Pacific Paddler December 2015 - (Page 42)
in the Channel
Long-time American Samoa outrigger canoe paddler and head coach
of Le Vasa Outrigger Canoe Club, Paula Stevenson-McDonald, wanted to
enter three long-distance competitions over a three-week period. Her goal
was to help raise awareness of outrigger paddling in American Samoa.
Her first race was on Sept 12th at the US Outrigger Championships, in
Catalina, which is a race from Newport Beach, CA to Catalina Island, 26
miles off the Southern California Coast. Stevenson-McDonald joined a
co-ed team of paddlers from California, Hawaii, and Australia.
The second race on the list was the Pailolo Challenge, a 26-mile
channel crossing from Maui to Molokai.
"This race was pretty significant for our team - Le Malu O Le Vasa as
we represented American Samoa," she said. The crew was made up of
Ipo Hemaloto, Sandra Lei Ho Ching, Marian McGuire, Julie Falanai and
Luuao Wasko from American Samoa plus American Samoa paddler and
now Hawaii resident Julie Sword, as well as Kelly Townsend (CA), Michele
Wilmering (Maui) and Jenn Buck (Maui). We hope that our crew will be
the first of many that come from American Samoa to compete overseas,"
The third and final race of this 3-week jaunt was to be the superbowl
of women's outrigger canoe racing, the Hawaiian Airlines Na Wahine
O Ke Kai. She was to be part of a group of other female Polynesian
paddlers, including ladies from Tahiti, Hawaii, and Samoa. Local girl
Lisi Fa'agata, who now resides in San Francisco also flew in to join the
crew. Unfortunately, the race was canceled. "One day I hope to bring
another team from American Samoa to race in Hawaii," said StevensonMcDonald.
Meanwhile in American Samoa, the ASG Department of Commerce
(DOC) hosted its annual Coast Week Canoe Challenge. The American
Samoa Association of Paddlers helped put together the event.
"Over 50 teams registered this year, and it looks like it will be a great
success," said Le Vasa Outrigger Canoe Club assistant coach MichaelMcDonald before the event. "We can see the growth and renewed
interest in the sport, and it's very encouraging. I think it is great that DOC
continues to include the outrigger canoe regatta as part of their Coast
Week Celebrations," Michael-McDonald said.
Below, ASAPaddlers. L to R: Marian McGuire, Sandra Lei Ho-Ching, Luaao
Wasko, Paula Stevenson-McDonald, Julie Falanai, & Ipo Hemaloto
DECEMBER / JANUARY 2016
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pacific Paddler December 2015
Na Wahine Cancelled
Hawaiian Airlines Molokai Hoe
Greater Montreal Outrigger Challenge
Na Holo Kai:Oahu to Kauai
American Samoa in the Channel
3 stretches every paddler should know
Ikaika Hawaii rowing program
Canoes are “Whos”
Pacific Paddler December 2015