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by Barbara Andrade, staff writer


This summer many HPU students returned home to visit family and friends. Some students took summer classes, and some worked. Others took advantage of O‘ahu’s beautiful beaches and the summer sun. Myrna Resep, an HPU nursing major, went canoe racing with ‘Alapa Hoe Canoe Club.
Resep, born and raised on the island of O‘ahu, has been paddling for more than 15 years. Resep’s interest in canoe racing started when her cousins and friends invited her to Nanakuli Beach Park to paddle with Leeward Kai Canoe Club. She has grown to love the sport, which has helped her succeed as a student.

“ In canoe racing, one learns the true meaning of teamwork and dedication,” Resep said. “Schoolwork is stressful . . . paddling helps me relieve my stress, and it keeps me in shape and focused on my studies here at HPU,” Resep said.

Since paddling with Leeward Kai, Resep has paddled with a number of canoe clubs from both the Na ‘Ohana O Na Hui Wa‘a Association and the O‘ahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association (OHCRA), including Na Keiki O Kamo‘i, Healani, and her current club Alapa Hoe. However, Resep, said, she gained most of her paddling experience with Na Keiki O Kamo‘i, located on the beautiful Poka‘i Bay on the leeward coast of O‘ahu, where she acknowledges a strong cultural imperative to the sport.

“ Paddling helps me to not only maintain a healthy lifestyle, but it’s a sport that my ancestors used as part of their daily lifestyle as well. So it keeps me in touch with them,” Resep said.

According to Harold Yost in The Outrigger, Alexander Hume Ford founded the Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Club in May, 1908 on an acre and a half of land and lagoon between the Seaside (now Royal Hawaiian) and Moana hotels in Waikiki.

Yost wrote that “Ford, perceiving that residences and hotels were occupying the whole beach, felt the art of surfboard riding was dying out,…so he and a few friends leased the property from the Queen Emma Estate, with the guarantee that “the property should be used only for the purpose of preserving surfing on boards and in outrigger canoes.”

Almost 100 years later, the sports Ford loved are so popular that thousands of canoe-racing fanatics flock to island beaches today to train, compete, and play.

Resep herself is currently training for the long distance season, which will include the Queen Lili‘uokalani Race held in Kona, on the Big Island, and she hopes to paddle the Moloka‘i Channel this year or next.

Visit OHCRA.com for more information about canoe racing or paddling.



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