Members of the Pure Light Racing canoe club are changing the way people look at outrigger paddling, and at disabilities. ,From left, Joe Broc, Darralyn Clarke and John Greer are training for the World Sprints later this year. It’s a clear, sunny day. A group of paddlers sit on the beach laughing, talking story and readying themselves for a practice session out on the water. Smiles on their faces, they roll up to an outrigger canoe, dismounting

Rich Julian, Niko Ta'atia, Joe Broc, Lea Klepees, John Greer
(from left, seated) Rich Julian, Niko Ta’atia, Joe Broc, Lea Klepees, John Greer (standing) Dr. Rob Durkin, Darralyn Clarke, Aka Hemmings and Suzi Mechler

“It would be great to get us all situated in a boat and be consistently using that boat,” he says. “Right now we’re going from boat to boat, and every time we have to change our adaptive equipment because some of the boats are different. The seats are different.”

There is no company or store on island that manufactures the adaptations the team needs to work in the boat properly.

Rejected earlier by another club, Darralyne Clarke is now winning races
Rejected earlier by another club, Darralyne Clarke is now winning races

Despite the lack of a boat to call their own, it’s easy to see where the strengths of this crew are.Watching them paddle together, laugh together and work together shows the true embodiment of what a team should be.

“This is how every crew should work together, not just an adaptive crew,” says Mechler.“And you don’t see it everywhere in paddling.”

For more information on the team or on how to join, call Aka Hemmings at 206-8785 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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