Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lanakila women win again and again!

There's no stopping the women from the Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club who compete for the Ocean of Hope, a series of ocean races that raise money and awareness for the Sarcoma Alliance.

The women's team won first place Sept. 10 in the U.S. Outrigger Championships for the second time in a row. The canoe club is based in Redondo Beach, and the 27-mile race starts in Newport Harbor and ends in Avalon on Catalina Island, all in Los Angeles County.

"It was a very hard race. The conditions were on the ama [outrigger float] side the whole time, and our team had to slog through wind chop and unfavorable swell direction to make it to first place," says Aimee Spector, O2H co-captain. "We beat the second place team by four minutes."

In addition to Spector, the team consisted of Jeane Barrett, Jill Schooler, Dani Bell, Jean Geddes, Kellie Lancaster, Theresa Connelly, Laurie Parker and Lise Fernow. O2H members in two Bradley canoes who raced in that division were: Dawn Suskin, Heather Suskin, Katy Arnold, Agnes Regeczkey, Tanya Muhle and Nancy Hu.

"Our Bradley teams got first and fourth place medals, and all of these teams had O2H team members in them," Spector says. "I am sending out a final thank-you email to supporters to update them on our win and to invite people to donate a final time for the year."

The O2H team also took first place Sept. 17 in the Pailolo Maui to Molokai race in Hawaii. Spector holds the trophy in the photo on the left. On the same day, her husband, Kelly, and Alliance board member Dave Murphy gave out information on sarcoma, sold gear and accepted donations at Hennessey's World SUP and Paddleboard Championships in Hermosa Beach, Calif.

Although the season ended this month, you can still donate on behalf of the paddlers here. Mark your calendars for the Power of the Ocean – Ocean of Hope Gala on Jan. 21. It will raise money specifically for Hand in Hand: the Suzanne R. Leider Memorial Assistance Fund, which offers financial assistance for second opinions by reimbursing expenses related to travel, phone bills, costs of the evaluation, and related expenses.

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