World’s Largest Canoe Race Announced

August 15, 2019, 12:24 PM HST (Updated August 15, 2019, 12:24 PM)

PC: Queen Lili’uokalani Canoe Race

The Queen Lili‘uokalani Canoe Race, named in honor of Hawai‘i’s last remaining monarch, will host paddlers from across the globe for five days of canoe racing starting Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019.

Dubbed the world’s largest canoe race, the competition will conclude on Sept. 2—Queen Lili‘uokalani’s birthday. The Queen’s Race signature long-distance race, 18 miles in length, will run Saturday, Aug. 31.

Kai ‘Opua Canoe Club, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, will host international crews from Australia, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and French Polynesia. Crews from the US will come from Nevada, Washington, California, Oregon, Virginia and New York. More than 75 Hawai‘i crews will also be represented, with more than 130 crews total expected on the starting lines in Kailua Bay and Honaunau.

Action can be observed in person from Kailua Pier or by tuning into Facebook for live streaming broadcasts of Saturday’s signature races. The live stream will begin at 7:30 a.m. Hawai‘i time. Race action is available by following QueenLiliuokalaniCanoeRace on Facebook.


The Queen’s Race will also introduce a new event in 2019. Lashing a wa‘a, or canoe, correctly is critical to its seaworthiness. The patterns of Hawaiian wa‘a lashing can be highly functional as well as aesthetically pleasing.

On Friday, Aug. 30, the Queen’s Race launches its new Ho‘o Kūkū Lanalana, Rigging Clinic and Challenge. In this event, a hands-on rigging clinic will be lead by experts and lashing crews of four will compete to see if their aho, or rigging line, can wield into a seaworthy pattern. Awards will be given to the crews that complete a lashing that is strong, beautiful and quickly achieved. The rigging clinic starts at noon with registration at the Kailua Pier under the green tent.

Other official Queen Lili‘uokalani Canoe Race events will unfold throughout the holiday weekend including the Historic Kailua Village Cultural Walk, Talk Story, Cultural Fair featuring Artisans and Cultural Practitioners, Torchlight Parade and the Queen Lili’uokalani Canoe Race Luau.

The 2019 Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races are sponsored in part by Hawai‘i Tourism, Queen K 76, Pacifico, OluKai, Ocean Paddler Television, Hulakai, Kialoa, Kona Tran and numerous corporate and community donors.

For detailed 2019 Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races information including a complete list of events, pick up a race magazine or log onto


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