The Hawaiian water sports activities neighborhood is grappling with confusion and inconsistencies within the COVID guidelines
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Confusion over COVID rules and late decisions are wreaking havoc on Hawaii’s water sports community.
In Oahu, a surf meeting scheduled for this weekend was recently approved by the city, while approval for a Hui Waa paddle race came too late.
There hasn’t been a full Hui Waa race schedule for more than two years. But last weekend the organization finally got the green light.
However, a period of six days was not enough to get the crews back into the water.
“On September 27th, they (government officials) said we can go, which is great because we couldn’t understand why we couldn’t go,” said Hui Waa Race Director Steve Silva.
“But when they said we could leave, we had already canceled the races.”
Silva has been organizing Hui Waas races for almost 10 years.
The paddling season is usually planned a year in advance and the races include the transportation of crews, equipment, and sophisticated safety and support systems.
“Because of the pandemic, the whole season is canceled,” said Silva. “The whole preseason was canceled, then the regattas were canceled and then we try again to enter permits and then it was canceled again.”
Surfers ride similar waves.
A Hawaii Surfing Association competition scheduled for this weekend was previously canceled, but the city says it is now back on.
Jen Tema says she doesn’t know when her son Luke will be able to compete in the waters of Oahu again.
“The kids in Hawaii who want to make a career as surfers couldn’t collect any points,” said Tema. “Children in mainland California could compete in pro and junior pro events, earn points, and work towards their careers. Hawaii children couldn’t do that. “
Governor David Ige acknowledges the confusion but provided little clarity when asked about the water sports decision-making process.
“Surfing events are a challenge because if it were in a city park, the city would definitely be involved,” Ige said Tuesday in a one-on-one interview with Hawaii News Now.
“Remember, the state is in charge from the high water mark to the ocean. Where the surfing event takes place is clearly in the state jurisdiction and we would clearly have a choice whether that happens or not. “
Ultimately, both the HSA event and Hui Waa seasons are on track to resume, but the anticipation is subdued.
“My self-confidence is usually good, but we’ll see what happens,” said Silva. “I always plan to have the race, but I have to be prepared for anything”
Hui Waa’s next race is scheduled for October 30th.
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