Before It All Starts
Before the season begins, He’e Nalu will have a blessing of the canoes and paddlers. We encourage all paddlers and their families to be a part of this special event. A Hawaiian blessing is an important tradition that helps to bind us together as a club.
The initial part of the season is called the regatta season and consists of sprint races that encompass all of the age divisions within He’e Nalu. Both the keiki and adult divisions race during the regatta season. Races are held on Saturdays at various locations around the Bay Area. Regatta races normally begin the first part of June and conclude in late-August with the Northern California Championship race.
Your coach will advise you prior to each race the time your team is expected to show up at the race site. Regardless of whether you make a crew, all paddlers are encouraged to be at the regatta races to cheer on your team and the canoe club. It’s a great way to get to know other members of the club and spend a day enjoying the sunshine watching the greatest sport in the world!
He’e Nalu members set up tents at the race site to give paddlers a shady place to relax during the races. If we all work together on race days, everyone can enjoy!
Long Distance Season
Following the regatta season is what is called the long distance season. This season runs just after the regatta season and through September. These races, as the name implies, encompass longer distance races and are for adult divisions only. There are additional dues that are required for the long distance season. The amount will be determined and discussed with paddlers prior to the beginning of the season. There are a few long-distance races offered prior to sprint season, which paddlers have an opportunity to participate in as well.
Some of the long distance races are “iron” races with a crew of six people that paddle the entire race. Other races require crew changes during the race, and these teams will require anywhere from 9–10 paddlers per crew to allow for these changes.
There are many areas of responsibility that are different from the regatta season. Some of the long distance races require escort boats that accompany canoes during the race and carry the additional paddlers and coaching staff. Again, this is a team effort and requires the coordination by all paddlers to ensure a successful season.