Team Primo will race the Liberty Challenge

| May 3, 2012 | 1 Comment

Team Primo

Team Primo

While Hawaii is often regarded as the birthplace of modern surfing, to ocean paddlers it is truly the outrigger mecca of the world. Founded in 2009, Team Primo is the all-star Hawaiian outrigger paddling team of champions who have broken boundaries in watersports. They are regarded by many as the ultimate competitors in ocean paddle racing. They are the U.S. record holder for the Moloka’i Hoe channel crossing and winners of the prize purse for the inaugural inter-island Olamau Race.

Team Primo’s roster is comprised each year of the state’s fastest and most skilled watermen. Even so, they are also ordinary working-class Hawaiians who are affiliated with various outrigger canoe organizations throughout the islands who dedicate their time to educating and developing the next generation of paddlers to perpetuate outrigger paddling as the state sport. It is their passion and devotion to paddling and their extraordinary skill that enables them to achieve unprecedented accomplishments as representatives of the Hawaiian people.

Team Primo will join a lineup of nearly sixty teams in New York Harbor competing in the 16th annual Liberty Challenge hosted by New York Outrigger. The Team Primo Crew will include Jimmy Austin, Kai Bartlett, Kekoa Cramer, Pat Dolan, Scott Gamble, and Mike Judd.

Liberty Challenge Team Primo Roster


Kai BartlettHome Island: Maui
Representing: Wailea Outrigger Canoe Club

Statistics: Captain of Team Primo. 5-time world champion of the Steinlager Kaiwi Channel Solo. 3-time champion of the Molokai Hoe with Lanikai Canoe Club. Champion paddler and founder of Kai Wa’a – Hawaiian Ocean Canoes.

After working for other canoe manufactures and finding a love for the sport of outrigger canoeing, Kai decided to design and manufacture his own canoes to the exact specifications he desired. Kai currently lives on Maui where he is constantly tweaking his designs to have the very best canoe on the market.

Years with Team Primo: 4
Occupation: Outrigger Canoe Designer
Prior visits to NYC: 0
Excited for: Everything!

PAT DOLAN (seat 2)
Pat DolanHome Island: Oahu
Representing: Lanikai Canoe Club

Statistics: For some, it’s a hobby. But for Patrick Keoni Dolan paddle sports are an addiction. Born and raised in Kailua Oahu, Pat joined Lanikai Canoe Club at the age of 10 and never looked back – paddling and ocean sports took over. His grandfather, Willis Rich was a member of the canoe club and shared his love for outrigger canoe paddling – something that strongly resonates with Pat today. At the age of 15, Pat decided he wanted to become an elite paddler. Kai Bartlett saw potential in Pat and took him under his wing. Kai’s wife, Lauren Spalding Bartlett, encouraged Pat to try a surfski. Even though he was fairly inexperienced in kayaking, he was highly competitive. Pat made the US Junior National Team and attended the Junior World Championships in Hungary.

Pat joined the US Mens National Team at 18 and moved to San Diego to train at the National Training Center. After six years of intensive training, Pat’s K4 kayak team failed to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics. Pat saw this as an opportunity to get back to his roots and his love of ocean canoe paddling. In 2012, he will be crossing the Molokai to Oahu channel in three separate solo championship races on three different ocean crafts including OC1 (solo outrigger canoe), surfski (ocean kayak) and prone paddle boarding.

Years with Team Primo: 1
Occupation: Developer/Real Estate Intern
Prior visits to NYC: 1 (2009 NYC Mayor’s Cup)
Excited for: Paddling around the Statue of Liberty

Home Island: Oahu
Representing: Outrigger Canoe Club

Statistics: Champion standup paddle (SUP) racer, winning events like the Hawaii Paddleboard Championships. 2009 Molokai- 3rd place. 2009 Oceanfest- 1st place. 2010 Koolaupoko- 1st place. 2010 Molokai- 3rd place. 2010 Battle of the Paddle (distance)- 2nd place. 2011 Koolaupoko- 1st place.

Years with Team Primo: 2
Occupation: Food sales/Marketing
Prior visits to NYC: Several, Former Boston resident
Excited for: Yankee/Mets game!

MIKE JUDD (seat 4)
Home Island: Big Island (Hawaii)

Statistics: Mike has been one of the top OC1 and OC-6 paddlers in the state for the past 15 years.
He has won several Molokai Hoe Race with Lanikai Canoe Club and is a leaders of Team Hawaii. He has ranked for many years in the top 10 at the Kaiwi Channel Solo OC-1 Race and is regarded as one of the top watermen in the state. In the canoe, his leadership pushes the crew to new levels. Outside of the canoe, he makes sure everyone is having fun.

Years with Team Primo: 4
Occupation: Firefighter
Prior visits to NYC: 6th visit to Liberty Challenge. Former Liberty champion

Jimmy AustinHome Island: Oahu
Representing: Outrigger Canoe Club

Statistics: Current world champion and record-holder of the 2012 Steinlager Kaiwi Channel Solo. 2011 Kaiwi Channel Solo- 3rd place. 2010 Kaiwi Channel Solo- 2nd place. 2009 Kaiwi Channel Solo- 3rd place. 2010 Hawaiki Nui 2010- 6th place. 2011 OC6 Molokai Hoe – 3rd place, record US time.

Years with Team Primo: 2
Day job: Pilot, coach, family ranch business
Prior visits to NYC: 1
Excited for: Yankee/Mets game!, 9/11 Memorial, Statue of Liberty

KEKOA CRAMER (steerperson)
Kekoa CramerHome Island: Maui
Representing: Wailea Canoe Club

Statistics: 2011 OC6 Molokai Hoe – 3rd place, record US time. 2010 Molokai Hoe – 5th place. 2009 Molokai Hoe – 2nd place. 2007 Molokai Hoe – 4th place. Molokai Hoe – top 10 since 1999 til present with 4 different teams; Queen Lilioukalani- 1st place 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006; 2nd place 2011; 3rd place 1999. Maui to Molokai 1st place 2011, 2007; 2nd place 2008. Hawaii State championships Senior mens 1st place 2011, 2010, 2007, 2005. 15 total state gold medals; World sprints 2010 2nd place open men.

Years with Team Primo: 4
Occupation: Construction/Canoe Tour Captain
Prior visits to NYC: 0
Excited for: Times Square!

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