This oral history interview is a project of the Historical Committee of the Outrigger Canoe Club. The legal rights of this material remain with the Outrigger Canoe Club. Anyone wishing to reproduce it or quote at length from it should contact the Historical Committee of the Outrigger Canoe Club. The reader should be aware that an oral history document portrays information as recalled by the interviewee. Because of the spontaneous nature of this kind of document, it may contain statements and impressions that are not factual. A full transcript of the video may be found below.
An Interview by Marilyn Kali
June 8, 2018
MK: Today is Friday, June 8, 2018, and we’re at the Portlock home of Mark Sandvold. I’m Marilyn Kali, a member of the Club’s Historical Committee. One of the Historical Committee’s projects is to do oral histories of longtime members, and today, it’s my pleasure to be talking to Mark Sandvold. Good morning, Mark.
MCS: Good morning.
MK: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? When and where you were born?
MCS: I was born in Honululu in 1966, at Kapiolani Hospital, lived in Kahala, we had a small house in Kahala. I have some memories of it, but not a whole lot because we kept moving around, and then … That’s where I was born.
MK: What are your parent’s names?
MCS: My mom’s name is Dolores and my dad’s name is Norris, Norris and Dolores Sandvold. They are not members, but that’s okay because I found Outrigger, I got lucky.
MK: You have one brother?
MCS: I have one brother, Todd, he’s a year and a half younger than me.
MK: Where did you go to school?
MCS: I went to Punahou. I transferred into Punahou in the fifth grade, I was at Our Redeemer, and I took summer sports at Punahou and saw all the sports programs that they had there, and I wanted to go there so I could do stuff, wrestling, football, water polo, so I chose Punahou in fifth grade.
MK: What year did you graduate?
MK: Are there other Outrigger members who were in your class?
MCS: Yes. Mark Norfleet, his father Nat Norfleet was a head coach and Mark was a classmate of mine, and he’s the reason I started paddling in fifth grade because we needed paddlers for our team, and that’s when I joined Outrigger. There’s about six other people, Howie Klemmer is a member, Greg Sheehan and La’akea Ka’awa maybe, was a member.
MK: You mentioned some sports you joined Punahou to play, wrestling was one of them?
MCS: Wrestling, yes. I got second in state my sophomore year, but then my junior year, I hyperextended my elbow and I couldn’t wrestle anymore, so it’s just all water polo and paddling. That’s when I got really into kayaking.
MK: Tell me about water polo. Did they have both men’s and women’s teams then or just men’s?
MCS: They have men’s and women’s now. When I was playing it was just men’s and we did pretty good. Ken Smith, my coach, is still there to this day and Bruce Gordon was a coach, he’s a member of Outrigger, he was my coach, I think my sophomore year, and he was really inspirational.
MK: Did you letter in those sports?
MK: Did you do any other sports at Punahou?
MCS: No, just wrestling and water polo. I mentioned Howie Klemmer, his mom was a doctor, and she forbade us to play football because she treated a lot of men in their 40’s and 50’s with a lot of back problems, and she said, “None of my boys,” she took me under her wing, “are going to play football.” She called my mom and that was it, I couldn’t play football. They forbade me to, forbidden.
MK: Where did you go to college?
MCS: That’s a good question. I went a bunch of places, I ended up at USC. I graduated from USC in 1990 in the business school, which is really good, in the entrepreneur program. It was really a good program at USC, but I went one semester at UH, one year in Colorado, and I got homesick or Hawaii-sick and came back, went to UH, and then I knew I needed more. I wanted to get off the rock so to speak, so I transferred to USC.
MK: Graduated in 1990.
MK: Did you play any sports there?
MCS: No, I didn’t. I just focused on … Well, I was doing the Olympic Kayak Program, I was training for that, and I took a year off actually and traveled with the team. I lived in Florida and we trained for six months prior to the 1998 Olympics, and I missed the team by one spot. That was a little bit of a bummer, but after that I kind of focused on school because I wanted to get my life back, and when you’re training for the Olympics it’s everything. It’s two workouts a day, constantly training. It’s a little much.
MK: We’ll talk about that in a little bit.
MK: What did you do after you graduated?
MCS: I moved back home and immediately I started paddling again, and I won Molokai (Hoe) in 1990. That was a great summer of paddling, and I was the youngest guy in the team, and the only reason I think I got a shot is because when I paddled on the mainland I was paddling with IMUA, and we raced Outrigger. I’ll never forget lining up next to Outrigger when they were in their prime, and we beat them in Catalina, and I was the stroker. Steve Scott knew what I was capable of, and he needed some young blood, and everyone else was mid-thirties and I was twenty-four or twenty-two or something like that, and we won Molokai.
MK: It was a good, good year.
MK: You joined the military at some point?
MCS: When I came back home (from college) I was working real estate, commercial real estate in 1990, and the economy was really bad in the early 90’s as you remember. Real estate wasn’t really happening, and I had a boyhood dream of flying jets, and Ed Pickering, who is a member at Outrigger, who is a paddler too, and a really great mentor, he brought me down there to the Guard, Hawaii Guard, and I checked it out and I said, “Yeah, I could do this.” I mean, this would be great, so I joined.
The first year I was accepted, but as a … they called it a back-up kind of an alternate I guess, because they only take one guy out of five hundred people that apply. The second year I was selected as a primary. In 1993 I went off to the Air Force and I had to go into active duty Air Force training, and trained with the Air Force. It took a year, year and a half, to get all the training and then I came back to Hawaii, and was part of the Air National Guard for eleven years.
MK: What kind of planes did you fly?
MCS: I flew the F-15 initially, and then moved into the C-130, and then I finished my career in the heavy C-130 as an air lifter, and that was good because I got to see both sides of it. One was a fighter, and the other one was more humanitarian. We did a lot of real-life rescues, and anytime there was an earthquake or a … Philippines, I remember going to the Philippines and helping out, airlifting food or medicine or helping out people. It was really good.
MK: How long were you in the Guard?
MCS: Eleven years.
MK: Then you left the Guard and you went to work for-
MCS: I got hired with Hawaiian (Airlines) in 1998, and I was kind of doing both. The good thing about the Guard is you are able to go part-time. I was full-time and then when I got hired at Hawaiian I went part-time, and then I was still working with the family business in real estate. I had three jobs and it was too much. In 2001, a week before 9/11 my dad had a heart attack, and because he had a heart attack I put my paperwork in to take a year off with the Guard, because I didn’t want to quit Hawaiian, Hawaiian was too good. Luckily, I got my paperwork in because after 9/11 they didn’t let anyone out. I was able to actually leave, separate from the military in 2011. I didn’t really want to go back to Iraq and do all that kind of stuff.
MK: Were you ever on active duty?
MCS: Yes, I was. Years before that I was probably about six years on active duty.
MK: Did you have an overseas posting?
MCS: Yes, while I was with the Guard, we would … usually it was temporary, we go for like a month or two or a couple of weeks at a time, and then come back. It was never like full-time, we didn’t have to go for a year or anything like that, which was great.
MK: How did you become interested in joining the Outrigger?
MCS: Well, in fifth grade my best friend, Mark Norfleet, said, “Hey Mark, you need to come paddle,” and I, “Where? What?” I didn’t even know about it. Anyway he took me to Outrigger, he bought me a cheeseburger, and a chocolate milk shake, and then we went to paddling practice in a canoe, and I said, “This is great.” I loved it immediately and his father was the head coach in 1978 probably, and Toots Minvielle was a family friend, and sure enough he sponsored me in, he and Nat Norfleet were my sponsors. That’s how I got introduced to Outrigger.
MK: That was in 1978?
MCS: Yes. I was twelve years old.
MK: Is that how your interest in ocean sports started?
MCS: Yeah, totally. I was playing baseball at the time too. I was a really good pitcher, and I remember having to choose between baseball or paddling, and I chose paddling. I chose paddling because it was more my style. I was a surfer, and I was already surfing at an early age, like at seven I started surfing.
MK: Where did you start surfing? Where did you learn?
MCS: Actually my dad was a member of the Elks Club, my earliest days of surfing were right there going in front of the wall or the backwash.
MCS: Surfing out at Tonggs. I was already familiar with the water, but I just wasn’t familiar with Outrigger. When the two things came together it was great, it was like this is for me.
MK: Did you compete in surfing or were you just-
MCS: A little bit, I did Menehune’s and Junior Men, and then after that I didn’t progress because it was a lot of commitment. You had to be all over the place, and my parents both worked very hard so I didn’t get rides out to the surf meets.
MK: What was your favorite surfing place?
MCS: I grew up in Wailupe Circle, that’s still near and dear to me because that’s where I learned how to surf basically, and Makaha we had a friend of the family who had an apartment there at Makaha Shores, right there at Makaha Beach, so I surfed there too. I love surfing in Makaha at an early age.
MK: What’s the biggest surf you ever …
MCS: We have a North Shore house now, and it’s right at Laniakea, and there’s a big wave spot out there called the Himalayas, and it gets twenty feet. I’d surf out there ten to fifteen, not when it was twenty feet, it was just too crazy, but I’d surfed out there ten to fifteen with Karl Heyer (IV), and Marc Haine, and Alan Pflueger, and myself, and Walter Guild. We’d surf out there when it got really big. We had fun.
MK: What kind of boards were you using?
MCS: I think my biggest board was a ten footer, and a nine-six for big days, and then my short boards are about seven-feet six inches, it’s a short board for me. I really love paddling with the older guys so I could go out way outside and catch the biggest waves.
MK: You started paddling, as you mentioned right away, as soon as you joined the Club, and you were on the Boys 12.
MCS: Yes, I think we won states that year.
MK: You guys had a really good team. Who was on that crew, do you remember?
MCS: Mark Norfleet, myself, Hugh Foster, I want to say Matt Kresser, but I’m not sure, and a couple other guys, but Mark was our steersman, and I was the stroker. Our first race, my first race ever we paddled in Kailua, I remember it like yesterday. We paddled out to the starting line, and then we huli, because we were just new, and we had to get the canoe upright, we had to bail it out, they’re waiting for us, and we’re like stressed out. We finally get up to the starting line, the race gun goes off, we paddled and we won, and we’re so excited that we huli again. They’re like, the boat, the escort boat came up to us, “You guys, are you kidding me?” I remember it like yesterday.
MK: Well, there’s always that wind element at Kailua, canoes would huli a lot.
MCS: It was new to us because we were just learning. When I was twelve it was funny, there was not that many swimmers, so we would train right around the catamarans, all that are moored right off the Club and down to the wall and back, that was our workout, but today you can’t do that because there’s so many people going out (swimming) to the windsock that you just run them over.
MK: Who coached you your first year?
MCS: Nat Norfleet.
MK: He was head coach and the boy’s coach.
MK: That’s great. You won states the very first year. How great is that?
MCS: I won states in 12’s, and if my recollection … I think I won mixed (12s) too, that year you could do both. I won two state championships my first year.
MCS: That’s when I went, “Okay, I’m good. I’m into this sport. I love it.”
MK: You are a Boys 12 and you paddled mix?
MCS: Uh-hmm (affirmative). That’s another … As a coach now, I look back and you need to take your three best paddlers and three best girls, three best boys and girls and then you make a mixed crew, and that was new that year to have that in states. We did that and won.
MK: You were able to do both.
MK: You were primarily a stroker.
MK: Throughout your career?
MCS: My whole career, a stroker. I just love it.
MK: You trained right in front of the Club at Waikiki, no Ala Wai for you guys.
MCS: No Ala Wai back then. I don’t know why we just didn’t do that.
MK: Well, you moved up, you won states as 12’s, and then Nat wasn’t your coach anymore.
MCS: Yeah, and then thirteens and fourteens were not the best years for paddling for me because we had great coaches, Karl Heyer III was one of them, Fred Noa, but we weren’t doing that well, and not their fault, it’s just whatever reason. I remember being fourteen or fifteen coming back to Alan’s (Pflueger) house, Jimmy Pflueger (his dad) would ask me, “Mark, how’d you do? Why are you so upset?” I said, “Oh, we got fourth,” or, “We got third.” He goes, “You get a crew together, I’ll coach you next year.” Jimmy Pflueger, man of his word, I got the crew together and he started coaching us and we never lost. We won two years as sixteens, two years of eighteens. We never lost. We went undefeated, it was great.
MK: Who else was on that crew?
MCS: Alan Pflueger of course, my brother Todd, Howie Klemmer in four seat, and Greg Sheehan, five, and Mark Norfleet steering, Matt Kresser and Mike Field.
MK: That’s a great crew.
MCS: It was a great crew.
MK: You got the name Young Lions.
MK: How did that come about?
MCS: I think we were pretty loud and noisy, and once we started winning we tended to be a little cocky, and we all rode dirt bikes too. Matt Kresser who was very, let’s say he’s very creative and he came up, “We’re the Young Lions,” one day or something like that, and it just stuck. From that point on it was our cheer, Young Lions, you know, “Young Lions.” He made shirts, Matt made shirts because he was very artistic and, “No hill too steep, no paddle too deep, Young Lions,” and that was kind of our motto. “No paddle too deep,” was another saying we had.
MK: You guys were something else. Well, you guys had a lot of competition with the men’s crews.
MK: How did that happen?
MCS: Well Jimmy, had a bet with the coaches of the … like Walter Guild, that whoever could own the mile every Sunday, whoever had the fastest time in the mile, and we would win the mile and have the best time, and the freshman men and the sophomore men typically were our competition, and we usually would beat their time in the mile. They’d say, “Oh well, it’s got windier as the day got on,” but we were that fast. We would break seven-minute miles and do really well.
MK: There was quite a rivalry and how did the men deal with it?
MCS: We got some pushback. I remember when in states they awarded Most Outstanding Crew of the Year, and we won it, and they called us up and we all got Koa paddles. I remember Walter and them were a little jealous like, “You guys don’t deserve it,” because they were winning too. They were the Sultans, do you remember that? Karl Heyer and Walter, but it was a good rivalry with Marc Haine. They pushed us, and they were like big brothers, it wasn’t a love-hate thing, it was definitely a good rivalry.
MK: It made you guys compete. Well, now Jimmy was a kind of an unusual coach. Tell me about his coaching.
MCS: He was … Brant Ackerman yelled at us one time because we were late coming back from practice, so Jimmy goes, “Okay, we’ll get our own canoe.” Immediately he went out and bought a brand new canoe for us, and it was all white, and then he had to call Rab Guild, who was the President at the time to get permission to put it right there in the beach, and he did. We had our own canoe, and we could go out and practice for two hours instead of one hour. That’s what kept us good.
MK: Well, I remember you doing long runs too.
MK: You didn’t just practice for sprints, you guys-
MCS: No, we did long stuff.
MK: They didn’t allow youth crews in Molokai at that time.
MCS: No, at that time they didn’t, which was too bad because if we were able to do that we would have done really well.
MK: I’ve noticed that most of the other guys that you paddled with don’t paddle anymore. They got too busy with life.
MCS: Marc Haine is still paddling, Walter isn’t, but the guys my age, you’re right, even myself I was asked to coach a Girls 12 crew ten years ago, and once I started coaching I realized I was trying to do both, coaching and paddle, and that’s hard because you’re there at the beginning of the day. I’d be there at 5:30 a.m. rigging the canoe to coach a Girls 12, and then I had a gap, I’d wait ’til the Men’s 40, which is at the end of the day.
MK: That’s crazy.
MCS: It was hard to stick around all day. Finally, I said I’m just going to coach.
MK: When did you do your first Molokai?
MCS: When I was sixteen years old on a Kayak Surf Ski, and I got eleventh overall. I did pretty good.
MK: How did you get introduced to surf skis?
MCS: I was about maybe fourteen or fifteen years old, and Cline Mann pulled me aside, he goes, “Mark, boy, we need to get you kayaking,” and I was like, “Really? What’s up?” I had not heard of it. He took me to the … I remember it. He took me to the Lobby where the phone was, and he called Marshall Rosa, he said, “Marshall, I got somebody for you. You’ve got to train him. He’s a good kid.” I got on the phone, “Hey, Marshall,” he said, “Hey boy, be out at my house Tuesday at four o’clock.”
He had a kayak for me and everything, and then I chased those guys around. It was Marshall Rosa, Kala Kukea, George Kissner, Mike Muller, a lot of the legends, the older guys, they had a group were they’d workout Tuesdays and Thursdays. I just would chase them and we’d go around the point here and go up to Hanauma Bay and back. That’s when I got introduced to kayaking.
MK: At fourteen.
MK: You did a number of the solo races in the surf ski.
MCS: Surf ski, yeah.
MK: You switched … they are kind of the same, I guess.
MK: Pretty much, but you did at least eight of them in a-
MCS: Surf ski.
MK: In a surf ski, and then you did, for Outrigger you did eleven Molokai (Hoe) races.
MK: Including some most important wins.
MK: Do you remember what year you won?
MCS: 1990. I won in … What’s significant, I have a photo of it right there on the wall, is it was the Kaoloa, the last koa canoe ever to win Molokai, and we were ten minutes ahead of second place. We were so far ahead of them because Tommy Conner, and we just surfed so well that it was a great day.
MK: That was your first win. What was your … most memorable Molokai?
MCS: Probably 1998 because nobody expected us to win. When we won in 1990 everybody expected Outrigger to win because they’d been winning, and then we kind of dropped-off, we didn’t win Molokai for about six years. I want to say 1990-1998, I don’t think that Outrigger won Molokai from 1990 until 1998, and it was like a seven, eight year gap and no one expected us to win. We just stuck there. We had . . . Kala Judd was our coach, and we had a really good game plan. We were going to stay up North, aim for Kahala, and everybody else went South, and we just stayed on our course, and then when it merges at Diamond Head everyone was shocked that we were there, and we just pulled away from Lanikai (Canoe Club) and we beat them by two minutes or so. It was close, but we won and that was great, and then we won in 1999, but I couldn’t do 1999 because I just got hired by Hawaiian, and I was in training with Hawaiian. I could have won that year too.
MK: Well, that was … You had some terrific wins though. Then you came back and won as a Masters.
MCS: Yeah, in 2002 I think. You got it. I started moving to the Masters realizing that I couldn’t do open anymore because I had a kid. My oldest daughter, Kiana, was born in 1999, and so I put together a good Masters crew and I was the coach, and we won. We won there, and I think we won in 2007. I think we won two or three times or we were second one time.
MK: Do you have any other memories of the Molokai that you’d like to share?
MCS: Probably the most, the two most significant races are the one with Tommy Conner and Walter, and everyone in 1990 because we did win by ten minutes, and it was a koa canoe, and that was really big. We had a big celebration at the Club after that, and that was probably the most significant. Then my first solo crossing on a kayak or a surf ski when I got eleventh, because I beat a lot of men, and that was really cool.
MK: You mentioned coaching, you coached at the kid’s level for a long time, and is that after your daughter’s got old enough to paddle?
MCS: Yes. Outrigger called me when my oldest daughter, Kiana, was ten, and said, “Hey, can you help coach a 12 Girls?” I said, “Sure.” I got Kiana involved, and I coached her crew, 12s for like two years, and then I moved up with her crew, to 13’s and 14’s. Then by the time when they were 15’s I took over the whole program, and I was head junior coach, and I did that for a couple of years, and that was rewarding. I found it just as rewarding as paddling because you’re giving … I figured it was my time to give back.
MK: Well, you’ve always had such a great attitude, especially with how to share the sport with the kids that make them enjoy it. I think all of the kids that paddled for you found it very rewarding. You also coached … What did you like? You said you like sharing with the kids.
MCS: Because I coached the men 40’s, Master’s, and believe it or not, trying to get all the men there at a certain day was hard, but the girls were great. I’d tell them, “We’re practicing Monday, Wednesday, Friday,” and they show up. I like coaching the girls much better than the men, because the men, it was like dragging and getting them there was so hard.
MK: Well, you served on that Canoe Racing Committee a number of times, and you were head coach in 1997.
MCS: The last year we won States.
MK: States, yeah. Wow. What-
MCS: I can’t believe it’s been that long.
MK: Well, this year they’re-
MCS: Yeah, we’re trying.
MK: We’re working hard on it. We didn’t win states for a long time. It’s been twenty-one years. Why do you think we haven’t been able to do that?
MCS: When we were very successful we always had a really good women’s program, we had a good strong men’s program, and a good strong youth program, not to dish on the open men or the women, but in the last few years our kids have been carrying the flag so to speak, because at the end of Boys 18 we’d be winning the regatta. But then as we get in the upper division we just didn’t have the amount of people or they weren’t as successful as they had been, and we would lose the regatta. It’s unfortunate. I’m actually lobbying, thinking of having a junior’s award up to eighteen so the kids at least get some credit for winning.
MK: We’ve had good women’s programs the last few years. Tracy (Phillips) did a great job.
MCS: She did a great job, but our men’s program was not so great or we didn’t have the depth. They could put it together for a crew or two, but in our day, in my day the men were loaded so we could put people in Open Four, we could field all the crews. Right now we’re having to scratch some of the older crews, which isn’t good.
MK: What do you think of the special athletic memberships?
MCS: I think that’s great because it’s really hard for Outrigger to compete with Lanikai’s and Hui Nalu’s as far as paddling, because they can recruit somebody and in a day sign them up, and pay their fifty bucks or whatever it is, and they’re paddling. Whereas Outrigger, it’s such a process, you’ve got to have two sponsors, you’ve got to apply months in advance, and it’s hard to do that during racing season. Right now, if we didn’t have special athletics we couldn’t get people in, and we don’t have the numbers that we used to.
MK: I was talking to Liz Perry yesterday, she didn’t have numbers in novices for the last few years, and so they got special memberships for novice, and her Novice A and B women, both won last week.
MCS: That’s awesome.
MK: Really when you enough numbers-
MCS: It helps.
MK: It’s great.
MCS: By Outrigger allowing the special athletic program, it’s going to help us compete with everybody. I think it’s good.
MK: Well, I know you were instrumental in talking to Alan Pflueger about an elite program to really push the kids, can you tell me a little bit about that?
MCS: Sure. Alan is one of my best friends, he, for whatever reason went to Hui Nalu, and he started a nonprofit called Ka Lahui Kai.
MK: Ka Lahui Kai.
MCS: Yeah, Ka Lahui Kai, and with great intentions, and he’s brought … at Hui Nalu the reason he can bring members in, in a day they’re a member, he could build crews very quickly. He invested a lot in equipment, got new canoes, and he’s done magic over there. I approached Alan this year and I said, “Look Alan, I know what you have at Hui Nalu, it’s great. I don’t want you to leave, can you help us at Outrigger set up kind of similar to what you’re doing?” Then that’s when he looked at me, he said, “Mark, I really want to move to Outrigger.” Because his father passed and he goes, “You asked me,” and he goes, “I really feel like it’s time.” He was able to … the Board approved them, to bring his program to Outrigger, and right now it’s working out great.
I was down there (at the races the week before) and from Boys 15 on, I think they won, and it’s only going to get better because he’s missing some guys right now, but it’s going to really … because we always have a strong girls program. I made sure we had lots of girls, but the boys were not that strong. Now they’re winning.
MK: They did great last week.
MCS: By the way, last week we were ahead at Boys 18 at Lanikai. Lanikai beat us by forty points at the end of the day, but at Boys 18 I think we’re even or just ahead. Again, we have strong kids, we need the older people’s program to step up.
MK: It’s great. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your involvement in canoe racing?
MCS: Just it’s been a big part of my life. I’m so thankful and grateful to Outrigger, giving me the opportunity to race and get on the world stage with Molokai. It’s just been nothing but great, and then being a coach for all the years, giving back and being head coach, and committee. It’s just been nothing but great program.
MK: It has. Who were your biggest mentors in the program?
MCS: Probably Tommy Conner and Walter Guild, and Kala Judd, and Steve Scott was a coach when we won. Those are all mentors to me, they all pushed me at different times. I remember that first year when I won Molokai Steve said, “Mark, I want you to train twice a day.” I go do kayak in the morning, and then I paddle with the men at night. He knew I could get in top shape that way, and then I’d stroke him at a really high stroke rate, like Tahitii was doing, instead of the slow sixty old Hawaiian-style way that it was. I brought it up to a seventy, seventy-two, and a lot of these older guys were like, “No, we can’t do that.” I’m like, “Hey, get out of the boat then, and let’s go.” That was kind of my attitude, and the coaches liked it, then we start winning.
MK: That’s wonderful. We talked a little bit about your first surf ski race, and the first Molokai you did, and how you got involved, but you were being touted as an Olympic kayaker around 1984, what were you doing that was bring you that kind of notice?
MCS: Just because Marshall had started me on the surf ski, which is the ocean going version of a kayak, then he put me in a … it’s called an Olympic K1, you sit inside of it. It’s not made for the ocean, it’s made for lakes, and sprinting, 500 meters or a 1,000 meters. Marshall took me in the … What do you call it? Back here in the bay at Hawaii Kai, where it’s flat water, and I started doing the kayak because there was a Junior Nationals in New York. I got sent to that in 1984, and I won the Junior Nationals, and that’s what started me on that path to 1988.
MK: You’ve competed in all kinds of meets all over the world.
MCS: Yup, Germany, Yugoslavia, and I went to Canada, lots of places, traveling.
MK: Is it a solo paddle or do you paddle as two’s or four’s?
MCS: You’re by yourself. I did K2’s as well, where two people paddle. In Yugoslavia we got second I believe, in the World University Games or whatever. That was a great time.
MK: What were the distances you raced?
MCS: 500 meters and a 1,000 meters.
MK: Those are Olympic distances?
MK: Were there some other Outrigger members who were competing?
MCS: Tracy Phillips, she was just starting then too, and she went on and had a great career. I think she made the (Olympic) team in 1988 and 1992. I don’t know if she medaled, but she got very close.
MK: She did great. Tell me a little bit about the Olympic Festival that used to occur, who sponsors that, and how does the … how do people from Hawaii get to that?
MCS: Well, you have to be sponsored to get there or made aware of it, really it’s coaches that are in the local area where you’re from. Marshall knew that I would be good at sprinting, so he called over there and said, “Hey, I’ve got a kid from Hawaii who is doing really well.” Boom, I got accepted, and then I had to compete to make the team, and I did and it was great.
MK: Well, there was an organization in Hawaii that they were paddling on the Ala Wai, what was the name of that group?
MCS: I forget, but Billy Whitford-
MK: Yeah, that group.
MCS: He came over from LA and he put together HCKT Hawaii Canoe and Kayak Team). That’s what you’re talking about.
MCS: Kala Kukea was a founding member of that. I think I want to say Marshall too, but it was Hawaii Canoe and Kayak Team, and I was a member way back when. I would train with them when I was in Hawaii back here. It’s good.
MK: They sent a lot of kids from Hawaii, they got them so involved, and they were competing on the mainland.
MCS: In it’s heyday, I want to say the team was like twenty, ten girls, ten boys, and ten more behind them, but they’d usually select ten of each, because you can’t take too many. It grew really good, and we were competitive. We did really well. We represented Hawaii well.
MK: When you were at USC you were training at Newport Beach?
MK: Was that with the national team or just on your own?
MCS: Well, kind of on my own at first, but then after a year or two I got put on the national team, and then that’s when I had to travel. I took a year off school to go to Florida, and that’s where the national team had their winter training camp there. We were there from I’d say November through, I don’t know, March or May, April, May. We were there for a while training constantly twice a day. It was pretty rigorous.
MK: I was going to ask what was the training like, rigorous.
MCS: It was very rigorous. Running, paddling twice a day, going into the gym every other day, and just you’re monitored on what you eat and what you do. On our downtime you just basically slept, tried to rest and get your strength back. It was pretty intense.
MK: Who pays for that? Do you pay your own?
MCS: I believe the national team covers when you get there, but you have to get there. I believe … I can’t remember that far back, but once I got there everything was covered. It’s part of the Olympic kayaking team.
MK: You were selected for the US team at the World Kayak, Canoe and Kayak Championships in West Germany, and was that the first time you’d been in international competition?
MCS: It was definitely the first time.
MK: What was it like?
MCS: It was pretty interesting. Everyone, all the different countries all together, and what I really was aware of is that the Russians, the East Germans, at the time there were East Germans, they were very, like they were militant and they were good, and they were picked at an early age. They were hard to compete with. They were really good. It was a wake up call for me.
MK: How did the US do in those competitions?
MCS: We would do okay, but overall we had a couple stars like Greg Barton, Norman Bellingham, they would win the Olympics. Greg, I think won two gold medals in 1984, and then 1988 I believe he won at least one. I trained with him a lot. If you want to get good train with the best. He was out in Newport Beach with us training and Florida.
MK: You did try out for the 1988 Olympics, and how did you do?
MCS: Two weeks before the tryouts I got strep throat really bad, and I was down for ten days. When I recovered I was weak, and I tried to get back in the kayak for a couple of days before we had to go to Indiana for the competition and I just wasn’t myself. I’d been averaging … It took ten men and I was about sixth or seventh in a regatta that we had two months earlier in San Diego. I remember that because I’m like, “Wow, I did really good. I’m going to make the Olympic team. I’ve just got to stay healthy.” Then I over trained and I got sick, and then I couldn’t get back to tenth, I got eleventh place and so I was not selected. At that point it was kind of a wake up call, “Wait a minute. Am I putting all my time and energy in this for an outcome?” Because I didn’t want to train for 1992. Just four years more of it I just couldn’t stomach it. I just said, “I got to get back to school and graduate.”
MK: Well, when you came back then you got into surf ski racing again and did Molokai races . . .
MCS: I won first Hawaiian (in the Molokai Solo), we have a trophy for first Hawaiian.
MK: To finish?
MCS: Yeah, because let’s face it, the Australians and the South Africans were always winning. We couldn’t compete with them because they’ve been doing surf ski their whole life, and that’s all they do. I don’t know who came up with it, but we had a trophy for first Hawaiian, and I got that trophy like two or three times. I was first. I think fifth overall was in 2007, it was my best, my best performance.
MK: You did really well all through. You won so many races, I can’t even begin to count them, but a total of eighteen Molokai surf ski races.
MCS: There’s probably a few more that aren’t on there, but I would race … a typical year I’d race Molokai on the surf ski and Molokai in the canoe. I was doing two for maybe ten years. There’s probably a half dozen that aren’t on there.
MK: Did you ever do it (paddle Molokai) on a paddle board?
MCS: Yes, actually, a stand-up board. I did stand-up in 2007. My best friend, Greg Sheehan called me and goes, “Hey, my partner just tore his back, I mean threw out his back, can you race with me?” I go, “Sure,” but I’d never really been on a stand-up board and it’s tippy so the first hour I was falling left and right. Then I got the hang of it, and I think we got sixth overall, so it wasn’t bad. I did it in all except paddleboard.
MK: What kind of conditions have you encountered in the Molokai channel? Everything?
MCS: Everything from flat calm to crazy, huge, wild surf. I’ll tell you a story. In 2007 there was a lot of Mahimahi moving through the channel, because all those escort boats cut fish, and they’re like, “Wow, we haven’t seen this much Mahimahi ever.” An hour into the race that next day I saw all these green flashes going under me, “What is that?” Then I realized, “Oh, that’s Mahimahi,” and then true story, all of a sudden I saw this black missile coming up from the depths, and I braced for impact, I thought it was going to hit me, and it stopped right under me. The nose was on the front of the kayak, surf ski, and the tail was behind me, but it had to be almost as long, it was a Great White Shark, because it was all black and it was so agile. It wasn’t a tiger shark. I’ve seen plenty of tigers with the stripes, but it literally was two feet under me, and I saw that the side fins were just … and how wide it was, it looked like ginormous shark I’ve ever seen. Then it pulled away from me and its tail, it flashed its tail at me like three times, kind of like, “Get the heck out of here. What are you doing?” Then it took off and I had Mark Buck and Bill Meheula, and my brother driving the escort boat, and I go, “Guys, did you just see that? I waved at them get over here.” Because I was freaked out, I thought it was going to come and get me. I go, “Did you see that?” They go, “We saw something, but we didn’t realize what it was?” I go, “It was a Great White.”
I talked to a couple lifeguards that day, Mel Puu, who raced, and he said, “Yeah, they are there in our waters.” It’s a proven fact now, because back then in 2007 everyone thought I was crazy, and it’s proven now that there’s Great Whites in our waters. They’re scary. Let me tell you it’s scary.
MK: Have you seen dolphins?
MCS: I see dolphins. I’ve seen plenty of tiger sharks, and they don’t scare me as much anymore after that Great White incident. Scary.
MK: Were you ready to quit?
MCS: I had a heart rate monitor and it went from one hundred fifty to one hundred sixty, I was trying to maintain that to one hundred eighty, I was like, “Huh! Oh my God, I’ve got to calm down,” but I just held my breath. I kept breathing through it and I just paddled slow. I thought it was going to tip me over, but it didn’t.
MK: It could have just lifted you all the way out.
MCS: I thought it was. I braced for impact. I literally thought like a car was running into me, it was that big. It was impressive.
MK: Is it hard to keep your concentration when you’re paddling in the (Kaiwi) Channel?
MCS: Yeah, I got real scientific with a heart rate monitor, a GPS, being a pilot I use monitoring instruments. I would stay right on my line and I would only allow myself to go off the straight line a little bit, and I could tell. Then my heart rate, like I said I would keep it right at a certain level, not too high because I would … a lot of people go too high and they die or they go too low and they just don’t race up. I knew right where my racing heart rate was, and I’d stay right there. I got real scientific on it.
MK: You’re not singing songs in your head.
MCS: No. Occasionally I’d do a few woots if I was surfing a wave, because when you get a big wave in Molokai you can wind off and just, “Yooo, chihooo,” that kind of thing.
MK: It makes it good.
MCS: It makes it good. it makes it fun.
MK: Have you ever gotten seasick?
MCS: Never. I never get seasick.
MK: Do you eat or drink while you paddle?
MCS: Yeah, I do. I usually start the morning off with oatmeal, and then pre-race, a little bit of coffee to get you going, and then during the race for the first hour I don’t eat, because it’s about an hour and a half to two hours you lose all your glycogen, and so I would eat a little bit like a protein bar or power bar. Just a little bit of food, fruit cups.
MK: Then you’d stay hydrated.
MK: You have a tube where you drink water.
MCS: I have a tube for drinking, I tie it on.
MK: Well, you’ve had a lot of experiences, and I don’t think anybody can beat the Great White Shark.
MCS: That’s a good one.
MK: Who do you think are some of the best kayakers in the Club?
MCS: Probably of course Marshall Rosa, I would say that he by far he was the most successful surf ski paddler at Outrigger. Kala Judd, very excellent paddler, Geoff Graf, these are guys that are … Courtney Seto, they’re still doing it. Unfortunately right now I’m not doing it, but those were the guys that we had a pact, and they’re some of the best paddlers.
MK: It seems like you see more OC1’s now than you do surf ski.
MCS: Yes, you do.
MK: Are they easier to paddle?
MCS: We always tease each other. I tease them because with having the ama on board they don’t have to balance. I tease them like, “It’s like riding a bike with training wheels. Take the training wheels off.” Because paddling a surf ski is difficult, the balance, you have to have balance. It’s hard enough just to paddle on flat water and not flip, you try to do it in the open ocean with big surf, you’ve got to really have good balance.
Definitely the skill level is higher on a surf ski, if you’re a novice just starting out I’d recommend doing a one man canoe, because you’re not going to fall that much. Then what’s really brought the one man canoe into being so popular is the canoe clubs use it as a tool, like they do, “Okay, we’re going to do one man time trials.” We started doing that at Outrigger, go to Diamond Head buoy go to Kewalo Buoy and back to Outrigger on a one man. I had to shift and get a one man, and I raced with Tommy Conner a couple of times. We got second overall, behind Marc (Haine) and Mark Rigg. Marc Haine and Mark Rigg beat us, we got second behind them.
MK: Do you have a preference between the two?
MCS: Yeah, I love surf ski. It’s in my blood and I’m good at it.
MK: You got into wind surfing at a very young age. What got you interested in that?
MCS: I’m just … I think just my desire to be on the ocean. I bugged my parents and I think I was thirteen years old, and we got the surf ski from a guy in Kailua, I mean a windsurfer. I started going out to Wailupe where I live, and I would then go through the reef and get outside in the open ocean, and then you could just cruise. I’d sail all the way up to Hawaii Kai, and then back to Wailupe. It was fun.
MK: You enjoyed that.
MK: Who were some of the other Outrigger members who surf skied? I mean who windsurfed in the Club?
MCS: Windsurfed like Wyatt Jones, I don’t know if he’s still doing it, but Todd Payes.
MK: Malia (Kamisugi).
MCS: Malia, and I know Dale Hope was doing a little bit. Brad Yates is a member, he was doing a little bit of it back then, not as many do that anymore, I don’t know why. It’s just different sports.
MK: So many of them now to choose from. Well, Cline Mann got you involved in paddle boarding, did you compete?
MCS: And Kino Austin. Kimo Austin. Once Cline got me introduced to paddle boarding, but Kimo, he talked to Kimo when I was twelve and Kimo was going every morning from the Club, he’d go down to Ala Moana Buoy and back. He said, “Hey, Mark boy,” that was my name when I was little, “If you want to do this I have another board.” His son Jimmy was a little baby, I don’t think he was born yet, but anyway he would bring two boards, I’d grab one, meet him there at the Club and we’d go down to Ala Moana Buoy and back. It really taught me how to surf the ocean. He taught me that, because in a paddle board you’re riding it, you’re low, you can see all the waves. He was very instrumental.
MK: You paddle flat or on your knees?
MCS: I do both. A little bit of both, but mostly flat, prone.
MK: Well, now you chaired the Paddle Board Committee for a while.
MCS: With Cline Mann and got me started his race.
MK: He talked you into it.
MCS: We started the Cline Mann, before it became the big one downwind.
MK: The 5K.
MCS: The 5K, we called it the Tri-Ocean. I named it the Tri-Ocean because there’s three disciplines, you could be on a paddle board, a surf ski, or a one man canoe. Pick your weapon, and it was a good, good race in front of the Club.
MK: Speaking of Cline, have you got any good Cline stories to tell me?
MCS: I got lots of Cline stories. Well, he introduced me to surf ski, “Mark boy,” he always called me Mark boy. One of my biggest memories is after he passed they named the canoe the surf canoe Cline, it was after a long distance practice, and we’d gone like three hours up to Hanauma Bay and back … iron, no changes. I was tired, and it was football season, I want to go home and watch football, but our friend Dean Maeva, who’s another member said, “Hey, my cousin, it’s his birthday and let’s take him on the canoe. Let’s go to Waikiki.” I went, “All right, all right.” We took the Cline and I said, “All right, I’m going to bless the Cline in Waikiki waters,” because I hadn’t been down there. It was one-week old.
We caught a wave right up the beach. I knew the beach boys, they said, “Hey, it’s the Cline, can we bring it up on the beach?” They said, “No problem.” We brought it up on the sand. I went in to the bar. I got a Budweiser and I brought it out and poured it all over the Cline and blessed it in his honor, because that’s all Cline would drink, is a Budweiser. Then I met my wife that day too, it was a really great day. I still remember it like yesterday.
MK: Well, Cline had a tradition of buying the first legal drink for everybody.
MCS: Yes, he did that for me.
MK: Did he buy you your first legal one?
MCS: Yes, when I was eighteen we did a paddle from Hawaii Kai down to Kahala Beach, where Dale Hope lived, and we … on our surf skis, it was me, Dale Hope, and this other guy Herb, and Cline met us there on the sand with, “A legal beer for you, Mark.” I was eighteen and I remember drinking it, and we sat there, and it was just about dusk, and all these satellites were going by, and I’d never seen satellites before. Cline was a master, he goes, “Oh, there’s one right here, look.” I’d see it and I’m like, “Wow, it’s a satellite.” We just watched satellites go. There was like ten of them. It was crazy.
MK: In one place?
MK: Any other Cline stories?
MCS: He just was very instrumental throughout my whole paddling career. He would always call me to work on the trainer before paddling season. I’d do that with him. We’d always go to the Pro-Bowl together with his team.
MK: You were on his team?
MCS: Yeah, on his team, the Cline team, and those are some fun memories.
MK: Tell me a little bit about that.
MCS: Well, it’d be like ten members that he picked or six members, and we’d all caravan in a bus, and he’d of course have beverages on there. We’d park, we’d get there early because he had good parking and we tailgated a little bit, and then we go as a group, ten of us, and watch the football game. Those were really good memories, then there was a rookie, I was a rookie one year, and then I became part of the team. It was pretty good.
MK: Those were some funny things that he loved to do.
MCS: Those are good memories.
MK: People were so thrilled to be part of his team.
MCS: Yes, it was hard to get on Cline’s team.
MK: Did he rope you into the marathon team?
MCS: Yeah, I helped a couple years on that.
MK: He was quite a guy.
MCS: He was.
MK: Are there any sports that I’ve missed that you’ve …
MCS: Volleyball, I dabbled in it. Daddy Haine used to always tell me, “Mark, get up here and play more volleyball. Get out of the water,” and I’d be like, “Ahhh,” but I wish I played more volleyball because that’s a good sport.
MK: It was, and you’ve had some incredible experiences in the water, and last year I was so thrilled to learn that you were going to be a Winged “O”, what a wonderful tribute that was.
MCS: That was a highlight.
MK: That was the … They honored you at the luau last year, and the house was full, and it was such a-
MCS: It was packed.
MK: I mean the feeling that night was just amazing, so much love in the air. You’d been not feeling well for a while, so how did it feel to you?
MCS: I rallied. I was worried, a week or two before that I wasn’t feeling that good. I’m like, “Oh, I’ve got to be good. I’ve got to be on my game,” and then having all my Young Lions like Alan and Greg Sheehan, and Howie Klemmer, actually Howie couldn’t make it, my brother Todd.
MK: Kresser was there?
MCS: Matt Kresser, and they all greeted me when we pulled up, and it was such a good feeling. It was like we were a team again, and they all got up on stage. I have a few photos of that, and I think the cover of the Outrigger was all of us. I said, “Anyone that I’ve ever paddled with or won Molokai with, get up here.” They all got up on stage and it was like fifty of us, it was great.
MK: That was a very special moment. Well, you also had … you were very sharp that night, and had some wonderful things to say about your former teammates, and we all got a kick out of that.
MCS: It was a good night.
MK: It was a wonderful evening. Now you’re a married man, you said you met Lannette-
MCS: Yeah, that day when I paddled the Cline over. She was visiting her sister, she didn’t live here, and she’s right over there. I saw her in the crowd, in ukes, that night club that’s right there and I just went, “Oh my gosh, she is beautiful. Who is this girl?” She disappeared in the crowd just as soon as I saw her, and then all of a sudden just by chance she walked down the stairs that go out to the ocean, to the beach, and I was standing right next to her sister, who I knew, and she stopped and started talking to her sister. I looked at her and I say, “Hey, I’m Mark, what’s your name?” It just, we hit it off immediately, and then she moved to Hawaii like three months later and we’ve been inseparable since.
MK: How long have you been married?
MCS: Eighteen years.
MK: That’s great.
MCS: Right, honey? I got to remember that.
MK: You have three beautiful daughters.
MCS: Three beautiful daughters, Kiana who is 18, Malia who is 15, and are paddling at the Club by the way, and Eva who’s 12.
MK: I saw her … I saw all of them at the races on Sunday.
MCS: They all race, except Kiana, we’re getting her back in the canoe this week.
MK: They are all Outrigger members?
MCS: Yup, they’re all members.
MK: All paddling.
MK: What about your brother Todd, is he still-
MCS: He is around. He’s really into canoe sailing, and he’s into that program. It takes a lot of time and energy, and he works for the family business, he’s not really paddling organized at the Club anymore, but he does his canoe sailing. He just had a race, I think from the Big Island to Maui, Hana, and then they raced from Hana to Kaanapali, Maui.
MK: All around the …
MCS: Then they’re going to do Kaanapali to Molokai, and then Molokai to Oahu. It’s kind of a series. You go all the way from the Big Island To Oahu.
MK: He has several sons?
MCS: He has two sons, yes.
MK: I see they paddle for Hui Nalu?
MCS: They paddled for Hui Nalu. They paddled for Outrigger when they were real little, but then … because we lived right here in Hawaii Kai, they paddled at Hui Nalu. Right now they’re not, the oldest boy, Noah, he is doing maritime training, so he’s on a big ship getting school. Adam is not, he’s taking the summer off.
MK: That’s great. Well, Outrigger’s had some really amazing watermen over the years, and women, are there any that you really admire?
MCS: There’s too many. I would say when I first came to Outrigger as a twelve year old I was in awe, of guys like Aka Hemmings, Fred Hemmings, the Downing (Keone and Kaioni) brothers, they’re very good friends of mine, and they all became mentors. Marshall Rosa, talk about watermen, Marshall Rosa is kind of like my generation’s Duke Kahanamoku. He was winning races all the way into his 50’s, late 50’s, and it’s amazing. Amazing.
MK: Then he just quit.
MCS: I kind of kept him going til about late 50’s, and then he still paddles, but he doesn’t do the organized racing.
MK: Just for enjoyment?
MK: Well, I noticed he was there that night at the luau, the Winged “O” luau, that was so nice to see him.
MCS: He’s close to me.
MK: That’s wonderful. Well, I’ve really enjoyed our chat this morning.
MCS: Thank you.
MK: Is there anything else you’d like to add that we haven’t talked about?
MCS: It’s just been a great run, Outrigger’s been very instrumental in my life, and what’s nice is I’m giving back to my kids, and so many of my friend’s kids that I’ve coached. They all come up to me, “Hi, Uncle Mark,” wherever I go I see some of them and it’s just special. I’ve always tried to keep paddling fun so they don’t quit, and that was always my mantra, “Keep it fun,” and they keep doing it.
MK: Well, I have one last question for you.
MK: What has been being a member of the Outrigger Canoe Club for almost forty years meant to you?
MCS: The world. It’s guided me in my life like I said, and it’s a great place where you have great watermen come together, and you can surf, you can paddle, you can play volleyball, I think it’s just the ideal Club for a lifetime membership. I noticed a lot of my peers have left because of the cost, I get it, but it’s part of life. Everything costs money, right? But if you utilize it and see the value of it then it’s worthwhile in my opinion.
MK: Wonderful mentors and wonderful friends, and a great place to be.
MK: Thank you so much.
MCS: Thanks, Marilyn.
Service to the Outrigger Canoe Club
Head Canoe Racing Coach
Youth Paddling Coach
Canoe Racing Committee
1986 8th Place Overall
1990 1st Place Overall, 1st Place Koa
1991 5th Place, 1st Place Koa
1992, 4th Place Overall
1996 25th Place Overall
1997 9th Place Overall
1998 1st Place Overall
2002 1st Place, Masters 35
2007 2nd, Place, Masters 40
2009 1st Place, Masters 40
2010 1st Place, Masters 40
Molokai World Championship Surfski Race
1983 11th Place Overall
1988 1st, Place, 20 and Under Division
2002 1st Place, Men 30-39
2004 7th Place Overall, 1st Hawaii finisher
2005 12th Place Overall, 2nd Hawaii finisher
2006 6th Place Overall, 1st Hawaii finisher
2008 22nd Place Overall, 2nd Hawaii finisher
2010 15th Place Overall, 1st Hawaii finisher
1979 Boys 12A
1979 Mixed 12s
1983 Boys 16 (undefeated)
1984 Boys 18 (undefeated)
1990 Junior Men
1992 Open 4 Men
1997 Sophomore Men
2009 Masters Men 40
1983 Boys 16
1984 Boys 18
1985 Boys 18
1996 Sophomore Men
1997 Senior Men
1999 Senior Men
1992 Mixed Open
1979 Boys 12A
1985 Boys 18
1991 Sophomore Men
1997 Junior Men
1984 1st Place, Surfsports Hawaii Kai Race
1989 1st, Shoreline Kayak Race
1990 1st Place, OCC Winter Ocean 12K Kayak Race
1991 2nd Place, OCC Kayak Race
1991 2nd Place, Makapuu to Kewalo Race
1991 2nd Place, 15K, Open Men Expert, Governor’s Cup
1992 3rd Place, OCC Winter Kayak Race
1992 Hawaii team, Hawaiki Nui Vaa International Race
1993 3rd Place, OCC Winter Kayak Race
1996 2nd Place, OCC Winter Kayak Race
1997 3rd Place, OCC Winter Kayak Race
1997 3rd Place, OCC Tri-Ocean Races, M30-39
2002 2nd Place, K1 State Championships
2004 1st Place, K1 Oahu Championships
2004 3rd Place, U.S. Surfski Championships, San Francisco
2005 1st Place, K1 Oahu Championships
2005 2nd Place, K1 State Championships
2006 2nd Place, K1 Oahu Championships
2006 3rd Place, K1 State Championships
2006 7th Place, Kaiwi World Challenge Relay
2007 2nd Place, K1 State Championships
2007 1st Place, Maui Challenge (Maui to Molokai)
2000 1st Place, Oahu Championships, OC1 long course
2000 6th Place, Kaiwi Challenge Relay
Flatwater Kayak Races
1984 1st Place, Junior Division K-1 1000m, Junior Olympics, New York
1986 Named to U.S. Men’s Flatwater Kayak Team
1986 1st Place, K-4 1000m, Olympic Festival, Houston
1986 4th Place, 500m K-1, Olympic Festival, Houston
1986 8th Place, 500m K-2, Olympic Festival, Houston
1987 1st Place, K4 500m, U.S. Olympic Sports Festival
1987 4th Place Overall, US team, World Canoe & Kayak Championships, West Germany
1988 Member USA Kayak B Team
1988 Qualified for Olympic Canoe/Kayak Trials in K1 and K2, Indianapolis, Ind.
1985 1st Place, Skippy Kamakawiwoole Long Distance Race, Fiberglass Division
1991 Member OCC Hamilton Cup Team which won all its events
1991 1st Place, Queen Liliuokalani Long Distance Race
1996 1st Place, OCC team, Catalina to Newport Long Distance Race