fact about the Silverdale Wa`a was the huge number of haole members (I prefer to call them Hawaiians at heart) participating in this regatta. Per Malia Akana Miller, Kailua HS ’83 grad (Malia want any/all KHS “Madrigals” to contact her), many of the Silverdale Wa`a members are military/government worker types who were stationed in Hawaii at some point and got involved with Hui Wa`a(outrigger canoe clubs) there. They joined the Silverdale Wa`a when they transferred into military bases around the Silverdale/Bremerton area! It is so nice to have them share in a part of our culture!
Most heart warming thing about this regatta was the “ohana” family feeling, the cooperation that made the event fun and successful. At the registration desk, two of our Hawaiian at heart folks (Sabine Jessel and Claire Gearen) were getting folks signed up….there were a few kupuna (elders) helping out like da St Louis guy Joe Abad and Punahou’s Jack Julich and da Waimanalo Kid Ray Jackson. Most touching sight: watching Timmy Cabunoc carrying on the extremely important chase boat task, which his Dad “Uncle Bob” Cabunoc had done for many years before passing on last year. Timmy’s mom Jeannie was busy running the radio communications system and like a typical Mom, telling Timmy to “no forget put da sun tan lotion on” (it really gets twice as hot for the chase boat guys because the sun’s heat reflects off the water)! The Cabunocs are such good folks!!! Ohhh so many other peoples: from Wa`a Puget Sound folks like Stanley Otsubo (Maui) and Aunty Nani Reinhardt (Kona) and Larry Kaikala (Hana Maui) and Sandy Kuala (Kapahulu) and Jamie Grimm (Kailua, Oahu) and Dian Yuen (Aiea, MPI ’84)…Also from Everett, the Alabastro family; Alan (he’s one of the Everett Coconut Wireless Radio guys) and wife Carriann with keiki Dante, Andre and Roxanne (the kids are all budding paddlers)…from the Kikaha O Ke Kai gang there were folks like John Richardson, Pete Wylie and the Bader Ohana (Vance, Truman Ponder-Bader, Kim Ponder Bader and two of my favorite young ladies Vanessa and Serena Bader who wrote an article for an earlier NW Hawaii Times edition!) I had a fun time with Wil (Hilo HS) and Darnelle (Waiakea/Nanakuli) Kaho`onei…Darnelle said she didn’t want her name in the paper cause either the police or her Mom was looking for her….she was kidding huh?? With them were Liz and Ken Arreola-Tialavea ( Oahu ) . Last I looked at the scoreboard race results, those big bullies (Kikaha O Ke Kai) from Federal Way were kicking butts, winning 26 of 38 team races…..but twas all good fun!!! Hey if you want to see a bunch of Hawaiians/Hawaiians at heart having a good fun time, go see one of their Hui Wa`a (Outrigger Canoe) regattas….great competition but mostly lots of Aloha being shared!!!
Auwe… after my story in the last NWHIT about how Punahou folks can really pahty, da Roosevelt HS guys blasted me, saying that Roosevelt folks know how to party even bettah den da Punahou folks. Just to prove it, they had an absolute blast on June 3, 2005 filling the Kona Kitchen restaurant with a Standing Only Room crowd to help celebrate the birthday of Roosevelt High School’s one and only Bernie “da Great One” Simeona (class of ’61). The “Braddah Dem” music trio (Tiko & Keo Kaeo and Bernie Simeona) were joined by several guest artists plus Halau Hula o Moani Mokihana (which at one point had eight wahines and one kane dancing hula in the narrow aisle.) Among the Halau dancers were Cyndi Aiona Cook (also celebrating her birthday,) Tish and Anna Holt, Wendy Antoncich, and Vicki Morrison…the hit of the evening had to be Geri Delosantos who cracked up the audience with the funny faces she made while dancing hula! Happy Birthday Bernie and Cyndi……
Time to hele on…….a hui hou…………………….Danny
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