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.
Part 2 can be found here
An Interview by Marilyn Kali
November 2, 2018
MK: Today is Friday, November 2nd 2018. We’re in the Board Room of the Outrigger Canoe Club. I’m Marilyn Kali (MK), a member of the Club’s Historical Committee. One of the Historical Committee’s projects is to do oral histories of longtime members. Today, it’s my pleasure to be talking to one of the Club’s great watermen and past presidents, Walter Guild (WFG). Good morning, Walter.
WFG: Good morning, Marilyn.
MK: There’s so many things we want to ask you that we’ve decided to do two interviews with you. This is the first, and we’ll focus on your life and times at the Club, and in the second part, we’ll delve into your involvement with the Club’s canoes and equipment, the development of the OC1 and OHCRA and HCRA rules. So, let’s get started.
Walter, you’re a descendant of the Macfarlane family, which goes back to 1846 in Hawaii. Your great, great uncle Henry Macfarlane was a founding member of the Club. Does that make you fifth generation?
WFG: It should be. That’s about right.
MK: Wow! That’s quite a legacy. Can you tell me briefly about the Macfarlanes and how you’re related?
WFG: The Macfarlane family, Walter Macfarlane Sr., who married my great grandmother, Kamokila Campbell, was, of course, a member of the Club and family. Their daughter, Muriel, was my grandmother, and, of course, married to Walter Flanders, longtime members as well, and their daughter, Alice, is my mother.
MK: So, a long history with the Club. All of them have been very active over the years.
WFG: That’s right. Actually, the research you recently did and put in the magazine, I learned a lot about my own family. So, that put a lot of pieces together.
MK: It was fun finding all that information, and trying to relate, especially to how the … This Club site was one of the original homes of your family, and the old Club site at Waikiki was also a property of the Macfarlanes.
WFG: That’s right.
MK: Long, relationship.
WFG: A lot of lineage.
MK: When and where were you born?
WFG: I was born in Honolulu; Queens Hospital in 1956.
MK: You recently had a birthday?
WFG: I did, October 4th. I turned 62 years old.
MK: You mentioned your parents, and what are their names?
WFG: Alice Flanders Guild and Robert Wylie Guild were my parents.
MK: Your dad was also known as?
MK: They both grew up in Hawaii?
WFG: They did, yes. My father grew up primarily in Makiki. His family home was there. Then my parents actually built a house right next door, an adjacent property to my grandparents, and we were all raised pretty much right there. My mother’s family, when she was child, they lived in Nuʻuanu, and had that family home for many, many years. Then my grandparents moved away for a period of time, and then moved back to Hawaii at the ending of their lives.
MK: Where did your folks go to school?
WFG: My folks both went to Punahou School. My father went to University of Hawaii, and my mother went to Colorado Women’s College.
MK: Were either of them athletes?
WFG: My father was, yes, very much. He was a surfer and a paddler, and spent a lot of time on the beach. In the glory years with Duke’s (Kahanamoku) influence on everybody, knew all the beach boys very well, played a lot of sand volleyball, and also indoor volleyball for the Outrigger Canoe Club. He lettered in rowing shells.
MK: At the university?
WFG: At the University of Hawaii. They had a big program back then, and also lettered in basketball at the University of Hawaii. My mom, not much of an athlete.
MK: She spent a lot of time at the beach?
WFG: She did.
MK: How many children are in your family?
WFG: There are four of us, three girls, and myself, the only boy.
MK: Who’s the oldest?
WFG: Oldest is Rici, whose real name is Merrick. She’s about a year and a half older than I am. Then I’m number two, and then I have my younger sister, Di, who’s three years younger than I am, Diane, and then the youngest one is Lissa, who’s currently on the Board of Directors here. Her actual real name is Alice. So, we had two Alices. So, she became Lissa. She’s seven years younger than I am.
MK: Now, Rici is a member of the Club?
WFG: She is, yes.
MK: Where does she live?
WFG: She lives in Kula, Maui. But, she’s still a member of the Club.
MK: Was she active in paddling or anything growing up?
WFG: She was not. She may have paddled for a year or two, but not much. She was a swimmer through high school. So, she concentrated on that, spent a lot of time in the water, but it was following the line on the bottom of a pool, and didn’t do much in the way of surfing and things like that, not as much beach activities as the other three of us would have.
MK: Then there’s Di.
WFG: There’s Di.
MK: She was involved in canoe racing for quite a while.
WFG: She was. She was a great paddler herself. Then, of course, she moved into coaching and had great influence over … Well, she was a head coach of the Club one year, spent a lot of years with our masters crews that were excellent and the cream of the crop in the upper divisions. She was a great friend of theirs, and enjoyed many, many years with all of those ladies.
MK: Everybody was really intrigued because she was so much younger that she would even take on coaching the ladies, but they had a great relationship.
WFG: They listened to her, and, yes, she led them to great things. You’re right. She was very young when she started that. So, quite an accomplishment.
MK: Then Lissa?
MK: Was she a paddler? I don’t remember her.
WFG: She did. She paddled very little. She paddled for a couple of years, but young in the age groups, and then she, of course, went away to college, and spent a lot of time away from Hawaii as she developed in her career. She went to Japan for a little while, taught English in school there, and then moved back to San Francisco and got into business. She has a degree in business, and an MBA, actually, and then also a minor in Japanese language, so that’s why she was able to do that. So, she lived in San Francisco, and started her career there before she moved back to Hawaii.
MK: She has a family now.
WFG: She does. She has two children, a boy and a girl, Ian and Lia, and they’re both fantastic athletes. We hope someday they will find their way to competing and paddling for the Outrigger. Ian is an excellent football and basketball player, also a good surfer, and good in the water. Lia has just moved into volleyball, and she’s now playing for Punahou, and also a club team. So, that’s a good opportunity for her to end up at the Club.
MK: She just became a member this year, I think.
WFG: I believe so, yes.
MK: So, that’s wonderful. I hope we’ll see them out in the canoes one of these days.
WFG: I hope so, too.
MK: At your dad’s funeral a few years ago, you kids had some really funny stories about him and the Club. Do you remember some of those stories you told? Could you tell us a few?
WFG: Well, everybody had their own story. Probably just so I don’t use somebody else’s words, but I definitely remember every time we arrived at the Outrigger or walked through the Outrigger, it was like a parade. My father had to stop and talk to everybody, whether they were sitting in the Lobby or whoever is behind the Front Desk or go into the manager’s office, and converse there, and then, of course, the bartenders, the waitresses, the members. I mean, if you were going to dinner with him, you were wise to get to the table, just sit down, and start ordering because it would take a long time. He was a very friendly person and loved everybody, and I think it was reciprocal as far as that’s concerned.
MK: Great, great man. Got any stories about your mom?
WFG: My mom, was more accomplishment-oriented. Of course, she was the general manager for Ala Moana Center, which at the time as a woman was quite an achievement. She was a founding member, as being part of the Junior League of the restoration process at Iolani Palace. She sat on the board of directors, Central Pacific Bank. Just a very accomplished person, and always interesting just to sit down and recap that with her because, of course, when we were growing up with four kids, it was chaos, and we didn’t really understand what our mom was doing and accomplishing. So, it’s really nice in the later years to catch up with her and fill in all the gaps, and everything. We’re all very, very proud of her.
MK: She’s still busy all the time.
WFG: We’re trying to get her to slow that down, but she has a hard time.
MK: So, you guys all grew up here in Hawaii, and in Makiki. Did you go to Punahou, too?
WFG: I did.
MK: What year did you graduate?
WFG: I graduated in 1975.
MK: Did you play any sports at Punahou?
WFG: I did. Early on at Punahou, I started out swimming, which I’m very glad I did. Got a foundation for the water there, and then I played football and basketball, primarily. Those were the days where you had really seasons and off-seasons, so that allowed for the summertime to be paddling canoes down here at the Outrigger and surfing and playing volleyball and things like that. So, those were all the things that I got to do year round.
MK: Did you letter in the sports?
WFG: I did. Lettered in both those sports.
MK: How did your teams do?
WFG: We did very well. Basketball, I was not a top player in basketball. I played on what they called I think they had A and AA varsity, and I played on the lesser of the two. Of course, Punahou basketball teams back then were state champions and everything at the higher level, so we had great athletes.
Football, we did well. My junior year was exceptional. We had a fantastic team with a number of great athletes that went on even all the way to the NFL. We had a great year in a battle with Saint Louis High School. We each won one game against each other, and played in a playoff game. It was the old Honolulu Stadium down on Isenberg and King, which I look back on today and go, “Boy, I wish these kids had an opportunity just selling that thing out and all of the ticker tape coming over the top of it.” I remember pulling up on Isenberg on the bus with the team and getting ready to get off, and it was just going off, people standing in line, and it was a lot of wonderful energy back then, which would be great for Hawaii.
MK: So, who won?
WFG: Saint Louis won the third game, and represented the ILH in the, I think it was the first Oahu Bowl against Waianae, and Saint Louis won that. So, very exciting.
MK: Who else was on your team? You mentioned some that went on to the NFL.
WFG: Well, mostly Mosi Tatupu that year. Our junior year, we had Keith Uperesa. Primarily, a lot of them got full ride scholarships to major university, BYU or USC and things like that. Then the thing that was interesting is on the other side of the ball for Saint Louis were people like Brian Cabral and some other athletes that ended up also in the NFL. So, those two teams really produced a lot of great athletes.
MK: They still are.
WFG: Yes, they are. A couple of them aren’t here anymore, but, yes.
MK: Where did you go to college?
WFG: I went initially to Orange Coast College. I wanted to continue playing football, but I was a skinny little guy that I didn’t get any offers from any major universities or anything. So, a coach of ours at Punahou had also coached and come through Orange Coast College before he went and played at SC, and he said that, “I know of a perfect school for you to go,” and he organized that. I went up there and spent two years there. My first year there, my freshman year there, we were actually the number one team in the nation, and went undefeated, played in the bowl game. So, that was quite a thing to drop into.
MK: The Junior Rose Bowl?
WFG: Actually, the Avocado Bowl is what that one was.
WFG: The Junior Rose Bowl was a game that was played by junior colleges, but by then, it had moved into other bowl games. So, it was actually the Avocado Bowl pitted us against the team from Arizona or Texas, I believe. I think Arizona, and we ended up winning that, and then being declared the National Champions.
MK: Then after OCC, you went to?
WFG: I went to University of Hawaii, which is interesting because I happened to be back here for the summer. I put on a lot of weight and muscle. I came back here. I was actually slated to go to Humboldt University, which I look back on and go, “That would have been quite an experience with the other places I had been in life.” I happen to be up here playing sand volleyball. I was about 250 pounds, and I was playing beach volleyball, and a new coach had just signed at the University of Hawaii by the name of Dick Tomey.
On his staff was John Wilbur, and John had him down here at the Outrigger for lunch and he said, “Hey, I just want to show you something,” and he brought him up the stairs and stood at the top of the stairs and watched me play volleyball. Dick said, “That guy is an athlete.” They had a conversation with me, and I told him what I was going to do. He said, “Why don’t you stay here at home and walk on at the university and we’ll work with you?” So, I did that, and red shirted that year. Then at the end of that year, they offered me a scholarship, full-ride, and then I played the following two years, started on the offensive line for University of Hawaii.
MK: You were an offensive end?
WFG: Offensive tackle.
MK: Oh, yes. You were big.
WFG: I was big.
MK: How tall are you now?
WFG: I’m 6’4″.
WFG: I played at about 275, which in today’s game, I’d be a tight end. That wasn’t that big, but at the time, the NFL offensive lines were 275-280. Everybody was under 300 pounds. So, the game has changed significantly since then. So, that was a good size.
MK: What year did you graduate from the UH?
WFG: Actually, 2000 was my senior year. Oh, excuse me. No.
WFG: 1980. So, ’79-’80 was my senior year.
MK: What kind of work did you do after college?
WFG: It was interesting because Hawaiian Island Creations was opening a store, a new concept store in Ala Moana Center called Hawaiian Island Sports, which was the first time they were bringing all types of water sports into one retail setting. Fred Hemmings was one of the people that was involved with that. Consulting is part of it. So, I applied for a job to work there because it seemed like a great fit. I was coming out of football and I wanted to get back into paddling. That was an interesting year, 1980, because in December or excuse me, January of 1980, I weighed 275 pounds, and by the next summer, I was about 185 pounds.
MK: I remember you were the shrinking man.
WFG: Yes, and paddled in my first Molokai Race, many of my first races, but my first Molokai Race at 1980.
MK: So, what are you doing now or you did something else after that?
WFG: I did. While I was working there, I was very involved with the maintenance of canoes here. We’ve maintained Wayne Faulkner here, Mike Mason and others. We were hands-on working with maintaining the canoes, primarily, our Koa boats. During that period of time, actually, slightly before 1980, a group of Outrigger members, Bob Riley, Hank Lass, and Jeff Kissel purchased the Fiberglass Shop, which was a manufacturing company for fiberglass canoes because the principal for that, Bob Kreps wanted to get out of the business. Their concern, because they were all very involved in the associations and canoe racing in general, their concern was that if that company shut down, the source for fiberglass canoes would go away. So, they went and purchased it and kept it running. They then asked me if I would be interested in coming out and being a part of it, and managing it, and running the day-to-day operations, which I did, and that started a long career in the canoe business that went on for many years.
MK: Then you closed down the Fiberglass Shop in what year?
WFG: Between 1998 and 2000, we wound things down and started to actually have some of our designs manufactured by others. We had a lot of license agreements around the world as well that continued to roll on. Then by 2000, it was pretty much shut down manufacturing.
MK: What are you doing now?
WFG: I am in real estate. I work for a very good friend of mine, longtime friend that I grew up with and paddled and everything, Karl Heyer IV. We represent developers in new condominium developments in the urban core of Honolulu, primarily, but we do things all over the state. I did one project in Kona, for instance. I converted a hotel property into a condominium property and sold those. So, very diverse as far as that’s concerned.
MK: You’re still working?
WFG: I’m still working. I have a six-year-old son. I have to work.
MK: College is coming ahead.
MK: Since your family were longtime members of the Club, did you grow up at the Club?
WFG: Very much so.
MK: You spent a lot of time here?
WFG: Yes, from a very young age.
MK: What do you remember about the old Club?
WFG: I remember the layout of it. I remember from Kalakaua (Avenue) and walking in and coming through the lobby, and the volleyball courts being really right in the middle of the whole Club at ground level. Then I remember the dining room area being upstairs, overlooking that whole vista of Waikiki and the surf and the beach and everything. I remember the old Hau Terrace between the Club or the dining area and the Royal (Hawaiian), and the thick Hau trees. I remember climbing up the Hau and sitting up above. I remember the Fourth of July us kids getting up there and hiding up in the tree and just watching what went down on there, which you can imagine back in those days was pretty wild, coming right off the beach onto the Hau Terrace, unlike today where we have to come back to the Club. It was literally walking right off the beach onto the property.
MK: Do you remember any of the beach boys?
WFG: I don’t remember them much. The only one … I mean, I remember them, and probably more so after we moved back or the Club moved to here and going back to Waikiki Steamboat and people like that. Rabbit Kekai, of course, who spent many years here at this site with us, but I was a little too young to really know them. My father knew them all very well, and we’d talk about them all the time. Of course, he’d see them and I’d be standing there when he’d have conversations, very warm conversations and fun time with them, but I don’t have a lot of memory. Of course, I remember Duke, and I remember Duke here at this Club site as well.
MK: Any specific memories about Duke?
WFG: Probably more watching him go in and out of the parking lot. He had his private stall. It was the first one to the left as you drive out, had his name on it. He drove a Rolls Royce, which actually, my father was in the car business, and he’d leased the Rolls Royce from my dad. So, I knew of that car, and that was parked there. I remember seeing him walk through the Club, and those were in his latter years, of course, and he was elderly gentleman, but just still so commanding and classy. It just stopped the place when he’d move through the Club. I remember that.
MK: Did you learn to surf at the old Club?
WFG: No. I was too young to really do much surfing. I don’t believe I’ve spent much time in the water with my dad there. I, primarily, learned most of it after being here at this Club.
MK: When you were older?
MK: Well, we moved to this Club in 1964. Let’s see. You would have been what? 10 years old?
WFG: Eight years old.
MK: What do you remember about moving here?
WFG: I remember the move. I remember everybody, the ceremony of making the move, the canoes and the pageantry. I didn’t really understand the split or the divide in the membership at the time because all I saw was the happy stuff going on, but in latter years, spending time with Cline Mann, and some of the members there, and even my dad, they would realize how controversial that move was, and certainly can understand that. It would have been tough to be there in the ’60s and ’70s as it filled in and got more crowded. Of course, today, it wouldn’t have been a fit. So, I think that speaks for itself that this was a great move for the membership to move out here. Honolulu was a different place back then, of course. Moving from there out to here, this was a long way out by-
MK: A full mile farther out.
WFG: I know. You’re out in the weeds. I remember going over Kaimuki to Kāhala, and it was like you were going to Nebraska or something. It was a big deal to drive up there and go over the hill without any freeways or anything. So, I think relative distance was so much different back then.
MK: You mentioned the pageantry of the move. Tell me about that. What did they actually do?
WFG: Well, the main thing I recall is the canoes, the ceremony of the canoes being transferred from Waikiki to here. Of course, and that would make sense with the Outrigger Canoe Club. I don’t recall the cars or the people walking and things like that, but that’s the thing that sticks in my mind. I hope I’m accurate on that, but that is something that I remember as a small child was when that happened. It was a big deal.
MK: Well, and I think it was 1989. We reenacted that ceremony after 25 years here at this Club, where we took the canoes and we latched them into a double hull, and Duke was gone by then, but Rev. (Abraham) Akaka was still here, and he and Ward Russell, who was president at the time, and Peter Balding, I think it was, rode the canoes in, and we reenacted the dedication of this Club. That was so cool.
WFG: That’s very cool. In fact, we ought to keep that on the timetable, and do it every once in a while.
MK: We should have done it at the 50-year mark.
WFG: Yes, definitely.
MK: How old were you when you joined the Club?
WFG: I believe I was 13, 12 or 13. I paddled my first year when I was 13, and I may have joined at 12.
MK: Do you remember who your sponsors were?
WFG: I do. My sponsors, as I recall, I’m fairly certain, I know Cline Mann was one of them, and I believe Jerry Ober was the other.
MK: When did you first get involved with canoe racing?
WFG: Well, I was a paddler on the Boys 13s. Jerry spent a lot of time teaching me how to steer, and would take me out in the canoe surfing, and that sort of thing. So, at a young age, I was pretty competent in the back of a canoe. Even though I was one of the biggest, tallest, for sure, one of the tallest in our crew, I was relegated to steer at that age. If you can steer, you steer, right? So, that first year, which I believe was about 1970, if I’m correct, I steered our Boys 13s.
MK: Our records show that you won your first regatta in 1972 with the Boys 16s.
MK: Leeward Kai Regatta.
MK: You won your first HCRA Championship in 1974 and that was with the Boys 18s. Some of those guys you’re still paddling with.
WFG: … and are close friends with to this day.
MK: Remember who some of them are?
WFG: That crew would have been Alan Rosehill, I believe Jay West, Jay Pynchon, maybe Robbie Muller. Kainoa Downing was in that era.
MK: Mark Rigg.
WFG: Mark Rigg.
MK: Karl Heyer IV.
WFG: Karl Heyer was an overlap. So, of course, there was a … You got two years because you went from 16s to 18s. So, there’s a little bit of a rollover with those groups, but the core of the group were those guys. Ricky Lemke.
MK: You won two years in a row, the 18s at state. So, you guys did really well.
WFG: We did. At that point, it was almost two different crews because you’d have some that were aging out and some coming up from younger crews.
MK: Was that crew undefeated, the 18 crew?
WFG: I don’t believe that was undefeated, no. We had some real good competition back then from Leeward Kai Canoe Club, and we had some great battles with them. So, I think it was a back and forth in that era.
MK: That’s great. Who was your coach when you started out?
WFG: When I first started out, I remember Mark Buck was our, I believe our head coach. Our coach as kids was, to the best of my recollection, I know that Hal Burchard was one of our coaches. Brant Ackerman was around when we were 18s. I believe he was head coach because we drove him crazy. He’d tell us, “Absolutely, do not take the canoes and catch any waves,” and we’d, of course, we’d go straight to Waikiki and catch waves, and stand the boat up on the bottom and break the front of it, and things like that. We were in trouble all the time.
MK: So, you understand when the kids do that today?
WFG: Absolutely, and I was on the other end of that for many years, and gave the same speech.
MK: When did you stop steering and start paddling?
WFG: That 16-18s transition, I moved into the other seats in the boat. We had Alan Rosehill and Kainoa Downing as our steermen, and they were very competent, very good. So, I was somewhere else in the boat, sometimes in the front, sometimes in the middle.
MK: Is the regatta season similar to what it was back in that day or have things changed?
WFG: They’ve changed a great deal. I think we had around 20 events back in those early years, and it grew and grew and grew over the years as popularity grew and age groups and special opening events, and things like that. I’ve had this conversation many times over the years because the regatta goes so long now, and some of the older people are like, “Well, I remember when we had 18 or 16 or 20 events”, and we should have kept it capped at that. The thing that’s ironic is the regattas went just as long during the day back then as they do now. So, it’s not like we were saving time back then. We were a lot less efficient, and it was more social and we spent the whole day there, and put the boats away at 5:00 in the afternoon and trailered them back into town in the dark just like we do today.
MK: Just like now.
MK: Was coaching the same?
WFG: Well, the sport has changed so much now. Coaching was, the technique was different. Our paddles were different. Distances were different. Back then, if you trained for Molokai, the open crew would go to Honolulu Harbor and back and consider that a big long workout, where today, that’s the warmup. So, it was just a more condensed, less technical, of course, not as high level as it is today, which every sport would be. So, there was a lot of things in training overall for all sports that was changing right in that period of time.
My junior and senior years playing football at Punahou, we never had water breaks during football practice. That’s right in that era of changing. So, you can see how far that’s come just in that sport.
MK: We don’t wear leather helmets anymore either.
WFG: I never wore leather helmets, though. A lot of things have changed.
MK: Distances have also changed in races. They got really long for a while. Senior men was what? Two and a half miles?
WFG: Generally, the senior race was two and a half miles, and the junior race was two. That was the standard distance for many, many years.
MK: Now, they’re one and a half-
WFG: One and a half and-
MK: … and one.
WFG: Part of that is just the result of having so many events. Back then in those days, there was a differential in the point score for races. So, the senior races scored more points than any others, and then the juniors were stepped down, and then the rest of the races were something else. You also could only race in one of those divisions on a given day. Once you moved up from freshman to sophomore, to junior, to senior, you couldn’t move back down.
MK: For that regatta season?
WFG: At one point forever. Once you are up to a senior, if younger paddlers or something came up, and there were no masters back then and things like that, you basically were retired. So, obviously, those things have changed. It gets a lot more participation, and people are able to go in and out and back down to lower divisions, and then also out to the masters divisions.
MK: That’s great. Well, now, you started paddling around the time the fiberglass canoe was coming in, when we were adding them to our fleet here at the Club. What do you remember about the early fiberglass canoes?
WFG: Well, they were all Malia mold canoes back then, standard. So, that was one thing that was interesting. Everybody had very standardized equipment other than their Koa boats. Every club had their own Koa boat, which was unique, but they were very much the same as far as construction and feel and things as we have today. Of course, design, much different, but very much on the same makeup of materials.
MK: Was George Downing making the Malia canoes?
WFG: At the time I started paddling, they were already into the modern or the mass production with the Fiberglass Shop, which started in the late 1960s with Sandy Stein and Bob Kreps and those people, and they were actually building those canoes during those years down on 404 Piikoi Street right across where Sears was (Ala Moana Shopping Center). It’s where Hawaiki Tower is now, KHON-TV. That’s where the Fiberglass Shop was, right in the middle of town, building out their canoes out of fiberglass.
MK: Then Jelly’s moved in there or some-
WFG: They were on the front side, so Fiberglass Shop was on the back. That was all industrial down there then.
MK: Wow! Times have changed. Do you remember when all of our practices were in the Koa canoes?
WFG: I don’t. That was before my time. We were in fiberglass.
MK: You started in fiberglass, but knowing what you know now, can you imagine every crew paddling in the Koa canoes for practice now?
WFG: I cannot imagine that mostly because of the wear and tear on the boats that it would take. As a matter of fact, and you could find the year (1961) , but I know the Kakina, for instance, was being paddled by the 12 and under, our very young crew, was being taken from the old Club site probably around 1960 or 1961 or somewhere around-
MK: From Ala Wai.
WFG: Around to the Ala Wai, and I know some of the people that were in that crew, some of them are still around, and they actually got caught in the surf in the Kaiser’s area, and the boat went over the falls, and broke into pieces. So, with the amount of canoes that have ended up on the rocks in front of this Club in training circumstances, we’ve rescued many of them, and lost boats, and I’ve seen fiberglass boats broken on many occasions. It would be terrifying.
MK: How did Outrigger do as a Club in regattas in the ’70s?
WFG: Very well. We were a perennial powerhouse. There were a number of strong clubs as well. Less outer island influence than there is today, but the big names were Outrigger, Hui Nalu, Kailua Canoe Club. Lanikai was a small neighborhood club back then, just getting really started to their power years, but there were some very strong outer island clubs like Hanalei, and Kai Opua on the Big Island, but the Maui clubs had yet to really grow and flourish into what they’ve become recently.
MK: Well, you started coaching during the years that you were too large to paddle. What crews did you coach?
WFG: I coached some women’s crews. I took on the freshmen men’s crew which was my group because those were my peers, and we had a very successful crew that was nicknamed the Sultans. We had some very successful years there. Then I came back when I was done playing football and became a member of that crew, and we had some very, very great years together as freshmen men. We always thought of ourselves as the little giant killers because we always wanted to line up against the senior crew. Outrigger’s senior crew during that time was the top senior crew, and we’d always be barking and saying, “We need to race against you, and show you this and show you that.” Of course, they crushed us every time we got in the water with them, but it was a lot of fun pretending that we were bigger than we were.
MK: It reminds me of Mark Sandvold’s Boys 18s crew, who always wanted to take you guys on as seniors and that competition that was there.
WFG: Absolutely. Same thing. Same thing. That was pretty much a tradition I think at the Outrigger. The gremmys always wanted to challenge the big guys.
MK: You paddled for more than 30 years on various Club crews, but your teams in the ’80s and the ’90s were almost unbeatable. Best in the state. Were they the best crews the Club ever produced?
WFG: Well, I think for an era, from the mid ’60s, late ’60s, Outrigger had very top crews, and the ’70s, certainly, our senior crew and our Molokai crews were very competitive. The sport began to go international in the ’70s. By the ’80s, it was full-blown international. We were very, very successful that first year that I paddled Molokai in 1980. It was very competitive. We had crews from all over and all-star crews. Offshore Canoe Club was made up of Olympic athletes, and Blazing Paddles. That came out of Blazing Paddles, and then, of course, the Tahitians, and as time went on, the Australians, and various other groups.
So, I’m very proud of that, especially that 1980 to 1990 time period. I remember in 1980, we won, and then Offshore won in 1981 and 1982. I remember members and people in the community, but I remember specifically, a member here at the Club going, “A local club will never win the Molokai Race again with the caliber of athletes that are now racing, coming with crews like Offshore.” We won the next three years in a row, and I think won five out of the next six or something like that. So, we came storming back.
MK: Well, many of you guys paddled together for decades. What keeps crews together for so long?
WFG: Well, during that period of time, we had a rollover. We had a great feeder system, which brought young paddlers along, and put them on teams with more experienced paddlers. As the more experienced paddlers stepped out, we had a big group of young guys that had grown up together, did everything together, were very tight, had a good understanding of the ocean. We were all surfers, and spent a lot of time in the water. I think that was a big advantage. We were not the fastest crew in the water at all times, but we had a really good awareness and feel and technique that we could exploit. I think that was really our gift and our strength is we could go back to figuring out the right current and the right course and the right combination, and have our equipment tuned properly. So, we took care of a lot of detail, and we really took a lot of pride at the Outrigger in designing equipment and staying on the forefront of it, and leading as far as that’s concerned. So, I think all of those things contributed to make up for any of the deficiencies we may have had physically or in other areas.
MK: Who was your coach through most of those years?
WFG: Oh, it was a variety. Tommy Conner, initially, in 1980 when we won. He was the coach, and that was the first year he steered, first year he steered the open crew. Went from paddling in the front of the boat back to the back. Following that, we had … I coached a couple of years. Steve Scott coached a big group of those winning years, and Brant Ackerman also was our coach for a couple of ’83-’84, those two winning years, which were both in the Leilani.
MK: You paddled on a total of 23 Molokai crews for the Outrigger. You won seven of them, and then you won three masters after you moved up. When you think back to those times, what are your fondest memories?
WFG: Well, there are many. I think 1983, well, 1980, of course, the first year that I paddled Molokai. I really was young, green, very little experience, and I actually didn’t make the crew earlier in the year when we went up and raced in the Catalina Race that year, and I was one of the people that didn’t make the first crew. So, I was probably outside the top nine.
As time went on, I guess I progressed to the point where it might have been the day before or a couple of days before the actual Molokai Race, Tommy announced the crew, and who would be going where, and he said, “Walter will be stroking off the line at Molokai.” So, he announced that I’d be in one seat, which I had not spent a lot of time in, and Tommy had visions of things that people didn’t understand at the time, and it made sense after it was all done. We did very well, of course, and we were leading off the line. That certainly is a strong memory.
Probably one of the other ones was 1983, when we’re in the Leilani, and Brant Ackerman was steering, and it was one of the roughest, biggest years that we had been in. We were in the right canoe, and the right conditions, and just surfed all the way across the channel. So big at some point. We had Marc Haine, myself and Brant and four … We actually had four, five, and six seat helping to steer at some time.
Just spectacular and coming all the way across the channel and have a big gap to second place. I distinctly remember Brant turning us right at Rice Bowl and dropping us into a wave, and I’m like, “No. Don’t do it. Don’t go. Don’t go.” We didn’t need to catch a wave at that point, but we were just so comfortable.
MK: Showing off.
WFG: Well, I had asked him about that later. I said, “Are you crazy? We could have blown up the whole boat and everything right there.” He goes, “Are you kidding? With what we had just gone through in the Molokai Channel, this was an easy single wave. I could see where it was going. It was a piece of cake.” Those are the things with many, many other memories, but those are a couple of the ones that I certainly remember.
MK: If you were starting out now as a paddler, is there anything you’d do differently?
WFG: I’d train differently.
MK: Based on what you know now?
WFG: Yes. I mean, you have a tendency, I think, to look back and go, “Boy, if we had the things that these paddlers and kids and athletes, the knowledge of how to train and how to diet, and what fluids to take during sequence of events, and the equipment, and things like that. I think older paddlers catch themselves going, “Oh, if we only had what they have.” I really don’t suffer from that. I love to get on a modern one-man that weighs 18 pounds and still go out and play with it. Our surfing canoes are so great. The six-man canoes, which are now they are open class canoes, I just think it’s wonderful.
We came through at a time that everything was new. The first one-man canoes you would never even … You wouldn’t want to pick it up and try to carry it to the beach, but we never knew any different. So, it was a greatest thing we’d ever been on. We’re out in the open ocean in a single canoe or paddling across the Molokai Channel in this little tiny boat. It was spectacular.
So, if I had an opportunity to start today and know what everybody knows, that would be great, but I think that the kids today are going to see the same thing, and the records will continue to break, and it’s fantastic. It’s nice to have been a part of it, and it’s nice to watch as it travels beyond.
MK: What does Outrigger do to support its crews and help them win?
WFG: Well, the sport has now changed, again. Outrigger, for many years, really was at a deficit because we have held tight to the concept of our members being in our boats. The rules of canoe racing had dictated for many years, from the very beginning, that you had to be a member of a club to race for it, but when you think about it, getting into different clubs was much easier than getting into Outrigger. Outrigger was more than just a paddling club for a summer or a given season. It was more of a lifetime commitment. So, of course, our pool of people was much different than available.
So, for many years, you would see somebody paddle for one club, and then you may see them in a canoe for another club the following year. Outrigger didn’t have that. Then the sport really progressed into almost an all-star concept because paddlers were spending so much time on their one-man canoes and training individually. It’s much easier to get in a canoe and race as a group. So, I think that we were behind on that for many years. The Club is now trying some new things to try to bring more talented paddlers who aren’t lifetime or ongoing members of the Club into the system, and elevate the game. We saw results of that this year.
Certainly, the Club is struggling a little on trying to find the balance of how that might work and whether it’s appropriate or maybe it is appropriate to motivate some of the full-time members, and we can elevate again. The biggest problem with paddling today as many sports are, they’re so specialized on such a high level that the commitment to it is, it’s 24/7, 365 days. So, it’s very, very difficult for people that have business careers and families and things like that to dedicate that. So, that’s the biggest challenge, having a pool big enough to have those people rise to that level.
MK: Well, you mentioned a little earlier, and it’s probably part of this whole process of change, but when you guys were the senior paddlers, senior men’s crew, you were at the top of your game, and there were a bunch of you and you kept coming out year after year after year, which meant that there weren’t many spaces for the younger guys that were coming up. I remember that fateful year when something had to be done because we were losing the younger guys to other clubs. I think it was you who made the decision that all of you guys were going to move up to masters. What kind of year was that for you? That was difficult.
WFG: Well, yes. That was 2000. We had just won Molokai two years in a row, 1998 and 1999, and many of us were in our 40s. It was time, and certainly, retiring as a champion wasn’t lost on us. It was funny because you’re right, there were a lot of young paddlers that felt that by us sticking around, we weren’t allowing the opportunity. When we moved to masters, and created this big void, I heard some of the people say, “You guys need to move,” then say, “Well, you guys abandoned everybody. You didn’t stick around to show them how to win.” So, it was definitely a crossover point that took some adjusting.
MK: Well, but what I remembered most is that you guys beat the senior men for the next few years.
WFG: Well, I don’t know for years.
MK: You had faster times than they did.
WFG: Yes. The year 2000 when we moved to masters, I think we were fifth overall in Molokai. Actually, I think it would be interesting to see, but if I’m correct, that’s the last year that it was 35 and over for masters, and nine men (the change from 35 to 40 was made in 2004). So, that record may theoretically stand forever, but it was a very, very fast year. Records were broken. We still had a very competitive crew, even though we were in the upper age group. (The 2000 OCC record of 5:04:31 still stands.)
MK: You paddled in lots of regattas. There’s usually six to eight of them a year. Any regatta that stands out in your mind over the years?
WFG: I remember having just these knockdown drag out races, not necessarily specific regattas, but the competitive level of the senior crew between Outrigger, Hui Nalu and Hanalei Canoe Club in the state championship races that were two and a half miles, and every turn was dead even, dead even, dead even. For a number of years, that was a great camaraderie, and the paddlers from those other clubs were dear friends of ours that when we see each other, it’s good to see.
So, I remember those years, specifically. Of course, the Macfarlane races were in big surf, having to deal with that. There was one season in there that the senior race was lengthened to a four-mile race. I think it was just for one year. I remember it was big surf in the Macfarlane race. We swamped every time we went out, and every time we came in for four miles, and that senior race went on for ever and ever. So, some things like that that stand out.
MK: Did you ever paddle for another club?
WFG: I paddled Molokai for Mooloolaba Canoe Club in the masters division for one year, one or two years, but as far as … and also competed internationally with other groups, Team Hawaii or all-star teams and also raced with Mooloolaba down in Australia. As far as paddling or during a season, no, I’ve only paddled for Outrigger.
MK: What was the funniest thing that ever happened during a Molokai channel crossing?
WFG: The funniest thing that ever happened? Oh, boy! It’s hard to get a laugh when you’re in the middle of the Molokai crossing. I don’t have a good answer for that.
MK: What was the scariest thing?
WFG: I’ll give you the funniest thing. One year, we were racing and … Well, both times were with the same person. So, the funniest thing is one year we flipped, and we’re upside-down, and when you flip upside-down, we had a drill where everybody got out of the covers without unzipping because if you unzip when you flip the boat over, you have a big opening for water. So, we would slide ourselves out keeping the bungee tight, and then everybody would grab their hole, and we’d flip the boat over together trying to keep it as dry as possible. Well, when we all got in the water and we’re going through that exercise, we’re missing one of the paddlers. We flipped the boat back over, and sitting in his seat was Ed Pickering, who just decided that, “I’m just going to stay in the boat.” He came up with the canoe, and he’s “Get in, I’m ready to go.” So, I thought that was pretty funny.
Probably the scariest thing for me, and there were a number of instances, but one of the scariest things for me was we have always been taught in big water to be careful going under the ‘iaku as you go down the side of the boat to get in because the space between the water is doing this all the time. So, we tell our younger paddlers, “When you go by, put a hand on the boat, and put a hand on your forehead in case you get hit by the ‘iaku.” I, for whatever reason, didn’t do that, and I got hit hard and actually knocked me out cold. The canoe went by me, and Ed Pickering, happened to be getting out of the boat, my seat was empty because I missed the boat, and I was actually like a dead ahi going to the bottom of the Kaiwi Channel, and he happened to reach down and dived down and grabbed me and pulled me up, and got me going, and got back into the Boston Whaler, and I had a cut on my forehead, and that sort of thing.
MK: That was scary.
WFG: I think we may have won that race, too. I got about three or five minutes of sympathy, and then it was like, “Get ready to go back in with the big lump on your head.”
MK: You served a lot of years on the Canoe Racing Committee. Did you chair it at one point?
WFG: I did, somewhere in there, but not … I wasn’t consistently the chair because I was more the coaching and equipment side of the committee.
MK: You were head coach as well?
WFG: I was a head coach I think a couple of times, yes.
MK: What was your job, basically? You said the equipment was your basic job on the committee.
WFG: Yes, primarily. Of course, I was in the canoe business, and we were constantly trying to modernize and upgrade the equipment there. Our Koa boats through the ’80s and ’90s were being redesigned and redeveloped. So, I worked with Joe Quigg and others on those projects as that went along as well.
MK: You mentioned coaching some of the kids’ crews and some upper division, but you also coached the women at one point.
WFG: I did, yes. A couple of different times, I was involved with the women.
MK: For regatta? Just specific crews or overall coach?
WFG: It would have been upper division back then, I believe. So, primarily, the freshmen through seniors, and then open four as a group, as they’re grouped together there. Then of course, those evolved into the distance crews that go on to Molokai.
MK: Well, you’ve paddled with Outrigger in a number of different places around the world. You paddled in the Catalina Race.
WFG: Yes, a number of times.
MK: You go outer islands. Well, one that intrigued me was the Liberty Race in New York.
WFG: Yes, Liberty Challenge.
MK: In the Hudson River, outrigger canoes.
WFG: That’s right.
MK: We actually were there one year when you guys were paddling, and it just looked so odd. Tell me about one of those races.
WFG: Well, it’s odd. The reason that came out, interestingly, was I was in the canoe business, and they had started the race a couple of years before we went there. I was interested in our canoes because we were beginning to sell them all the way there. So, I contacted the organizers. It was held on the Fourth of July before that. I contacted the organizers, and I said, “There’s no way we’ll ever come to this race on the Fourth of July,” I said, “but if you’ll move it a week either side of that, I will find a sponsor to bring Team Hawaii,” which they were very interested in because it bumped the level of their race and the prestige considerably.
So, I went to the Hawaii Visitors Bureau and Maui Jim, and some other companies here, Hawaiian Style clothing, and got them to sponsor us and we went back to the East Coast. The thing that was amazing is the first year we did it and it was an all-star crew, which was fun because it was the Foti brothers, and Steve Cole. We tried to bring the really top-notch paddlers from all over the island together, not just Oahu, and not just one club. So, it was fun to travel with those guys, and spend the better part of a week in New York, which you can imagine a bunch of kids from Hawaii doing.
That first race, which went from the Hudson River, around the corner, turned on the Brooklyn Bridge in the East River, and then out around the Statue of Liberty, we were so dominant that we didn’t really want to embarrass anybody. So, we slowed things down and tried to make it as competitive as possible, even though they had some very good paddlers there. At one point, the Coast Guard who was overseeing the race came flying up alongside of us and stopped the whole race and said, “You must put your life vest on that were all in the boat in case of an emergency.” We said, “Well, we have them in here.” He said, “No. You can’t go forward unless you put your life vest on.”
So, we all put a life vest on, and there’s some photographs that were taken of us paddling with our orange life vest with the Statue of Liberty in the background. We were laughing so hard. It’s unbelievable. Here, we’re used to the Molokai Channel or big surf and open ocean and things and this is a river. I think we got on the backside of the Statue of Liberty and everybody took them off because we realized that there were going to be pictures going all over the world with that. So, that was quite exciting.
MK: I know you went a number of times.
WFG: We did. I believe, we, as a men’s crew, I believe we went five or six years, and we were undefeated. Then we started also taking a women’s crew, and they were also very successful. So, we had a men’s and women’s Team Hawaii that we would take there.
MK: That’s cool.
MK: Every year, the Club sponsors the Walter Macfarlane Regatta, which is the top race as far as our Club is concerned. The race is in memory of your grandmother’s brother, Walter Mac. Your family has been very involved in it over the years. What’s so special about the Macfarlane Regatta?
WFG: Well, it’s the only chance that everybody gets to go and race in Waikiki, which for this Club is where it all began, and be in the surf and catch waves. It’s just an entirely different atmosphere from the other regattas or from anything anybody else does in a six-man canoe. So, I think it’s such a unique experience. Of course, it’s on the Fourth of July, which for the entire country, is a special day.
As far as the Outrigger is concerned, I think that day really gives us a feeling and a remembrance of when the Club was actually right in Waikiki. Everybody feels that’s where it all began for us, even though we started here at this Club site. It just feels much more original on that given day, and the tradition behind it. Of course, our family, led by my grandmother, Muriel, felt that to honor her brother, establishing trophies for as many events as possible to allow people to get their names on and be a part of really would enhance it and create a special day. I think that’s part of it. There’s so much hardware (perpetual trophies) involved with it on that given day.
MK: We’ve stopped taking all of the hardware down. Just too big a job.
WFG: Yes. It’s not practical.
MK: Part of that hardware is something that you are responsible for, which is the Boys 18s trophy. Why don’t you tell us about that?
WFG: Well, that was a project that was undertaken by Mike Mason and me. We had an opportunity to take a Koa log that had fallen up on Tantalus, and Gib Bintliff made us aware of, and we went up and harvested it from the side of the road, and built the canoe that’s part of that trophy. It’s the same way that a large six-man canoe would be built, and went through the entire process of designing it, and laying it out as a project. We didn’t know exactly at the time how it would be used.
Then as it was closer to completion, Mike and I decided it would be a nice way to honor my grandmother’s name, create a trophy. The senior men, of course, had a trophy. Senior women, I don’t believe had one at the time, but I had always felt, had a special place in my heart for the Boys 18s. So, I felt like that was the senior men of the kids because it’s the last year that everybody is together before you generally go off to school or you go up into the upper division and you become mixed with older paddlers. So, it was the last chance of a real pure experience for everybody’s senior year, so to speak. So, we created that trophy, and it became very special. There weren’t a lot of trophies for the Fourth of July back then. So, for the kids to have their own was a special thing.
MK: Well, I’m just thinking back. Back in the year that that was developed, were you allowed to drink at 18?
WFG: Yes, we were.
MK: Did you have champagne with that as we do with the senior men’s trophy?
WFG: Well, that wasn’t part of that trophy. As it turned out that summer, many of us were 18 and the legal age in Honolulu was 18. So, I do recall being invited up by the senior crew when they won the Champagne Bowl to have a sip out of that.
MK: Did you ever get your name on the trophy?
WFG: I did get it on as an open steersman. So, it was … We finished that trophy after I was done paddling 18s. So, I would have been ineligible as a paddler, but I have steered as an open steersman, steered 18 crews, and it may just be once, maybe twice that my name appears there as part of an open steersman. (Steered winning Boys 18 crews in 1986, 1991 and 1992.)
MK: In the early days of the regatta, everybody paddled a Koa canoe in the race. We haven’t seen a Koa canoe there since 1981. Why are we no longer using Koa?
WFG: We mandated Koa for, of course, many, many years. Then after some severe accidents with Koa boats and a lot of damage done to them, we made it optional. They were so fragile and so expensive, and of course, needed to be raced again the next week that a lot of clubs opted to start racing fiberglass. I think the thing that finally did it was Waikiki Surf Club stuck with racing the Malia all through that, and they were really the last ones to give it up. Of course, there was a terrible accident with the Malia, where it was almost completely destroyed. I think that pretty much sealed the deal for everybody going to fiberglass.
MK: Yes, because they actually came back. They fixed the boat, and then came back the next two years and raced her again, and then damaged her again, and I guess ’81 was the last year that we’ve had them.
WFG: Yes, it was the last. Just it’s not practical. I remember one of the real beautiful things about that is when the Malia was severely damaged that time. Before even the pieces were gotten back to shore, there were thousands of dollars had been raised.
MK: People were passing the hat down the beach.
WFG: Right, to help get it rebuilt.
MK: That’s great. Well, Walter, you are very much a part of the Fourth of July celebration for Outrigger every year. Your motivational talk in the bar on the morning at the paddler’s breakfast gets everybody started off. Sometimes they get very emotional.
MK: What are you trying to accomplish with the pep talk?
WFG: Well, the reason I continue to do it or ask to continue to do it is because there’s so much history in this Club that I had benefited from. I looked at Cline Mann, and of course, my family and my father, and uncles, and just the gifts that we were given from little kids being able to race for this Club and grow up here, and be mentored, and influenced by older successful athletes and good people. It just seems to me in today’s day and age, especially with the specialized all-star philosophy that a lot of the things that make this Club great could easily disappear.
Your work in the historical side of things, I think, is so important, and kids just need to be reminded and understand how fragile it is, how easily financially or economically or socially things can change, and the great times and the things that you’ve taken for granted could be gone. Because it’s on the Fourth of July, and I’m a strong believer in those same great things about this country, I think it’s a good opportunity to blend the two and show the similarities and the parallels, and just try to tell a little bit of a story of when I grew up or what came before me, and relate it to today. So, I try to do that on those days.
MK: What do you hope stays with the kids after you’re through?
WFG: That tradition is a cornerstone to who you are, and that you become tradition yourself the minute you are born, and the things that you do will influence and guide the future, and how important everyone is to maintaining the things that are great. I just hope they feel that, and they come back to this Club as it’s something worth preserving, and maintaining, and keeping a winning tradition and a social tradition alive. Hopefully, they get a little taste of it. It’s very hard for them to grasp on an exciting day like that, especially when they’re 12, 13, 14 years old, and there’s a lot of things going on around them. So, it’s hard to get that message through the cloud of the morning.
MK: You repeat it year after year after year, and hopefully, by the time they’re 16 and 18 year olds, they remember.
WFG: It’s funny because many of … There are many parents or older people that have been in that setting with me when they were little kids, and they didn’t really get it then, but they comment now how much it means to them. So, it’s cool.
MK: I think it’s really important. It’s one of the few times we have to share our traditions with the younger members, and it’s terrific. I really enjoyed it every year.
WFG: Thank you.
MK: You were also involved in the starting of the Skippy Kamakawiwoʻole Race. How did Outrigger wind up sponsoring a race out on the other side of the island?
WFG: Well, that’s interesting. When I was young, my first distance race, I think I paddled. Well, it might have been Lanikai, but one of the first distance races that I paddled was the Pokai Race, and it started in Waikiki, right on the beach on Waikiki and went all the way to Pokai Bay. We were Boys 13s or 14s, and we got a chance to paddle in that. The first year I paddled, Fred Hemmings, who was larger than life, agreed to steer us, our little kids’ gang, and we did pretty well. That gave us a taste for distance and things like that.
So, I also had a soft spot for going that direction. When Skippy started, we had a real good relationship with Makaha Canoe Club, and the DeSoto family, John DeSoto, very dear friend of ours. I talked to he and Patty, his wife, and said, “It would be great to have a race again that linked town to the west side,” and because they were there and we were here, and we had the way to do it and the reason to do it. So, that’s really how it began. The Makaha Sons were at their height (of popularity as singers) back then, and Skippy Kamakawiwoʻole had just passed away. So, they felt it was very appropriate to name it on his behalf. So, it was Outrigger and Makaha Canoe Club together doing that race. So, it was a cool bridge.
MK: Outrigger won it every year as I recall for a number of years.
WFG: Yes. We were in our hay day. That’s for sure.
MK: That’s 16 years in a row or something.
WFG: Oh, really? I wasn’t aware of that.
MK: Then what happened? The race disappeared.
WFG: Well, it evolved. One of the reasons that we wanted to do that race was because of its distance, and it was a progression to the Molokai Race because it’s a long race, time-wise and distance, but it didn’t give us a lot of the conditions similar to Molokai because much of it was on the west side of the island. Once you got around Barbers Point, it was pretty flat, hot and different water.
So, when Ko Olina was built we shortened that end of the race and lengthened it to Hawaii Kai to get more of the surfing conditions and things. So, we adjusted the course to finish in Nānākuli, which was a tough place to finish because it’s hot, and people are worn out already. When Ko Olina was done and the harbor was open there, I approached Jeff Stone, and asked him if we could finish the race there. So, right at that time, we changed the name of the race to the Henry Ayau Race because Henry had just passed away. So, basically, the Skippy Race still exists. It’s a little different course, and it’s a different name but it’s still the same concept.
MK: Outrigger doesn’t sponsor it anymore.
WFG: No. Outrigger had other races that they sponsored, and they wanted other clubs to start stepping up. So, Henry was a founding member of Hui Lanakila Canoe Club. So, I took the race and worked with them, and we renamed it the Henry Ayau Race. I was still involved with it through our company because I needed to be involved with it to be able to get access to Ko Olina. That was one of the stipulations. They wanted somebody that they approved of working with. So, when I was done with it, and it became just a Hui Lanakila Race, it went back to finishing at Nānākuli.
MK: It was named for Henry, who’s one of our favorite paddlers and members for many, many years.
WFG: He was a teammate of mine. I won Molokai races with Henry in the 1980s.
MK: I’m sure you grew up hearing about Duke and his crew, and how they won everything. They were unbeatable in the ’40s, I guess. How do you think they’d compare to the best crew that you were ever on?
WFG: I would put them up against any of the crews I was on. I mean, for one thing, I knew all of them. They were influential and around this Club when I was young. They’re my father’s era. He paddled in the junior crew during that same period of time, which was coached by Duke as well. So, I heard about it from him. I look at the pictures of those guys, my God! They’re gods. They just were so fit and so strong. I would imagine if they had the tools we have today, they would be at the top of the game as well. They were very dedicated. They had great leadership. They’re a perfect example of some of the things we had in those ’80s and ’90s, which was the camaraderie, and the training etiquette and philosophy to just do whatever it took to be successful. So, they had all the right tools.
MK: I was wondering if you would think they were competitive. I mean, you guys would beat them.
WFG: Well, one-on-one, it’s apples and oranges because of the equipment and the techniques and the things like that.
MK: They raced in the Kakina.
WFG: They did.
MK: Same canoe you’re using. It’s not the same.
WFG: Well the Kakina is not the same today as it was then, but, yes. Certainly, the canoe wouldn’t have been the big difference. It would have been the paddles, and the training techniques, but certainly, if they had those things available to them, if you could somehow bring about the life at the same time and the peak of their career, they’d be right up there.
MK: Well, in the past, when Outrigger was winning a lot of races, we were accused of being a “rich haole club” that could buy winning crews, but there was a quote from you back in 1987, and that was in the newspaper that I thought it summed it up. I was going to ask you to read it, but I’m just going to sum it up in a couple of sentences. You said, “As long as they think we beat them because we have more money, they’re making our job easier. They’re focusing on an area that doesn’t make the difference between winning and losing. The difference is who can paddle best, train the hardest or think the most, and every club has access to those things.” Is that still true?
WFG: That’s still true. Certainly, equipment is generally pretty standardized. I often, during that period of time, I was asked to give seminars to clubs or various paddling groups and things like that, and they would always ask me, “What is Outrigger’s secret?” because we were so successful and they saw all this shiny, new equipment all the time and things like that. It was a very simple one sentence answer, which is true to this day. It was true for Duke’s crew. The secret is there is no secret.
As soon as you stop looking for the magic secret, you’ll figure it out. It’s just hard work. That’s all it is. So, if you make the excuse for us that we’re winning for those things, we’ll continue to win. Of course, everybody has figured that out, and the teams that are successful realize it’s just hard work, good equipment, which everybody has access to, but having a bond of your team and a common purpose is really what . .
MK: So, are we still a “rich haole club” that wins?
WFG: Well, no. I mean, we struggle financially as much as anybody else. Many of the clubs and teams now have access to sponsorship funding, which is specific to their sport. We’re a university here with a number of different sports that are funded by our membership, and that sort of thing. So, the dollars are spread out. There’s not a deep pool of money that makes a difference.
MK: You mentioned earlier that you played volleyball at the Club when you were a kid.
MK: You play on any of our teams?
WFG: No. I just primarily played just beach sand volleyball.
MK: Just on the beach?
MK: You were involved with the Hawaii Canoe and Kayak Team, which started what? In the ’80s?
WFG: Yes, early ’80s.
MK: Tell me about that. I remember them … having lots of our kids paddling for them. How did that get started?
WFG: Well, Billy Whitford, who’s a very good friend of mine, who was the steersman and the captain of Offshore Canoe Club, moved to Hawaii, and actually we were roommates for a time, and we realized that where the sport was, where the Tahitians, and the all-star teams and the Olympians at the time all coming to Honolulu for the Molokai to Oahu Race, we had this huge pool of talent at a very high level that nobody ever got to see other than in a six-man canoe. Back then, it (Molokai race) wasn’t televised. The channel wasn’t televised or any of that. It was the last 200 yards to the beach to Duke Kahanamoku Beach at the Hilton is all everybody got to see.
So, we decided to create an event in the Ala Wai Canal the week after the Molokai Race that would put these athletes back into their format, which was Olympic format. We blended it with Outrigger canoes and also the flat water K1s and things that were actual Olympic boats. Well, it was very timely because at the time, Greg Barton and Norman Bellingham, had just won the gold medal for the United States in the two-man, and then Greg won an individual gold medal. Those were two of the people.
We also had some of the gold medalists from Australia who would be here. So, we ended up putting together an event in the Ala Wai that really showcased this and got it in front of the community here. Right at that time, Billy was very involved with the Olympic team out of Newport Beach. So, he brought his credentials of that here, and realized that with the paddling background and the kids that we had here, we had already been supplying the U.S. team with paddlers from here. So, it was a good opportunity to start a program. So, it evolved out of that era, and he formed the team, got it started, and we would have that event, and his teams would go on to the Nationals. He developed that whole thing.
MK: You were also involved in developing it. You were the representative from the National Kayak Association or something.
WFG: I may have been. I don’t recall that part of it.
MK: So, then was that the Steinlager?
WFG: Steinlager was our original sponsor, Steinlager Hawaiian Canoe and Kayak Championships.
MK: Are they still going?
WFG: No. The events, of course, now, there’s kayak racing in high school that races on that same course there, and HCKT, of course, trains and operates. There’s a couple of different teams that operate out at the Ala Wai. We always felt that the Ala Wai and worldwide they do as well. We’ve had teams come here from Europe and Japan and places like that to train here during the winter. So, the Ala Wai is a potential real asset for that if we can ever-
MK: Clean it up.
WFG: Yes. It’s still used, though, for those purposes.
MK: Well, in the ’80s, you also got involved in one-man canoes. Tell me about that.
WFG: Well, in the mid ’80s, the World Sprint Championships for the International Polynesian Canoe Federation was coming to Hawaii. I was in the manufacturing of canoes. The host country or region has to supply the canoes for that. So, we had just designed and built a new six-man canoe, the Hawaiian Class Racer. So, Gaylord Wilcox and Mike Tongg came to me and said, “We need to have a one-man canoe because that’s one of the events in this race, and we need to have a standardized boat here.” I said, “Well, if you will designate us as the designer and builder of it, and I can pre-sell a number of boats, I’ll go ahead and build a brand new boat here.” So, we went ahead and did that.
When that was over, we now had one-man canoes being used. I started fooling around with that, and taking my one-man canoe out in the open ocean and using it and modifying it, put a rudder on it, covering a deck on it, and decided that this is something that, of course, surf skis were already racing in the open ocean. I said, “I think this is something that could evolve into an open ocean boat.” That was how it all started, and it’s gone to the moon.
MK: Well, I remember the first ones. I remember some of your guys paddling around here in front of the Club, but you sat very high up on the canoe.
WFG: We sat right on top of it. Those were designed for Keʻehi Lagoon, but the shape and design of them was. Of course, those were open cockpit, where you could take on water and things like that, and they were rudderless back then. So, we really started using it. They were heavy. They were 40 pounds. So, again, that’s part of the story of looking back going, “Well, we didn’t know any better. We thought it was the greatest thing in the world at the time.”
MK: Well, I want to talk a little bit more about that when we do part two of your interview, but the canoes are now available around the world. People are paddling them in just about every country. Any idea how many one-man canoes are out there?
WFG: Ooh, boy! That would be almost impossible to figure out. Of course, Tahiti had one-man canoes way before we did, and they have a huge fleet of them there. So, there’s literally thousands.
MK: Were they fiberglass or were they wood?
WFG: Originally they were wood, but they are fiberglass now, and they’re very high level as well. You can drive just about anywhere in the world. This last summer, we did an RV trip around Oregon and five, six, eight times I saw one-man canoes on the roof of trucks, in the Columbia River Gorge Area or anywhere. I think some of that has now changed with the advent of the standup paddleboard because those are a lot more practical and more people can do it. You’ll be in the Midwest or anywhere in the world and now see those, but a one-man canoe is very widespread. They’re in Europe, they’re in Australia. They’re all over the Pacific, East Coast, West Coast, and what not.
MK: We (OCC) started sponsoring a couple of races for the one-mans. Were those races that you encouraged or how did Outrigger get involved in starting those?
WFG: I primarily started getting those going with the Club sponsorship. We did some fun triangle races and things like that. Of course, the Outrigger, the first race that we sponsored, was the Molokai to Oahu Relay Race. The first few years, we actually finished at the Club and the Club helped sponsor that and host everybody when it was still a very small race. So, the Club had supported my efforts in taking that new direction in the sport. That gave us more year-round paddling, and that sort of thing. So, yes, the Club has always been there from the beginning.
MK: It became part of our Winter Ocean Race, which started out as a paddleboard race. Then I think we added the kayak and surf skis. Then the next thing we knew, we had one-mans in it.
WFG: That’s right.
MK: So, not too many in the beginning.
MK: Now, Kanaka Ikaika was already formed at that point for the kayaks.
WFG: Correct. Yes.
MK: Did they start allowing one-mans?
WFG: Yes, they did at a certain point. They were a little reluctant at first, which is understandable, but it seemed like the perfect thing to do because they were beginning to lose participation in the surf ski numbers, and we were beginning to grow and become big enough, and many people were crossovers. So, they agreed that it would be worthwhile, and I think it was a great move on their part, of course. It boosted their participation tremendously. So, I think it was win-win at the time.
MK: We’re not sponsoring any races now, one-man races.
WFG: Well, I don’t believe we are at this point. We’ve been in and out of it.
MK: You’ve participated in a lot of those races. I know you did the Molokai Race. How did you do?
MK: What’s the difference in paddling in the Molokai in a one-man and a six-man?
WFG: Well, one of the reasons that we started the Molokai, especially the relay race, was I felt at the time that because we could get those boats off the beach at Kaluakoi, which is where the nine-man Molokai Race originally started, but got too big, and wasn’t practical. The surf was big. It was hard to get off the beach. So, it moved down to Hale O Lono (Harbor), but what that did is it changed the course to a more southerly starting point, and less advantageous to the direction of the trade wind swell.
So, the ideal race course to me was more north on Molokai to Waikiki. So, we had an opportunity to have the ideal race track, so to speak, but being a longer race, it would have been tough to do a solo. So, we made it a team event. The one-mans, as they have progressed, are a fantastic boat in the Molokai because they don’t need much swell to surf. It can be very small, and they fit within all sorts of swell patterns. They accelerate so fast, you can surf for hundreds of yards on a given swell. So, it’s a very exciting and high-speed event, where the six-man, it’s a little more of a freight train. When it gets going, it’s a big heavy boat. It’s exciting, but it’s a lot more work to do that.
MK: Paddlers train in the one-mans year-round now. Instead of having seasons like we used to for regattas and distance races and then a break, people are paddling year-round. Is that going to burn people out or is it going to improve the sport?
WFG: That’s interesting. I think in the paddler’s mind, it still feels like an off-season because the two types of racing are so different. The one-man racing, you get to control everything yourself. You’re the steersman, you’re the stroker, you’re the tactician. So, you get a lot more stimulation that way. Logistically, it’s so much easier just to throw a boat on (your car). If the wind is blowing good, you throw a boat on, you go to Hawaii Kai and use it. So, I think that there’s still enough of a difference that it feels like an off-season, even though the paddlers are obviously still paddling the whole time. Rather than burning people out, it allows older paddlers or paddlers that have limited time because of other commitments to still spend time in the water that they would have been done. So, like myself, I’m able to go out according to my schedule and paddle on my one-man anytime. So, I think it will actually enhance things going forward.
MK: Are you still competing?
WFG: No. I hope to come back to competing, but I haven’t been for the last five or six years.
MK: Besides the Molokai Relay, there was also another race, the Coastal Relay. You were part of that one.
MK: There was the Duke, a Duke Race at Waikiki.
WFG: There’s a number of races now. There’s one that the ODKF puts on.
MK: Well, I thought there was a one-man race that you sponsored that was in Waikiki.
WFG: There’s been a couple of them. One of the reasons that I was involved with so many different types of events was in our canoe business, we started building more than just six-man canoes, obviously. We felt that in order to stimulate the market, it made sense for us to put on events that showcased the boat. So, the Molokai Relay Race, the Coastal Relay, which logistically was a much more exciting race. It also brought the racing to the people. So, you could actually follow the coastline and see the race, unlike the channel races. We also put on, of course, the Steinlager Hawaiian Canoe and Kayak Race. We did the King Kalākaua Cup.
MK: Maybe that’s what I was thinking.
WFG: Yeah. I think that’s what you might be thinking, which was a fantastic race that finished in Honolulu Harbor, which will never happen again. After 9/11, you don’t have the same access to that, but we would bring in literally hundreds of competitors on paddleboards, sailing canoes, paddling canoes, one-mans, surf skis. That was really a spectacular day. So, yes, that was one of the big events that we did.
MK: Like the old days in Honolulu Harbor-
MK: … when there were swimming and canoe races and-
WFG: It’s King Kalākaua because he had a regatta that … We also did the King Kamehameha Cup World Canoe Surfing Championship, which was held here at Castles. We had that for a number of years. Originally, I did that with Tommy Holmes, and we had it a few times after that.
MK: That’s wonderful. Now, you’ve earned a wonderful reputation as a waterman in Hawaii and throughout the world, and you’ve been elected to the Winged “O” at the Outrigger, and the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation voted you into its Waterman Hall of Fame.
WFG: Quite an honor.
MK: What do you think your major contributions have been to water sports?
WFG: Well, certainly, canoe paddling related, and that’s why I was nominated for that. I think I had the opportunity to advance the sport and be a part of it, both as a competitor and an organizer and a designer. I think I was, certainly, not alone, but I happened to be in a unique position to be an athlete, as well as an administrator and coordinator. So, I was there when the sport was advanced, again, with the help of many, many, many other people. So, just a unique opportunity to have been there, and a tremendous honor in both those cases are fantastic.
MK: You’ve made a great contribution because everybody’s enjoying the sports now that might not have made it as quickly as if you hadn’t been involved. I want to ask you a little bit about your family life. You’re married now.
WFG: I am.
MK: Your wife’s name?
WFG: Jacqueline. Jackie.
MK: Jackie, and her maiden name?
MK: Did you meet her at Outrigger?
WFG: Sort of. That’s a funny story. I met her at the flotilla-
MK: On the Fourth of July?
WFG: … on the Fourth of July. That’s right. I was in a canoe. At the end of the day, I had been steering all day, and we were bringing the boat back to the Outrigger. Traditionally, we would wind our way through the flotilla and say hi to everybody and have a cold beer here and there. I happened to be introduced to her by a mutual friend of ours, and then met her again later that evening here at the Club, and asked her out. As they say, the rest is history.
MK: When did you get married?
WFG: 2002, yeah. In fact, November 6th. My wedding anniversary is next week.
MK: You have one son.
WFG: We do.
MK: What’s his full name?
WFG: Ryder Macfarlane Kawelakalanikini Guild.
MK: Who gave him his Hawaiian name?
WFG: My mother.
MK: How old is he now?
WFG: He’s six years old.
MK: Six? Oh, my goodness! Is he going to be an Outrigger baby? Is he going to grow up here?
WFG: I think he will be. He’s a great little waterman already. He loves to surf and paddle canoes, and things like that.
MK: Well, he’s been to every Macfarlane Regatta. I know you asked him that every year at the pep rally, and the question is, “Who’s been coming to the Macfarlane Regatta every year of their life?” and then he raises his hand with a big grin.
WFG: That’s right. So, he was born on July 26th, and his mother was sitting there on July 4th of that year. So, he’s actually been to one more than everyone.
MK: Now, Cline Mann, who you’ve mentioned a couple of times, has been one of the greatest supporters of Outrigger athletes for all of his life. He was there for everybody that needed him. He’s famous for buying kids their very first legal beer.
WFG: That’s right.
MK: Did he buy you yours?
WFG: Yes, he did.
MK: At the Club?
WFG: He did. That’s a funny story because my birthday being in October, it was right in the middle of football season for me, and it so happened that on October 4th 1974, I guess it was, my 18th birthday, we played a game that night in Honolulu Stadium, and he insisted that he had to buy me my first legal beer, and that after we were done with the game and showering and doing what we do, he would be waiting for me at the Outrigger Canoe Club. So, by the time I got here, it was about 11:00 at night, and the bar was closed, but I came. When I arrived, he was sitting there waiting, and reached over the bar into the ice in the back and pulled out two beers and he said, “I just want you to know, I did buy these before the bar closed. So, it counts as your first legal beer that I’ve bought for you.”
MK: He was wonderful.
MK: Do you have any Cline stories you can share with us?
WFG: Many. Some of them too funny and maybe a little underage to tell the whole story, but a couple of them that … Cline would many times come out to the regattas and when we were racing in Keʻehi Lagoon, he would get in a little rowboat with his nephew, Kimo Dowsett, and they would sit out on the course, and I would spend a lot of time in the water holding boats and helping start. I remember Cline, he’d be out there, and he’d always have Budweisers in there with him. When he finished his beer, he would traditionally go to the bathroom in the empty beer bottle in the boat, and then reach over the side and pour it out.
So, I remember him saying to me as they’re sitting up wind from us, “Walter, would you tell us when we’re directly upwind from you?” Being naïve and sitting there in the water, I’d go … I thought it was a weather test of some type. I’d say, “A little bit this way, a little bit this way. Okay. Yeah. You’re directly upwind.” “Would you say if we’re up current from you as well?” I’d say, “Yes. We’re in Ke’ehi Lagoon.” He goes, “Very good. Thank you.” He would take the can full of pee and just pour it in the water, and I went, “Oh, okay. Now, I get it,” but that’s his way, that kind of thing. He was fun and hilarious and great to be with. Once he stopped coming to the regattas, he would be here out at Corinthian Corner, as he called it, every regatta day and wait for us to come back and have a beer with him, and just tell him how it all went, and just feel like being in on it. So, yes.
MK: You’ve been active on Club committees, and you’ve been on the Board of Directors. You were President. What year was that? 1994.
WFG: I could look at the photograph over there and tell you, but that sounds correct.
MK: Your dad was President of the Club twice before you.
WFG: That’s right.
MK: What kind of advice did he give you?
WFG: His advice, well, I think that he was extremely proud that I was able to do that and serve on the Board. As many members of that era, there was no shortage of opinion or advice that he would give me. One of the things that I took away from him was take everything in stride on this. He made it clear that it was going to be a difficult position to have because there’s so many opinions, and there’ll be two sides to everything that you do, but as long as you keep the Club’s overall history and well-being in mind and make decisions based on that, everything would be good. He also was a strong believer in just don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t think you’re … As you’re President of the Club, don’t think you’re something bigger than that is. Just keep in mind you’re a member and a friend, and a person that should be approachable.
MK: Did he have his ways of bringing you back down?
WFG: Oh, constantly, constantly, yes.
MK: You want to share with us what he did?
WFG: Oh, no. It would take up the rest of this session.
MK: What was the biggest project or activity while you were President?
WFG: Well, we had a number of ongoing issue. Of course, there’s always the financial side of it and balancing that. It’s such a unique operation with the athletic programs, and the interest of the memberships, a dining component to it. It’s much different than any other Club, even a golf club or any other private clubs, certainly. It’s almost like a university in many respects. So, it’s very difficult as far as that’s concerned.
One of the things that we undertook at the time was the redesigning of the dining room. My Aunt Mary (Philpotts McGrath) was involved with that. That was a major, major undertaking. That came through during that era. We were in the process of that. Then I came up through the Building and Grounds in various committees, so I had a good feel and understanding for the bones of this, the building, which certainly has been aging and hadn’t been dealt with. So, we’ve had to move through a number of those things.
MK: One of the things about the dining room that I really, really like is the glass windows on the doors to the private dining rooms. They have an Outrigger paddle etched in the glass. Do you remember whose idea that was?
WFG: It could have been Mary’s. It could have been Auntie Mary’s. That, I agree.
MK: Such a unique feature. I always admire. I enjoy looking at that. Were you involved in the Elks Club? Had you started the Elks Club negotiations then?
WFG: Those we had. Those had been ongoing. I was not directly involved with that, and it really picked up speed after that, but we knew we needed to bridge our gap with them. It was a little bit early at the time that I was on the Board and President. We weren’t ready for it. There was still a lot of animosity from the older (Elks) members that were there, but certainly from our perspective, we knew that it was something we needed to undertake. Really, the movement on that took place after I was off the Board.
MK: You have not been involved on too many committees in the last few years. Are you going to get involved again?
WFG: I would plan on it. For business and child-rearing, I’ve been pretty occupied.
MK: Are you happy with the way things are running here now?
WFG: I love the Club. I purposely keep an arm’s length. Karl Heyer IV, I gave him some advice when he became President, and he’s passed it on to people that have become president after him, which is it’s such a difficult spotlight period in your life. You rarely can just walk into the Club and have everybody go, “It’s so nice to see you. Hope you enjoy your lunch,” and things like that. You’re always dealing with everybody’s issues. So, when you step away from it, just come in and look around and tell everybody they’re doing a great job, and everything looks fabulous, and don’t delve into it too much because you’ll be right back into it again.
MK: Do you think the Club is going to be around in 40 years when our lease is up?
WFG: Oh, yes. I think we are. I think we’ve certainly been through much more difficult periods of time. There’s always challenges. There’s always financial challenges. There’s the Board’s involvement with management. It’s always a challenge. Our membership is always opinionated and has wants. They have a say in everything that’s said. It’s always been a difficult model, but it’s strong, and the foundation is there. I think that’s why the tradition and remembering that it’s bigger than any particular period of time is very important for everybody.
MK: The Club has some really great employees, and many who have been with us for a long time. Are there any you’d like to mention that were special to you?
WFG: Oh, there’s many of them. Of course, the maintenance shop with Domie (Gose) and Han (Nguyen) and the people that worked there for many years. We had Wayne Faulkner for many years that we worked with on the Koa canoes. As well, Don (Isaacs), when he was here. The back office with Ruby (Yabiku) and Gordon (Smith) at the time, and all of the ladies that are there that over the years and JoAnne (Huber). I mean, just as you said, that’s probably the biggest strength of the Club is the people that have been here, and their character and their dedication to the locker room attendants over the years, Walter (Daniels), when I grew up, and Victor (Cadiz), and the ladies. Just a wonderful family of very good friends.
MK: Well, before we wrap up part one, I’m wondering if there’s anything you’d like to add that we haven’t covered.
WFG: No. I think you did a great job of finding everything.
MK: Okay. Then I have one more question for you. You’ve been an Outrigger member for nearly 50 years. What does the Club meant to you?
WFG: It’s really been somewhat of an oasis, both in my life and also physically in this busy city. It’s a place that you can retreat to and get into the ocean and count on having your friends. I think one of the things that struck me the most is how when I would leave and go to the mainland, especially when I went away to school was the fear that things would change and you’d come back and it won’t be the way it was. I think that’s something that so many of us have experienced that you come back and, for good and bad, it’s almost like you just stepped out of it, so to be able to count on that. Then to, especially now that I have my own son and watch him in the safe environment and the camaraderie and the ocean and the generational development that will go on, I think that’s the greatest thing about this Club.
MK: Thank you, Walter, for doing this today.
WFG: Sure. You got it.
MK: I appreciate it.
Walter Guild Achievements
1986 Elected to Winged “O”
2000 Sportsman of the Month, Honolulu Quarterback Club
2015 Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation Waterman Hall of Fame
Contributions to the Outrigger Canoe Club
Board of Directors
1989 Coordinating Director Buildings & Grounds
1990 Coordinating Director Athletics
1991 Assistant Secretary, Coordinating Director Public Relations
1992 Secretary, Coordinating Director Entertainment
1993 Vice President Activities
Admissions & Membership Committee
Beach and Water Safety Committee
Canoe Racing Committee
Canoe Racing Head Coach
1977 (Assistant Head Coach)
1979 (Assistant Head Coach)
1985 (Assistant Head Coach)
1988 (Men’s Distance Coach)
1989 (Upper Division Men’s Coach)
Canoe Surfing Committee
1980 1st Place, Overall
1981 4th Place, Overall, 2nd Koa
1982 3rd Place Overall, 3rd Koa
1983 1st Place Overall
1985 7th Place Overall, 2nd Koa
1986 1st Place Overall
1987 1st Place Overall
1988 1st Place Overall (record)
1989 7th Place Overall
1990 1st Place Overall, 1st Koa
1991 5th Place Overall, 1st Koa
1992 4th Place Overall
1993 Coached OCC Open Crew, 8th Overall
1994 Coached OCC Open Crew, 2nd Overall
1995 3rd Place Overall (fastest OCC crew ever)
1996 4th Place Overall
1997 9th Place Overall
1998 1st Place Overall
1999 1st Place Overall
2000 5th Place Overall, 1st Place Men 35
2002 10th Place Overall, 1st Place Men 35
2005 1st Place Men 40 (Mooloolaba)
2006 18th Place Overall, 1st Place Men 40
2008 24th Place Overall, 4th Place Men 40
Na Wahine O Ke Kai Coach
1987 2nd Place Overall
1989 3rd Place Overall
1990 3rd Place Overall
2007 15th Place Overall, 2nd Masters 40
Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association State Championships
1974 Boys 18
1975 Boys 18
1980 Freshman Men
1983 Senior Men
1985 Senior Men
1989 Senior Men
1990 Sophomore Men
1991 Senior Men
1993 Masters Men 35
1996 Sophomore Men
1997 Masters Men 35
1999 Junior Men
2000 Masters Men 35
2002 Masters Men 35
2003 Masters Men 40
2006 Masters Men 40
2009 Masters Men 50
Oahu Hawaii Canoe Racing Association Championships
1980 Freshmen Men
1983 Senior Men
1984 Senior Men
1985 Senior Men
1986 Senior Men
1987 Senior Men
1988 Senior Men
1989 Senior Men
1990 Senior Men
1990 Open 4 Men
1991 Senior Men
1992 Sophomore Men
1992 Junior Men
1996 Masters Men
1997 Mixed Men and Women
1997 Masters Men 40
1997 Senior Men
1998 Mixed 40
1999 Sophomore Men
1999 Junior Men
1999 Mixed Masters 40
2000 Masters Men 35
2002 Masters Men 40
2006 Masters Men 40
2008 Mixed Masters 40
Macfarlane Regatta Championships (Paddling)
1974 Boys 18
1983 Senior Men
1985 Senior Men
1987 Senior Men
1988 Open 4 Men
1989 Senior Men
1990 Mixed Open
1991 Senior Men
1992 Open 4 Men
1993 Mixed Open
1997 Sophomore Men
2000 Sophomore Men
2000 Masters 40
2002 Masters 35
2003 Masters 40
2006 Masters 40
2007 Masters 40
2009 Masters 50
Macfarlane Regatta Championships (Steering)
1985 Girls 14
1985 Boys 16
1985 Masters Women 35
1986 Girls 13
1986 Boys 16
1986 Boys 18
1986 Junior Women
1987 Boys 12A
1987 Girls 14
1988 Girls 12
1988 Novice B Women
1989 Girls 13
1989 Novice B Men
1990 Girls 18
1990 Sophomore Women
1991 Girls 12
1991 Boys 18
1991 Girls 18
1991 Women Open 4
1992 Boys 18
1992 Women Open 4
1993 Girls 14
1993 Girls 16
1993 Girls 18
1995 Boys 12
1995 Mixed 12
1996 Novice A Women
1996 Junior Women
1997 Boys 12
1997 Masters Women 35
1999 Boys 12
1999 Boys 13
2000 Boys 16
2001 Boys 15
2001 Women Open 4
2002 Boys 16
2002 Sophomore Women
2002 Senior Women
2002 Masters Men 55
2003 Sophomore Women
2004 Sophomore Women
2004 Senior Women
2005 Senior Women
2006 Masters Women 50
2007 Masters Women 55
2008 Boys 14
2009 Senior Women
2010 Sophomore Women
2010 Masters Women 60
Other Regatta Wins
1972 1st Boys 16 Leeward Kai Regatta (with Kainoa Downing, Tom Henke, Robbie Muller, Jay Pynchon, Chris Ragge)
1981 1st Freshmen Men Honolulu Warriors Regatta
1983 1st Senior Men, King Kamehameha Regatta
1983 1st Senior Men, Leeward Kai Regatta
1984 1st Senior Men, Kaupiko Regatta
1984 1st Senior Men Pop Waialeale Regatta
1985 1st Senior Men, Kamehameha Regatta
1985 1st Senior Men, Waimanalo Regatta
1985 1st Senior Men, Healani Regatta
1986 1st Senior Men, Leeward Kai Regatta
1986 1st Senior Men, Waimanalo Regatta
1986 1st Senior Men, Healani Regatta
1986 1st Senior Men, Kaupiko Regatta
1987 1st Senior Men, Healani Regatta
1987 1st Junior Men, Kamehameha Regatta
1987 1st Senior Men, Kamehameha Regatta
1987 1st Junior Men, Leeward Kai Regatta
1987 1st Senior Men, Leeward Kai Regatta
1987 1st Senior Men, Kaupiko Regatta
1988 1st Senior Men, King Kamehameha Regatta
1988 1st Junior Men, Father’s Day Regatta
1988 1st Senior Men, Father’s Day Regatta
1988 1st Senior Men, Kaupiko Regatta
1988 1st Men Open 4, Kaupiko Regatta
1990 1st Senior Men, Healani Regatta
1990 1st Senior Men, Leeward Regatta
1990 1st Sophomore Men, Waimanalo Regatta
1990 1st Senior Men, Kaupiko Regatta
1991 1st Senior Men, Paiaina Regatta
1991 1st Senior Men, Leeward Regatta
1991 1st Men Open 4, Leeward Regatta
1991 1st, Senior Men, Waimanalo Regatta
1991 1st, Senior Men, Kaupiko Regatta
1992 1st Mixed Open, Kamehameha Regatta
1997 1st, Sophomore Men, Leeward Kai Regatta
1998 1st Sophomore Men, Kaupiko Regatta
1998 1st Junior Men, Kaupiko Regatta
2001 1st Masters 35, Father’s Day Regatta
2002 1st Masters 35, Paiaina Regatta
2002 1st Masters 35, Waimanalo Regatta
2002 1st Masters 35, Kaupiko Regatta
2003 1st Masters 40, Paiaina Regatta
2003 1st Masters 40, Kaupiko Regatta
2005 1st Masters 40, Waimanalo Regatta
2006 1st Masters 40, Leeward Kai Regatta
2006 1st Masters 40, Waimanalo Regatta
Other Long Distance OC6 Wins
1980 1st Duke Race
1980 1st Kuilima Ocean Festival
1982 1st Duke Race
1983 1st Duke Race
1983 1st Dillingham Race
1985 1st Catalina-Newport Race
1985 1st Kaena Challenge
1987 1st Duke Race
1988 1st Duke Race
1990 1st Duke Race
1990 1st Queen Liliuokalani Race (set record)
1991 1st Duke Race
1991 1st Queen Liliuokalani Race
1992 2nd, OC1, Queen Liliuokalani Race
1993 1st, Masters, King Kamehameha Regatta
1996 2nd, Duke Race
1996 1st Catalina-Newport Race
1997 1st Catalina-Newport Race
1997 1st Liberty World Challenge, NY
1998 1st Duke Race
1998 1st Kailua Bay Iron Challenge
1999 1st Liberty Challenge, NY
1999 1st Men Open, Duke Race
1999 1st Masters 35, Kailua Bay Men’s Iron Challenge
2000 1st Liberty Challenge (coach)
2000 1st Masters 35, Kailua Bay Challenge, 3rd overall
2001 1st Liberty Challenge
2002 1st Liberty Challenge
2002 1st Masters 35, Duke Race
Skippy Kamakawiwoole Long Distance Race (Alice Kamokila Campbell Trophy)
1985 1st Place Overall
1986 1st Place Overall
1987 1st Place Overall
1988 1st Place Overall
1989 1st Place Overall
1990 1st Place Overall
1991 1st Place Overall
2000 1st Place Masters 35
2005 2nd Place M45-49
OCC Invitational Swim
2005 1st Place Men 45-49
2006 1st Place Men 45-49
OCC Winter Tri Ocean Races
1989 2nd Place Overall
1990 1st Place Overall
1991 1st Place Overall
1992 1st Place Overall
1993 2nd Place Overall
1994 1st Place Overall
1996 1st Place Overall
1998 1st Place Overall
2001 4th Place Overall, 1st Place Senior Masters
OCC Winter Kayak Race
1992 1st Place OC1
1993 3rd Place OC1
Kaiwi Channel Relay (OC1)
1992 1st Place w/Todd Bradley
1993 2nd Place w/Todd Bradley
1995 2nd Place w/Jason Somerville
1997 2nd Place w/Mark Rigg
1999 4th Place w/Mike Judd
2000 4th Place w/Andrew Penny
2002 1st Place Men 30-39 w/Nate Hendricks
2003 4th Place Men 40-49 w/Nate Hendricks
2008 1st Place Men 50+ w/Chris Kincaid
2009 race director
Kaiwi Challenge (OC1)
Organized race for OC1s 32 miles Molokai to Oahu
1995 5th Place Open
1997 4th Place Open
1998 12th Place Open
1999 5th Place Open
Kanaka Ikaika Oahu Championship
1994 3rd Place M30-39, OC1
1997 5th Place Open, OC1
2000 2nd Place Men 40-49, OC1
2006 3rd Place Men 40-49, OC1
2008 1st Place Men 50-59, OC1
Kanaka Ikaika State Championship
1997 3rd Place Open, OC1
1998 4th Place Open, OC1
1999 2nd Place Open, OC1
2002 2nd Place Masters 40-49, OC1
2004 3rd Place Masters 40-49, OC1
2005 1st Place Masters 40-49, OC1
Canoe Sports/Outrigger Connection Coastal Relay (OC1)
1997 1st Place with Mark Rigg
1998 1st Place with Mark Rigg
2002 4th Place with Nate Hendricks
Hamilton Island Cup
1991 3rd, OC1 500 meters
2000 1st OC1 500 meters
2000 1st OC1 1000 meters
2003 1st OC1 500 meters, Masters 35
Catalina Challenge OC1 Relay
1998 5th with Tim Daugherty
1999 1st with Mike Judd (set record)
2000 2nd with Karel Tresnak Jr.
King Kalakaua Birthday Regatta
1995 organized race for OC1s, held in Honolulu Harbor
1996 moved to Ala Wai to Aloha Tower
1967-1969 Punahou Swim Club
1973 ILH JV Basketball Champions
1974 ILH Class A Basketball Champions
1974 Football Letterman defensive end
Orange Coast College
1975 Football (National Junior College Champions) (Letter)
1976 Football (Letter)
University of Hawaii
1977 football redshirt
1978 Football moved from defensive end to guard (Letter)
1979 Football starter left tackle (Letter)