43 Teams are competing here at Kapolei Inline Hockey Arenas in our largest event ever held on the Island. A big reason for the increased number is the addition of 7 teams that traveled in from Australia to compete in their first NARCh Event.
Over 120 players, parents, and coaches traveled over and have been here all week taking in everything the Island Experience has to offer. They’ve also been practicing during the week getting ready for the weekend. They are not used to the ice court surface, as most of their rinks are concrete. The pro shop here at the rink has been slammed and I think Richard is about out of wheels for sale. A special thanks goes out to Ross Fisher, the main coordinator from Australia. We spent countless emails going back and forth and I know it took a tremendous effort from everyone involved to make this trip a reality.
You never know what to expect with International Teams that have never competed in NARCh, but these teams fit right in. Their bantams lost a tight game last night but their 35s and mens team looked very strong. I’m pretty sure that many will be taking medals back to Australia.
The Maui Teams just rolled in and started action this morning. The Maui Mites are in a tight battle right now with the KIHA Kahunas, down 2-1 just over half time.
As usual, everyone here is super friendly. I see many of them at our major events like Winternationals and the FINALS, but there are so many people at those events that I honestly get confused as to what spectators are with what teams. It’s nice to visit with them on their turf and get to know them better. I was greeted with chocolates and Kona coffee, which is always a plus.
It kills me that more teams from the mainland don’t make it out here. Flights were actually cheaper from CA to here than they have been to the East Coast for our other events. Every year I tell myself, hopefully next year will be the year when a bunch of teams come out. It’s such a fun experience that will rival any other trip that you will have playing this sport.
I brought my family out and we make it a vacation. It’s much more stressful juggling family duties and running tournaments, but the memories it creates that we’ll have forever make it well worth while.