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That “KMT” Sticker on the Back of University of Hawaii Football Team Helmets

The University of Hawaii Football team will be taking on the California Bears tomorrow in a game that will be played overseas in Australia.

The team will have a special sticker on the back of the helmet that will be worn the entire the season:

Photo via Na Koa Football Club

Photo via Na Koa Football Club

The photo honors the late K. Mark Takai, US House of Representative, UH alum and Letterwinner.

HI-PAL Click It or Ticket Endless Summer Statewide Invitational Basketball Classic Results

A total of 122 youths from 13 teams, included four teams from Oahu and Maui, participated in the HI-PAL Click It or Ticket Endless Summer Statewide Invitational Basketball Classic this past weekend at Waiākea-Uka Gym.

In the Varsity Girls division finals, Maui Sparks edged Wahine Ryders 41-39 in overtime, with Mikayla Tablit hitting the game winning three-pointer in the waning seconds of the game. Tablit led the Sparks with 21 points. Mandy Kawaha topped the Ryders with 19.

Maui Sparks

Maui Sparks

Members of the champion Maui Sparks squad included Tablit, Nel Mae Bumanglag, Kaylee and Kyra Cambra, Kamaile Cugal, Jordyn Mantz, Honeylet Padasadao, Ashley Taylor Peralta, Kealia Sjostrand, Mikiala Sniffen and Tanniya Uchida.

In the third-place contest, Waiākea defeated Keaʻau 43-15. Madison Hwang tallied 10 for Waiākea.

In the Girls Rising Stars finals, Kona Stingrays withstood a furious comeback from Hoop Dreams to claim the championship 26-25. Gracie Hing scored 11 points for the Stingrays and Keani Midel had 10 for Hoop Dreams.

Kona Stingrays

Kona Stingrays

Members of the champion Stingrays included Hing, Kassie and Lanie Alapai, Kiera Ambrosia, Tayvia Cabatbat, Dallas Carlos, Rebekah Fong, Peyton Healeamau, Gabryela Kaipo, Iolani Kamakau, Caiyle Kaupu and Juliana Losalio.

In the third-place contest, Honokaʻa outscored Maui Sparks 26-15. Kaliana Salazar-Harrell led Honokaʻa with 14 points.

In the boys Rising Stars division, Hoop Dreams out-gunned St. Joseph 62-32 to claim the title. Keawe Silva scored 18 points, Kobe Kahele added 16 and Kiaʻi Apele tallied 11 for the champions. Stan Mawry led the runners-up with 10 points.

Hoop Dreams

Hoop Dreams

Members of the champion Hoop Dreams included Silva, Kahele, Apele, Kaukahi Alameda, Macmillan Aloisio, Isaiah Cordero, Chance Simeona, and Kaupena Yasso.

In the third-place contest, Hawaiʻi Storm ran past PGU 42-7. Enzo Mazzulli scored 10 for the Storm.

“Click It or Ticket” is a national education and enforcement campaign to increase seat belt usage and decrease traffic fatalities and injuries. The Hawaii Police Department encourages all youth, teens and adults to use their seat belts.

Golden Anniversary of Kalakaua Basketball Clinic Recognized by Senator Kim and Clinic Alumni

Before a large and appreciative crowd in the Moanalua High School Gymnasium, the man behind the renown Kalakaua Basketball Clinic today was honored for five decades of serving the community and helping thousands of students find success both on and off the court.

Photo via Senate Communication

Photo via Senate Communication

State Senator Donna Mercado Kim (Dist. 14 – Kapalama, ‘Alewa, Kalihi Valley, Ft. Shafter, Moanalua Gardens & Valley, portions of Halawa and ‘Aiea) was on hand to present a proclamation to Coach Dennis Agena and his staff in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Kalakaua Basketball Clinic during a surprise ceremony at the end of practice.

“Coach Agena is an absolutely remarkable, generous individual who deserves all the accolades being bestowed on him today,” said Sen. Kim. “How he’s given so much of his time and his own resources for the last fifty years is an inspiration to us all.  He exemplifies selflessness and strong leadership through his coaching and guidance by teaching students how to be a good athlete and even greater citizen.”

Kalakaua Basketball Camp2

Sen. Kim’s son, Micah, was a participant in the clinic as a youngster and she witnessed how the program helps build character. “I was proud to see Micah blossom not only in his basketball skills but also as a responsible young man who learned the rewards of hard work and team work,” she said.

Coach Agena is recognized as one of the most respected basketball coaches in the state and founder of the renown Kalakaua Basketball Clinic.  Thousands of students have gone through the clinic that stresses the importance of mastering fundamental basketball skills, as well as team building skills.  Equally important are the values students learn through the program that they carry with them through life: respect, commitment, dedication, and humility.

While the clinic has moved locations over the years, the program has consistently been led by Dennis Agena, who along with his wife Lani, have made it their life mission to keep kids off the streets and out of trouble. He and his staff conduct the clinic on a completely voluntary basis.  The fee for the clinic goes towards maintaining the equipment and covering the expenses for the athletes to travel for tournaments.

Some of the players who have gone through the clinic to become successful athletes at the high school,college and professional level include Derrick Low, Kyle Pape, Blaine Gaison, Cliff LaBoy,Bobby Nash, Dean Shimamoto and Kahi Villa. Also, Nani Cockett, Brandy Richardson, Teddi Pila, BJ Itoman, Iwalani Rodrigues, Tiana Fuertes, and Melanie Azama.

“I’m proud of all the kids. You develop them, you mentor them, you see them grow up, get married, they have kids and I think soon it will be my third generation of coaching these kids and I’m happy for doing that,” said Dennis Agena. As for today’s honors, Agena was humbled. “It’s not about me, it’s about the product you produce out of the program that makes Coach Agena and Coach Myles (Akamine) look good.”

UH Hilo Basketball Team Announces Six New Recruits

The 2015-16 University of Hawai’I at Hilo men’s basketball team won four of its last five games, just missing out on a post-season berth in the Pacific West Conference tournament.

Needing to replace three starters off of that squad and two other graduated players, head coach G.E. Coleman has accomplished that with the signing of six standout players. The list includes four transfers and two freshmen.

One of those transfers brings NCAA tournament experience to the Vulcan camp. 6’6″ wing Brian Ishola played two seasons at North Dakota State, including a freshman campaign that saw the Bison win the Summit League and advance to the Big Dance, falling to Gonzaga in the first round (86-76).

Brian Ishola

Brian Ishola

A junior, Ishola hails from Woodbury, Minnesota and prepped at East Ridge High School.

Coleman also landed three junior college players. Junior point guard Ryley Callaghan comes to the UHH campus from Peninsula Community College (Wash.), where he was named the Most Valuable Player of the North Division of the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) after averaging 14.7 points a game and nearly three assists a contest.

Ryley Callaghan

Ryley Callaghan

The 6’1″ Port Orchard, Wash. native drilled 69 three-pointers on the season. He prepped at South Kitsap High School.

Wing Donavan Taylor is a 6’3″ starter from Chaffey CC (Calif.), where he averaged nine points and 6.5 rebounds a game.

Donavan Taylor

Donavan Taylor

Taylor played at Silverado High School in Compton, Calif.

Arnold Silva is a 6’5″ forward that played the past two seasons at Santa Rosa JC (Calif.), averaging 7.1 points and a team-best 7.2 rebounds a contest.

Arnold Silva

Arnold Silva

He came to Santa Rose from Healdsburg, Calif.

The most noticeable recruit is 6’11” freshman Onyx Boyd.

Onyx Boyd

The Virginia Beach native missed half of his senior season at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School with an injury, but prior to that was on the radar of a number of NCAA Division I programs.

As a junior, he ranked sixth in the state of Virginia in scoring.

Rounding out the class is freshman Eric Wattree, a 6’3″ wing from South Kitsap, Wash.

Eric Wattree

Eric Wattree

Wattree, a former high school teammate of Callaghan, averaged nearly 25 points a game and three assists a contest for the Wolves. His father Eric, Sr., was a collegiate standout at Wyoming and Azusa Pacific.

“This is a great recruiting class for us,” Coleman said. “We’ve added height and talent, and I feel like we finally look like a full-fledged Division II team. That’s a start for where we need to be, because we play in what I think is the toughest D-II league in the country in the Pacific West Conference.”

The Vulcans will open the 2016-17 season on the road, taking on west region schools Simon Fraser (Nov. 11), Seattle Pacific (Nov. 12) and Saint Martin’s (Nov. 15). UHH will also play sister school and 2015-16 NCAA tournament squad UH Manoa, at the Stan Sheriff Center on Nov. 22.

Hawaii Rush Soccer Team Wins National Championship… Again!

Winning a National Cup Finals championship means you’ve joined elite company.

Hawaii RushAbout 1,000 teams compete over the course of National Cup Regionals and the Finals, and that doesn’t even incorporate total state cup participation, which exceeds that.

With only 20 teams capturing national titles last month at the National Cup XV Finals, mathematics alone proves that winning your last game of US Club Soccer’s cup-based national championship series is a rare feat. The Hawaii Rush ’02 girls team one-upped those odds by winning the U-13 Premier Group championship last year and then winning the U-14 Premier Group title this year. This year, that feat was only accomplished by Hawaii Rush ‘02.

“I feel that this championship impacts all of these players for a lifetime,” Hawaii Rush coach Brent Murakami said. “It may not just be holding on to the trophy at the end of the tournament, but all the work that was put in to achieve that success. These girls needed to sacrifice a lot for this championship: time spent on the field instead of with friends, waking up early, sleeping early, being pushed physically and mentally.

“I think that the determination to overcome all those frustrations and sacrifices will take them a long way in life. It’s important to understand that getting to the top does not come easy. Unfortunately, only one team can win and that teaches the players to be proud, but to be humble. I believe that had been displayed by them throughout the entire tournament.”

The ultimate results may have been the same at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind. as it was at Aurora Sports Park in Aurora, Colo., but Murakami said the similarities stop there.

National Cup XV Finals in Aurora, Colo.:

  • Hawaii Rush ’02 5, GPS ME Phoenix Elite 1
  • Hawaii Rush ’02 4, FC Stars ’02 NH United 0
  • Hawaii Rush ’02 1, NEFC Premier South 0
  • Hawaii Rush ’02 2, NEFC Premier South 0

National Cup XIV Finals in Westfield, Ind.:

  • Hawaii Rush ’02 2, Washington East SC ’01 2
  • Hawaii Rush ’02 1, Cincinnati United Premier Black 01/02 1
  • Hawaii Rush ’02 2, California Odyssey ’01 1
  • Hawaii Rush ’02 3, Cincinnati United Premier Black 01/02 0

“Last year was our first opportunity for these girls to make a US Club Soccer national appearance,” he said. “It was tough last year in the sense that it was their first. Everything was new to them. It was the first time playing beyond the West Coast for most of the girls.”

This year, Murakami admits that the girls weren’t playing to their potential heading into the tournament after a “roller coaster spring season.” But, the momentum started changing through good training sessions.

“This tournament was different, because we were now the defending champions and we were no longer flying under the radar. Although we had never played any of the teams in our pool before, they all knew that we were the defending champions. There was motivation for them.”

With any national championship event, scouting is difficult. The team and even the coaching staff weren’t familiar with the teams they faced in pool play (GPS ME Phoenix Elite, FC Stars NH United and NEFC Premier South). But, Hawaii Rush managed to score first in all of its games – and not only score first, but do it within the first five minutes of each game.

As the girls enjoy their back-to-back championship notoriety, Murakami insists they’ve not entertained the idea of a three-peat just yet. “We are just so happy for the girls to win this year,” he said, adding they welcome the challenge of being moved to the Super Group (most competitive) next year if they qualify to the National Cup XVI Finals. “To end the year playing the quality of soccer they played in the tournament was awesome.”

Hawaii Surf Legends Compete for Four Seasons Surfing Championship Trophy in the Maldives

Competition is underway at the Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy 2016 with Day One seeing competitors return to basics and hitting the water on single fin boards. Taj Burrow (AUS) took out the division in pumping 3 to 4-foot clean right-handers at Sultans.

Kauai Women's surfer Bethanny Hamilton is competing against the guys.

Kauai Women’s surfer Bethany Hamilton is competing against the guys.

Burrow, who had only just ridden a single fin for the first time yesterday put on an amazing show all day pulling into barrels and smashing vertical re-entries on the groomed walls of Sultans.

In the final, Burrow came up against former Pipe Master Rob Machado (USA). The two went blow for blow but it was Burrow who came out on top with a heat total of 14.94 (out of a possible 20).

“Surfing in a final on a single fin against Rob Machado is like a dream,” Burrow said. “That was just so much fun, the waves are sick and my board felt really good. It’s a bit bigger than what I’m used to but you could really push it through turns. I’m just having such a sick time here on Kuda Huraa, we’re all being so spoiled.”

Machado, who was surfing on a board he shaped himself, was a real standout. Surfing a single fin at a wave like Sultans on your backhand is no easy task, but Machado made light work of it posting high heat scores all day.

“That was so fun out there,” Machado said. “The conditions are so dreamy today. It’s been so sick to catch up with Shane (Dorian) and the rest of the crew especially here in paradise. It doesn’t get any better.”

Last year’s event Champion Shane Dorian (HAW) came up against childhood friend and single fin master Machado in Semifinal two. Dorian tucked into a number of barrels for a heat total of 15.34 to tie with Machado who won on a count back due to receiving the highest single wave score of the heat.

“Rob and I have been competing against each other since we were kids,” Dorian said. “We’re good friends so it was super chilled out there. Rob is surfing as good as he ever has so it was sick to share waves with him. It’s just such a pleasure to be back at this event.”

Semifinal one was an amazing duel between Taj Burrow and WSL Deputy Commissioner and former CT competitor Travis Logie (ZAF). Logie’s backhand was on point going vertical on critical sections to earn himself a heat total of 17.06. He was unable to overcome Burrow’s division high score of 18.44.

“They were the best waves I’ve had in a heat in over ten years,” Logie said. “Taj was just getting tubes and I was doing a million turns, it was so fun. It’s always great when you both get opportunities. The conditions are perfect for a single fin, just so good.”

Jamie O'Brien in Kona recently.

Jamie O’Brien in Kona recently.

In one of the slower heats of the morning, Hawaii’s Jamie O’Brien was unable to find an early score as the ocean went flat. As the heat progressed he began to develop momentum as the waves built. Left needing a 8.40, O’Brien took off on one of the better looking waves of the heat pulling into a long barrel across the inside section; unfortunately it was after the siren and O’Brien bowed out of the day’s competition.

“This is such a unique contest,” O’Brien said. “When a wave comes through and it’s your turn, it’s a real treat; this wave is so perfect. It was a real challenge to ride the single find, you have to take off a bunch of talent and just go with the feel of it. It’s really cool out there, everyone was super relaxed so it was really cool.”

Local Trials Winner Hussain ‘Iboo’ Areef (MDV) had to ask a friend if he could borrow a single fin as the young Maldivian had never ridden one before. His lack of experience did not show as the goofy footer nailed backhand hit after backhand hit. His heat total of 12.40 was not enough to move into the Semifinals so Areef will now set his sights on the twin fin division.

“Riding a single fin is really different,” Areef said. “You have to really slow everything down. It was so cool to see Travis, Jamie and Shane surfing up close; they were all ripping. I surf out at Sultans a lot and it can get really busy so having it with only four people out there was awesome.”

Single Fin Division Results:

Round 1 –
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.67, Rob Machado (USA) 14.67, Bethany Hamilton (HAW) 13.56
Heat 2: Shane Dorian (HAW) 15.93, Travis Logie (ZAF) 14.33, Iboo Areef (MDV) 12.44, Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 7.86
Semifinals –
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 18.44, Travis Logie (ZAF) 17.06
Heat 2: Rob Machado (USA) 15.34, Shane Dorian (HAW) 15.34
Final: Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.94, Rob Machado (USA) 14.00

Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame Announces the 2016 Inductees

The Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame announces the 2016 inductees. The ceremony will take place at the Outrigger Canoe Club on the 23rd August, the eve of what would be the 126th birthday of Duke Kahanamoku, the father of modern surfing.

“The Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame honors legends and celebrates those who help perpetuate the spirit and legacy of Duke Kahanamoku,” notes Bill Pratt, co‐chair of the Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame.

Miss Yokohama greets Hokule'a captain Bruce Blankenfeld when the canoe reached the end of its Voyage to Japan.

Miss Yokohama greets Hokule’a captain Bruce Blankenfeld when the canoe reached the end of its Voyage to Japan.

Bruce Blankenfeld is one of the most influential figures in canoe paddling and Polynesian Voyaging Society.  He is a distinguished pwo navigator and captain of the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokulea and was the president of Hui Nalu Canoe Club for more than 20 years.

Diane Stowell

Diane Stowell

Diane Stowell is an All-America swimmer at UCLA. She went on to claim more than 100 national and international titles in swimming. Stowell was also a dedicated volunteer in her community, serving on numerous charitable boards and serving as a counselor in the Hawaii prison system.

Paul Strauch, Jr.

Paul Strauch, Jr.

Paul Strauch, Jr. was one of the most influential figures in the world of surfing back in the 1960s. Founder of the “Cheater Five” and the first to use bottom turns in large waves, Strauch won numerous surfing titles and was a member of the prestigious Duke Kahanamoku Surf Team.

Sharron Weber

Sharron Weber

Sharron Weber is a two-time world surfing champion and member of the Surfing Walk of Fame. Weber is also known today as a leader in her community. Weber was recently bestowed with the prestigious Kauai Living Treasures Award, given for her lifetime commitment and kokua to her community.

The Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame awards dinner will recognize the honorees, and it will raise money for Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation’s (ODKF) college scholarships and athletic grants program.

Since its inception in 1986, ODKF has gifted more than 2.5 million dollars to scholar athletes and non‐profit organizations in Hawaii. Past Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame inductees include Duke Kahanamoku, Eddie Aikau, Fred Hemmings, Mark Cunningham, Randy Rarick, Duane DeSoto and much more.

Paradise Roller Girls Looking for New Recruits

The Paradise Roller Girls are looking to expand their forces and recruit more girls to join their roller derby league for the upcoming season.

PRG 2016 recruitment

Anyone immediately interested should attend the informational session Friday Sept. 9 at Wainaku Gym starting at 6 p.m.

This will be a “formal kind of presentation where we explain what the sport is and isn’t, the expected time commitment, anticipated upfront costs, practice schedule and more,” Michelle ‘Da Kraken’ Montgomery, PRG President and active skater said.

In the past, PRG has put on a Rookie Camp where new people can learn to skate through repetitive drills and activities. This year, Paradise Roller Girls will not be hosting a Rookie Camp.

Instead, the league encourages anyone interested in becoming a derby girl to come to “Free Skate Friday.”

Open to the community nearly every Friday night located at 30 Aikane Loop Rd in Wainaku, Free Skate Friday is a great place to practice the basics of skating. Several league skaters are typically present and available to help anyone who desires to improve their skating or talk story.

“I love talking blood and guts with people when it comes to skating and answering questions they may have,” Amy ‘AC SlayedHer’ Shipley, PRG coach and skater said. “I’ve made the best friends of my life playing roller derby.”

Those seriously considering joining the league will also be encouraged to attend open skate practices (closed to the general public) Sundays at Wainaku from 9-10 a.m.

A key aspect to be noted—although PRG is a competitive skate league, skaters have the option to be fully recreational. Some girls participate just for the physical training. It serves as great exercise and fun workout, helping women get into better shape.

“I can go up so many stairs at work now and I don’t get tired,” Shipley said.

The league also welcomes people who may not want to skate but would like to be a part of the derby culture. Non-skating officials, penalty timers, and jam timers are always needed. Those inquiring about such positions can find more information by attending the informational recruitment session Sept. 9. Other recruitment sessions will be held in the same venue Oct. 4 and Nov. 7.

Any questions should be directed to the Paradise Roller Girls Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/paradiserollergirls/?fref=ts.

Registration Deadline Extended for ‘Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation has extended the registration deadline for its 20th Annual ‘Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament until Friday, August 12.

Ohana Fishing Tournament fishCompleted registration forms must be turned in to the Recreation Division office located at 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo or postmarked by Friday, August 12. Registration forms, along with tournament rules, are available at County Parks and Recreation facilities island-wide, S. Tokunaga Store in Hilo and J. Hara Store in Kurtistown. The forms also can be found online at: http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation/.

The ‘Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament will open Friday, August 19, and end with weigh-ins conducted from noon until 1:30 p.m. Sunday, August 21, at Honoka‘a Gymnasium.

Separate divisions are offered for keiki 5 to 12 years old, teens, men, women, kūpuna at least 55 years old, and ‘ohana or families. There also will be a barbless circle hook challenge. Entry fee is either $25 or $30 per person or family, depending on the division entered. Please make checks payable to “County Director of Finance.”

For more information about the ‘Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament, please call Jayme Carvalho at 962-2109 or 936-4285.

Hawaii Skydivers Make Historic Jump – Land in Cuba

This past week skydivers from Hawaii flew to Cuba to take part in a historic jump.  Skydive Hawaii presented the largest Cuban flag to be flown over their country to Skydive Varadero.

First Jump over Skydive Varadero, Cuba. It was supposed to be a hop & pop "solo". 😁 Spectacular! Get to add an AN-2 to my logbook... If you're in Cuba, go check out Skydive Varadero! ‪#‎skydivevaradero‬ ‪#‎vivacuba‬ ‪#‎cuba‬ ‪#‎varadero‬ ~ Frank T.K. Hinshaw

First Jump over Skydive Varadero, Cuba. It was supposed to be a hop & pop “solo”. 😁 Spectacular! Get to add an AN-2 to my logbook… If you’re in Cuba, go check out Skydive Varadero! ‪#‎skydivevaradero‬ ‪#‎vivacuba‬ ‪#‎cuba‬ ‪#‎varadero‬ ~ Frank T.K. Hinshaw

Frank T.K. Hinshaw made the first large flag jump over Varadero landing with the Cuban national anthem being played over their public address system during the first friendship competition.

Hinshaw posted the following on Facebook:  They let me jump, just like this. Amazing. They could’ve let a Cuban make the historic first jump, but instead they let this crazy Americano do it.

Hinshaw in CubaFellow Skydive Hawaii members, Richard Doppelmayer, Nelson Suarez, William DeBlois and Elio Esqueda joined Hinshaw in the historic jump.  His father Frank Hinshaw (Sr.) was the sponsor and representative for Skydive Hawaii.

T.K. went on to say, “Our goal was to establish friendly relationships with the Cuban skydivers and to understand their needs in order to conduct safer skydiving and grow the sport within their country. We’d like to see more Cubans be able to access the sport…

To that end, we are hoping that we receive a Office of Foreign Assests Control (OFAC) approval to provide gear, training, and possibly an aircraft.

Cuba is beautiful and we believe our island skydiving expertise can bridge the division between America and Cuba. My hope is that our relationship normalize and that both countries can realize their full potential in working together for a brighter future for both the people of the United States and Cuba.”

Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp Moving to UHH Gym Due to Tropical Storm Darby

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation will move next week’s Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Gymnasium.

Yagi

All children participating in the camp should report to the UHH Gym, located at 200 West Kāwili Street in Hilo, at 8 a.m. Tuesday, July 26, for registration and the opening day of the camp.

The new venue will replace the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium, which has been reserved for another event that must be postponed to protect attendees from the anticipated impacts of Tropical Storm Darby.

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo for allowing its gymnasium to be used for the Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp. The department also apologizes for any inconvenience the venue change may cause and thanks camp participants and their families for their understanding.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

Halfway to Hawaii – 59 “Pacific Cup” Entrants Underway

The biennial Pacific Cup attracted 64 entrants for the 2070 nautical mile course from San Francisco to Hawaii, with the fleet divided among four staggered starts on July 11, 12, 14, and 15. With 59 of the 64 teams underway, here is a report from the race office on July 17.

Halfway

Halfway to Hawaii! Overnight, the first of the racers reached their halfway point, but it’s likely that there wasn’t a lot of time for celebration given the big breeze carrying them along at top speeds. The forecast still looks strong and near perfect for the entire fleet with wind speeds in the high teens to mid 20s.

Concerns about the tropical storms are waning, with Cecilia moving off to the north and hurricane Darby forecast to weaken to a tropical storm and track South of Hawaii as it hits cooler waters. Closer to Hawaii, racers will be facing squalls, advancing the big dogs and challenging the smaller boats. Everyone will be focused on VMG and gybing in local shifts.

Standings

As of this morning’s position reports, in the Kolea Double Handed Division, Moore 24 Mas! retains her lead in division and Pac Cup overall with another impressive 203 mile 24 hour run and 198 mile CMG (course made good). Second in division, Nozomi also recorded a 200+ mile day and Evermoore continues in third place.

In the North Sails Double Handed 2 Division, Sailing for ALS holds the lead on corrected time while California Condor is on a pace to potentially be the first boat to finish. With half the race to go, lighter boats like Wolfpack will be looking to erase the gap, and the maxis in the BMW of San Rafael Division will likely blast past the entire fleet.

As of the halfway point, the Cal 40 Redhead continues to lead in Honu Division A, ahead of Windswept Lady who has slowly been closing the gap.

Continuing to hold her first place position in the Weems and Plath Division B, is J/42 Tiki J. However Encore and RV Aloha are nipping at her heels, and with half the race still to go, this will be a competition to watch.

In the Alaska Airlines Division, Express 37s Limitless and Elan are very close, with Limitless maintaining a slight edge. Close behind are race veterans Sweet Okole and Tiki Blue.

Competition in the Pasha Hawaii ORR Division is extremely close, with current leader J World’s Hula Girl maintaining a slight lead over Surprise, and Oaxaca. The estimated difference in corrected finish times between the top four boats in this division is less than six hours, with over 1300 miles to go.

Pyewacket, the early leader in the BMW of San Rafael ORR Division, continues on a quick pace having logged 363 miles over the past 24 hours. Rio 100 covered an impressive 470 miles with an average VMG of nearly 20kts, and she could be on a pace to beat Mari Cha’s record of 5 days, 5 hours, 38 minutes, and 10 seconds. The 56 ft. rocket ship Varuna VI is charging along at over 18 kts, and had a 434 mile 24 hour run. (Note that due to her late arrival in SF Bay, Varuna’s PHRF certificate has not yet been issued, so her overall ranking is not being calculated in the standings.)

In the Latitude 38 Cruising Division Ticket II remains well ahead of the rest of the fleet, but they’re now being passed by the racers.

Reports from the racers indicate that many repairs have been required – not surprising given the conditions, especially the large and sometimes confused seas that can slam the boats around. The lack of sunshine has also been an issue for those boats relying solely on solar power to charge electronics such as sat phones and navigation computers.

Spadefoot, reported some significant resourcefulness, after losing the use of their sprit following a wipe out. Initially expecting that they would be out of the race, they’re now back in the hunt.

Early Registration Fee for Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp Extended

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation is extending the discounted early-registration fee for its 4th Annual Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp that returns to Hilo July 26-29.

Yagi

Parents who have not yet signed up their keiki may still take advantage of the reduced $60 per-child entry fee that was to have expired July 13.   New registrations will be accepted up until the first day of camp July 26.

Registration forms are available at the Department’s Recreation office located within Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Lū‘au Hale at 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo, county gyms, and online at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation/.

Please make checks payable to the “County Director of Finance” and include the note “Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp.”

The Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp is named in honor of the legendary former UH-Hilo men’s basketball coach who helped guide the Vulcans-Hawai‘i Basketball School for 37 years. Open to boys and girls 9 to 17 years old, the camp will be held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium and the Pana‘ewa Covered Play Courts, which feature new flooring.

A team of coaches will instruct and supervise campers as they practice agility, ball-handling and other drills during morning skill sessions.
Following a lunch break, players will showcase what they’ve learned by competing in games expected to last until about 3:30 p.m. each day. Special awards will be presented to outstanding participants at the close of the four-day camp.

FREE to First 120 Children – ‘Aha Pai’ea Keiki Sports Challenge at UH Hilo

The annual ‘Aha Pai’ea Keiki Sports Challenge is slated for Saturday, August 27 at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo Athletic complex.
Keiki Challenge at UHH
Hosted by the UH Hilo Vulcan Athletic Department and the Vulcan Booster Club, the challenge runs from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. It is FREE and limited to first 120 children 7-12 years old to register. Lunch, beverages and a t-shirt will be provided.

Registration forms are available by clicking on link below, emailing vulcansathletics@gmail.com or calling Vulcan Booster Club ‘Aha Pai’ea Coordinator Ed Torrison at 808-987-3215.

Through the course of the day, participants need to be prepared for vigorous physical activity and should bring a water bottle, running shoes and wear comfortable attire. Various activities are scheduled in baseball, basketball, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.

For more information call 808-987-3215.

Registration form

Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament Aug. 19-21

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation invites anglers to register for the 20th Annual ‘Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament that will be held August 19-21.

Fishing Tournament Fish

Separate divisions are offered for keiki 5 to 12 years old, teens, men, women, kūpuna at least 55 years old, and ‘ohana or families. There also will be a barbless circle hook challenge. Entry fee is either $25 or $30 per person or family, depending on the division entered. Please make checks payable to “County Director of Finance.”

Weigh-ins will be conducted from noon until 1:30 p.m. Sunday, August 21, at Honoka‘a Gymnasium.

Completed registration forms must be turned in to the Department’s Recreation Division office at 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo or postmarked by Friday, July 29. Registration forms, along with tournament rules, are available at County Parks and Recreation facilities island-wide, S. Tokunaga Store in Hilo and J. Hara Store in Kurtistown. The forms also can be found online at: http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation/.

For more information about the ‘Ohana Shoreline Fishing Tournament, please call Jayme Carvalho at 962-2109 or 936-4285.

UH Hilo Announces Resignation of Softball Coach

University of Hawai’i at Hilo Athletic Director Patrick Guillen today announced the resignation of Softball Head Coach Patty “Peejay” Brun, effective July 1, 2016. Brun leaves UH Hilo to become associate head softball coach at Texas State University.

Patty "Peejay" Brun

Patty “Peejay” Brun

“I have very mixed emotions with Coach Brun’s departure,” Guillen said. “On one hand, I am happy for her and her family who she will be reunited with in Texas and also for this professional opportunity to move back to the NCAA I level.  But selfishly, Vulcan Athletics is losing a top-notch coach who is a great mentor, educator and leader for our softball student-athletes.

“I am grateful to Coach Brun for her tireless work ethic and commitment to building a solid program that our community is proud of.  Our loss is certainly Texas State’s gain.”

Brun joined UH Hilo in 2014. In her two seasons with the Vulcans, her teams compiled a 63-33-1 record with back-to-back 30-win seasons and produced an all-American.

“I’d like to thank Chancellor Donald Straney and Tim Moore for giving me the opportunity to be at the helm of UH Hilo softball,” Brun said. “I’d also like to thank the University and town of Hilo for embracing me and helping me transition so quickly.  The love and aloha that was shown to me from the moment I stepped on the island has meant so much.

“It has been an absolute privilege to coach here and be a part of the Vulcan family. Finally, I’d like to thank Pat Guillen for his great support this year.  His vision for the program is one that I know will help take it to great success.

“The next step has presented itself in this opportunity to coach and be with my family and it was an opportunity we felt could not be turned down.”

A search for Brun’s replacement will begin immediately.

“I am confident we will be able to identify and bring in a quality coach,” Guillen said. “We have some big shoes to fill.”

Barbless Circle Hooks Angling for Converts – 13th Annual Tokunaga Ulua Challenge

At Sunday’s 13th annual Tokunaga Ulua Challenge Fishing Tournament weigh-in, you’d hear a call for “Mr. Barbless Hook.” That would be Kurt Kawamoto, a fisheries biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center.

fish tournamentKawamoto earned the moniker as the driving force behind the NOAA and DLNR Barbless Circle Hook Project. Each time a fish caught with a barbless circle hook weighed in, Kawamoto stepped forward to slap a special sticker on it, and hopefully to see a new record. Since initiating the program more than a decade ago, ulua and other fish caught by shoreline fishermen with barbless hooks have weighed in at one hundred pounds or more; winning more than just a few tournaments.

The Tokunaga tournament has grown from 136 entrants in 2003 to 637 this year. It’s estimated more than 50% of the contestants catch their fish using barbless circle hooks. In 2015, the winning ulua was caught with a barbless hook. This year, the winning omilu was caught by a woman fishing barbless.

Making a barbless hook is really simple. You use a pair of pliers to smash down the barb. Kawamoto explains, “Once you smash down the barbs on these hooks they become self-shedding, so that was the main idea behind it. It’s easy for a fish, or a seal or a turtle to get rid of the hook themselves.” Researchers have witnessed a monk seal actually shed a barbless circle hook and anglers have relayed stories about sea turtles also easily expelling barbless hooks.

Fish Tournament 2Although it’s easier for animals to rid themselves of the hooks, research, angler reports, and actual catches with barbless circle hooks have proved their efficacy when it comes to catching target fish. During a shoreline research project, fishers used two poles; one with a barbed hook, the other with a barbless one. Kawamoto said, “We caught over 300 shoreline fish, of many different kinds. We looked at the catches, losses and misses and statistically we couldn’t tell the difference. Essentially you could catch just as many fish with a barbless circle hook.”

Michael Tokunaga, the organizer of the tournament, sponsored by his store, S. Tokunaga, regularly hosts DLNR outreach representatives from the Barbless Circle Hook Project. He would like to see acceptance of the barbless hooks for his tournament to grow to 75% or better. He said, “This is for conservation and releasing unwanted catches. It’s just a way of fishing smart. When you catch a fish, the hook is normally in the side of the mouth. The barb has nothing to do with it in my opinion.”

Fish Tournament 3After observing the Ulua Challenge last year, and entering this year, Carlo Russo of Pahoa fishes from the shoreline, using barbless circle hooks exclusively. He feels there’s absolutely no downside to using them. A few hours before the tournament weigh-in, fishing with a friend on the edge of Hilo Bay, he commented, “My experience with them has been 100% positive. I caught three papio’s, nice size papio’s on them, and didn’t lose any fish. Popped them right out; all perfectly caught in the corner of their mouths.” He also likes the fact that the barbless hooks keep bait fish alive longer, because they make a smaller hole, saying, “That’s a really big plus.”

The outreach team from the Barbless Circle Hook Project regularly attends fishing tournaments around the state to provide information, encouragement, and free barbless circle hooks. Kawamoto concluded, “Since starting the project I only use barbless hooks in my personal shoreline fishing and I’ve caught all the same species. I couldn’t in good conscience ask fisherman to try something that I don’t use or believe in myself. I have guys on every island who are only using barbless hooks and they’ve seen it doesn’t make a difference…and allows the big one that got away…to reproduce, to grow and possibly to be caught another day. This helps enhance the reputation of fishermen and women as practicing conservationists.”

Hawaii State Urges Consumers with Sports Authority Gift Cards to Redeem Unused Balances Immediately

Stephen Levins, Executive Director of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affair’s Office of Consumer Protection, is urging Hawaii consumers who may be holding gift cards, certificates or store credits from Sports Authority to redeem their balances as soon as possible. Consumers are also urged to return unwanted merchandise immediately for a refund or exchange.

sports authority gift card

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March of this year, and initially had received approval from the bankruptcy court to proceed with business as usual. The company has since announced plans to begin liquidating its business throughout the United States, including its operations in Hawaii. Change is expected in the coming weeks, with an auction scheduled for late May, making the future of the company uncertain.

“An important guideline with gift cards is to use them as soon as you can, because if a store closes or goes bankrupt, there may be little to no recourse for a consumer to recover an unspent balance,” said Executive Director Levins. “If you currently have a Sports Authority gift card, you should use it immediately to avoid losing whatever credit it contains.”

Sports Authority operates eight stores in Hawaii, in Hilo, Honolulu, Kahului, Kailua-Kona, Kaneohe, Kapolei, Lihue, and Waikele.

Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp Returns to Hilo

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation invites keiki basketball players to the 4th Annual Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp that returns to Hilo July 26-29.

YagiOpen to boys and girls 9 to 17 years old, the Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp will be held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium and the Pana‘ewa Covered Play Courts, which feature new flooring.

David Kaneshiro, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo head women’s basketball coach, and GE Coleman, UH-Hilo head men’s coach, will serve as lead clinicians. Each will share basketball expertise and offer personalized instruction during the four-day camp. Assisting the Vulcan coaches will be Daphne Honma, Honoka‘a High School girls basketball coach, previous Division II coach of the year, and former UH-Hilo head women’s basketball coach. Additional college and high school coaches have been invited to be camp clinicians.

A team of coaches will instruct and supervise campers as they practice agility, ball-handling and other drills during morning skill sessions. Following a lunch break, players will showcase what they’ve learned by competing in games expected to last until about 3:30 p.m. each day. Special awards will be presented to outstanding participants at the close of Friday’s session.

The registration fee is $60 per child. The fee will increase to $70 for players registering after Tuesday, July 12. All participants will receive a camp shirt and group photo. Please make checks payable to the County Director of Finance and include the note “Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp.”

Registration forms are available at the Department’s Recreation office located within Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Lū‘au Hale at 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo, county gyms islandwide, and online at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/parks-and-recreation/.

The Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp is named in honor of the legendary former UH-Hilo men’s basketball coach who helped guide the Vulcans-Hawai‘i Basketball School for 37 years.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

Paradise Roller Girls Quadruple Header Coming Up

The Civic was aroused Sat., April 30 as the first roller derby home bouts were held between Pacific Roller Derby and Waimea Wranglers Rough Rollers and Hilo’s very own Paradise Roller Girls.

roller derby 5316Waimea came away most successful, holding a 2-0 victory over both Pacific and Paradise.  PRG lost to Waimea for the second time this season but turned out a 182-105 victory over the Hulagans. Pacific lost both games.

If you missed out on the action this time, don’t worry, local roller derby is ramping up with another home bout around the corner.  Saturday, June 4 will be an all day event with four teams scrapping for wins.

“The first game starts at 11 a.m. and the last game probably won’t end until 8:30 p.m..  That’s so much roller derby. I am just thinking of how much I am going to get slammed into on the track,” Hannah “Hawkalolo Hottie” Hawkins, Paradise Roller Girls skater, said.

Admission is $5 for adults and free for children under the age of 5. Tickets can be bought at Jungle Love, CD Wizzard, Mt. View Video, Kadota Liquor, Lucy’s Taqueria, at the door or from any of the Paradise Roller Girls.