The Hoe Lokahi Canoe Club's men and women's crews swept Saturday's 500-meter races held at Kilili Beach.
The Hoe Lokahi women won all three of its sprints over a group of ladies from Saipan Paddlers Club.
Hoe Lokahi clocked in at under three minutes in all three heats. They recorded times of 2:46, 2:50, and 2:54 that topped SPC's 2:57, 3:07 and 3:10 marks.
The scoring system in the Hoe Lokahi-organized event awards 0.75 points for first place and 2 points for second place, with the team with the lowest score declared the victor, thus Hoe Lokahi earned the win, 2.25 to 6.
Hoe Lokahi's women's crew includes Elizabeth Church, Melia Johnson, Shelli Neal, Leilani Nielsen, Dana Okano, Rebecca Skeele, and Rachel Zuercher.
Notably, this was Zuercher's last appearance as she is leaving soon to continue her studies in the mainland. However the team has other returning members who will help fill Zuercher's shoes.
In the men's division, Hoe Lokahi swept the four-team field made up of runner-up Saipan Outrigger Cano Club, third placer Marianas Pacific Paddlers, and Saipan Paddlers Club.
Since there were only two racing lanes the men raced two boats at a time and compared the post times, accordingly.
The Hoe Lokahi men notched a win in the first 500-meter sprint with their 2:16 mark, ahead of MPP (2:22), SOCC (2:25) and SPC (2:36). The hosts went on to take the second heat with their 2:15, in front of SOCC (2:23), MPP (2:31) and SPC (2:38).
In the finale, Hoe Lokahi crossed the line at 2:20, just one second ahead of SPC (2:21), while SOCC (2:32.60) nipped MPP (2:33.72) for third place by less than a second.
The men's field warded 0.75 points for first place finishes, 2 points for second, 3 points for third place and 4 to fourth with the team with lowest total score declared the overall winner. Hoe Lokahi finished with 2.25, ahead of SOCC (7), MPP (9) and SPC (11).
Hoe Lokahi men then finished the day with a 1,000-meter distance race against MPP and the event came down to the wire the former coming out on top by only one second at 5:38. The winning team is composed of Kraig Church, Kelvin Fitial, Grafton Howard, Ed Johnson, Jack Karibiel, James Lee, and Frank Villagomez. Hoe Lokahi women's crew also participated in the distance event for some good practice.
Hoe Lokahi holds monthly racing events in addition to private team practices as they prepare to compete in the upcoming Micronesian Cup races, which will be held this year on Saipan on October 27 and 28.
Next month's 500-meter and 1,000-meter races are slated for July 21 at Kilili Beach. Races start at 8am. For more information, contact Hoe Lokahi's Leilani Nielsen at firstname.lastname@example.org.