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The Annual Queen Liliuokalani Outrigger Canoe Races


The Annual Queen Liliuokalani Outrigger Canoe Races are here and this will be the 40th year of women participation in this exciting race. This race takes place on the Kona Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii on Saturday, August 31st.

This brings back memories of the first time I sailed on a boat, it was a catamaran, and I was told it was the world’s largest catamaran residing at the Hilton Hawaiian Village dock. It took us out along the coast over to Diamond Head for a breakfast buffet; it was a great way to start the day.

Be There... Aloha!

The Annual Queen Liliuokalani Outrigger Canoe Races

It was in 1973 that wahine (“women” in Hawaiian) first participated in the long-distance competition. Back then, it was a six-mile race. It has since expanded to 18 miles between Kailua and Honaunau. 

“We knew we could do it,” Blondie Kamaka, one of the pioneering members of the Kai Opua Canoe Club crew, said in a news release. “We paddled because we love it [and] now it’s a legacy.”

Women who participated in the 1973 open-seas race will share their memories during a “talk story” session at 5 p.m. Aug. 30 on the lawn at Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel

The races will begin the next morning, with women paddlers taking to the water starting at 7:30. The kane (men) get a shot as well; they bring the canoes back on a return journey that starts at 11:45. 

There are races for single- and double-hull canoes as well as paddleboarding events. 

Spectators seeking front-row seats can reserve space on one of two catamarans that will be offering special trips on race day. Blue Sea Cruises, (808) 331-8875, has adult tickets priced at $40. For $50, Body Glove will include a continental breakfast and barbecue lunch with its special sailing. 

The Annual Queen Liliuokalani Outrigger Canoe Races happen only once a year and this is your chance to catch some Hawaiian history in the making…

~~Aloha Nui Loa


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