Author Topic: 50 Years of Paddling in California  (Read 6588 times)

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Chris King

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50 Years of Paddling in California
« on: July 28, 2009, 10:15AM »
This was sent out yesterday to the SCORA email distribution..
Part 1 of a few more...

         This next weekend, August 1st 2009, will mark the arrival of 2 koa canoes at Los Angeles harbor 50 years ago.  They were to be used by Noah Kalama to train some California boys in the art of Hawaiian canoe paddling.

         One of those canoes was the “Nihui” loaned to Toots Minvielle by Hale Au Au Canoe Club.  The coach of that club at that time was Sam Kahanamoku, brother of Duke and Louie, who was Toots’ right hand man in organizing the spreading of Hawaiian canoe paddling.  The “Nihui” made several trips back and forth to California during our early years.  The Hale Au Au Canoe Club was run under the business of Hale Au Au Surfboards at 2411 Kalakaua in Waikiki, which was a beach concession.  The mission statement of the club was to “develop and popularize modern water sports…to preserve the natural beauty of Waikiki Beach…protect the safety of the swimmers and other at the beach…and to do everything to enhance the appeal of Waikiki as a first-class resort.”  This was taken from a 1957 Hawaiian Canoe Racing Territorial Championship Program..  The “Nihui” is in the 16 mm movie (old home movie for you youngsters), which the SCORA Historical Committee is working on.  We’re trying to give the paddlers of today the who, what, when and why of this sport’s beginning here in California.

         The second canoe was a training canoe called “Kaimanahila.”  It was loaned to Toots and Louie by Holomua Canoe Club.  Holomua was from the windward side of Oahu.  The “main objective of the club is the training of our young men and women in the Hawaiian tradition and lore of their ancestors…to qualify as a paddler in old Hawaii, severe and rigid discipline molded the youth to a perfect example of Hawaiian manhood.  The same standard is maintained today (1957) with youths of all races and creeds from all economic backgrounds paddling together in honest competition.  To remain a member in good standing, these rules must be adhered to and this gives the paddler a goal or standard which will be a part of his future life as he matures.”  This was also taken from the same 1957 program.  Louie Kahanamoku was the director and advisor to Holomua from 1957-60 and was President of Hawaii Canoe Racing Association in 1955 and 56.  Charlie Kanei was the coach and paddler for Holomua in 1959.  Charlie was also selected to be one of the All Star paddlers from Hawaii to compete in our first Catalina Channel Crossing on September 20, 1959.  Holomua means “progressive” and “onward” and I guess onward we shall go.  The “Kaimanahila’s” rigging was a little different than standard rigs in that the second iako was behind 5 seat, which meant that a longer ama was needed.  The reasons for that are not known but we’ll leave that discussion up to the coaches of the world to determine, or better yet, the builder of the “Kaimanahila.”

         We in the Historical Committee hope to have some more goodies for you before this 50th year of paddling in California reaches it’s main goal of crossing the same channel as they did in 1959.


Bud Hohl and the SCORA Historical Committee


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Re: 50 Years of Paddling in California
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2009, 02:38PM »
A point of interest for those who care.
Louie Kahanamoku as mentioned above was actively involved in the promotion of Outrigger Canoe Racing in California and abroad. He is also the father of Sandy Kahanamoku one of our (MDROCC) founders and grandfather of our own Allison.
Sandy in addition to Marina del Rey OCC was actively involved with others in creating and developing a Racing Association in California. Much of what happens today is a result of his involvement and dedication to the sport. Sandy along with others set the footprint for what is now SCORA. Marina del Rey OCC continues to be an important part in the continuing growth and development of Outrigger Racing in Calif. So as we approach the 2009 Catalina Crossing and celebrate 50 years of Outrigger Canoe Racing in California, Marina del Rey OCC celebrates and takes pride in it's rich history and  contributions to a great sport and lifestyle.
Aloha and Mahalo,