Kahoʻokele-Santos paddles in annual OluKai Hoʻolauleʻa


Photo by Meaaloha McCabe

Junior Triston Kahoʻokele-Santos competed in the ninth annual Olukai Hoʻolauleʻa and placed 12th in the Elite Mens Paddling division.

By Meaaloha McCabe, staff writer

The downpour of rain didn’t stop the rescheduled OluKai Hoʻolauleʻa this Sunday at Kanahā Beach Park, where participants from all over the world competed including Kamehameha Mauiʻs junior Triston Kahoʻokele-Santos.

While he could have paddled in the Men 17 and Under division, he competed in the Elite Men’s division, where he placed 12th in a field of 14 competitors, but he was 16th overall with a time of 1:06:40.1 in a field of 72 paddlers of all ages and categories.

Kahoʻokele-Santos has been competing in paddling races for three years and has grown-up where paddling is a family affair.

“It’s become a lifestyle to me, and it’s just fun to do with all my family and friends,” he said.

His mother, Marjorie Kahoʻokele, has been paddling since she was 13 and is also a paddling coach. Mrs. Kahoʻokele has trained and watched her son grow in his passion for paddling.

“Just watching him…this year and last year he’s really improved, and now he’s got the passion that he needed,” Mrs. Kahoʻokele said. “He’s doing good for someone his age and his experience.”

Mrs.Kahoʻokele also participated in the Elite Women’s paddling category, where she placed 6th (1:21:58), and she received a medal at the award ceremony.

Kahoʻokele-Santos has been doing these races for the past three years, but he still learned something new this year.

“Today I learned just to relax and pace myself…it’s not about the first mile. It’s about how I do the whole race,” he said.