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WELCOME TO 2022 When we met in December of 2021 we were all hopeful it would be our last Zoom for awhile and that wed be taking to the water, gearing up for regatta season. And then, Omicron. UGH! And we are back to a bit of a waiting game.

Despite the upheaval, I am happy to report that, many clubs are back on the water, our keiki are training and high school students are racing again and we are eagerly taking our recently issued COI's to our respective county and state offices in hopes we will be issued permits to compete. While this latest variant shakes out, please continue to be safe and respectful, and be ready. I have great hopes for 2022!

Regardless of the setback of Omicron, things are still moving forward. If our paddlers have not made it back to the 6-man, they are on OC-1's, OC-2's and surf-skis as a part of their training to participate in the local one-man associations and racing seasons. For those with an eye toward London World Sprints, I know you are back on the water eagerly training for trials currently slated for Oahu at the end of February. Seeing the interest in competing internationally really shows how much we all want to get back to racing. Your Board is also busy working on the State Championship Race set for the first Saturday in August.

Back to racing also means back to business. Paddlers need to be registered. Waivers need to be signed. Escort and official boats need to have insurance. Fundraisers need to be approved in advance. All of the forms you need have been sent to your Association representatives or are available at www.hcrapaddler.com

Our January meeting was jam packed and our next meeting is in April. If you are interested in serving on a committee for 2024 World Sprints to be held in Hilo the first planning meeting will be happening soon. Check the website for updates!

Stay safe, stay healthy and cheers to 2022!

Keri Mehling