OIA Padding Paddles Off to Another Exciting Season
(Thu) January 7, 2010
Lapule Schultz (OIA Paddling Sport Advisor (Anuenue School))
The OIA paddled off initiating the 2009 – 2010 Paddling Season. Its first two races of the season were held on December 19, 2009 and January 2, 2010. Both races were very exciting fielding 22 Boys Varsity Crews, 21 Girls Varsity Crews, 24 Mixed Varsity Crews, 15 Boys JV Crews, 16 Girls Crews and 17 Mixed JV Crews. Due to budget cuts however, there are only 5 total races this year including the OIA Championships which will be held on January 23, 2010 at Keehi Lagoon at 2:30pm. This makes every point and every race that much more critical. If for some reason there are problems either with the weather or venue between any set season dates, the season will continue on each Saturday that is in January and the OIA Championships then will be held on January 30, 2010.
It is clear and obvious by the looks of determination and focus on all the student-athletes faces on race day. Their commitment to the sport, to their team and to themselves is critical. Having one less race this year means that every one has to be on it even more from the first race until the OIA Finals. Health and conditioning are vital to every teams' success. Every single one of them want to do their very best to make their school, families and friends proud of their paddling accomplishments. Some paddlers come very early to prepare and set up their tents and belongings so that they can focus for as long as possible. Some come a little after that first group, but nonetheless all of them come ready to paddle. Regardless of the champions from last year or the favorites for this year, every team has the opportunity and ability to win. Sometimes it is the luck of your lane drawing and sometimes the weather. Sometimes it is a combination of many variables that can either make or break a race. All teams are aware of this and are prepared and ready to go on every race day.
Seeing the sport of Paddling grow over the last couple of years have been tremendous. Some schools have to even bus their paddlers in on a bus and cars or sometimes even two buses. It is also exciting to see so many more athletes competing in the traditional State Sport which really embeds the Hawaiian Culture and Language into its athletes. Paddling is truly different and very interesting in the sort that all schools participate on the same day, at the same event and venue and during pretty much the same time whereas most other sports pit one team versus another. Everyone sees everybody else and your crew knows what everybody else can and is doing while together out there on the water. It makes the sport that much more intense by competing against many others, not just one. It enhances the meaning of team participation and working together and really makes you and your crew aware of your surroundings. Thus, Paddling is indeed a team sport like no other!
Over the course of the first two races, every crew has shown much improvement as every team vies for the five or six berths allotted to the OIA for the HHSAA State Regatta in February. Once again, the Nanakuli, Kalaheo, Waialua and Kaiser Boys teams look very strong while the ?,,nuenue, Radford, Kailua, Kalaheo and Kapolei Girls team battle it out this year again. It is going to come down to the wire over the next two races to vie for point totals which qualifies a crew for the OIA Finals. Only the top six from each division (East and West) qualify for the OIA Finals and the overall OIA Champions and HHSAA Qualifiers are determined from that race, not from previous point totals.
Following the OIA Finals, there will be a two week break before the HHSAA State Regatta which will be held on Friday, February 5, 2010 at Keehi Lagoon at approximately 9:45 am and is expected to be concluded by 4:00pm. The HHSAA State Regatta will field the top 16 teams, in each division Boys, Girls and Mixed, representing Five Leagues across the Hawaiian Islands.
The winners of the first two OIA Regattas are as follows:
Boys West JV: Nanakuli / Mililani
Boys East JV: Kalaheo / Kalaheo
Girls West JV: Leilehua / Leilehua
Girls East JV: Moanalua / Moanalua
Boys West Varsity: Nanakuli / Nanakuli
Boys East Varsity: Kaiser / Kaiser
Girls West Varsity: Radford/ Kapolei
Girls East Varsity: Anuenue / Kailua
Mixed West JV: Waianae / Mililani
Mixed East JV: Kalaheo / Kalaheo
Mixed West Varsity: Nanakuli / Nanakuli
Mixed East Varsity: Kalaheo / Kalaheo
Good Luck to all schools this Paddling Season 2009 – 2010.