Sports

Na Wahine o Ke Kai Canoe Race Announced

September 8, 2019, 8:26 AM HST
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Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. PC: Hawaiian Airlines

The 41st Annual Hawaiian Airlines Na Wahine o Ke Kai Canoe Race is scheduled for later this month.

Crews around the world are preparing for this year’s channel crossing on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. The race starts at Hale O Lono Harbor on the island of Moloka‘i. After paddling for hours across the Kaiwi Channel, the racers will finish at the Duke Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki on the island of O‘ahu.

The finish line is marked by buoys off of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Pier. This Hawaiian outrigger canoe race marks the pinnacle of the long-distance season with a 41-mile race considered the world championship for women participating in the sport, according to a Hawaiian Airlines press release.

Crews will compete within one of the eight divisions including Koa, Unlimited, Open, Juniors, Masters 40 and over, 50 and over, 55 and over and 60 and over. Family and friends of the participants are welcome to wait at the finish line at Dukes Beach for crews to come in. The first finishers are expected in at approximately 1 p.m. Nearby parking will be limited.

This year’s race marks the debut of an Unlimited Division, which approves the use of ultra-light canoes weighing in at about half the heft of the traditional koa and fiberglass canoes. The Junior Divisions will host the youngest and newest racers to the event, with higher participation anticipated in 2019 than in previous years.

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Hawaiian Airlines is challenging all paddlers not to use any single, plastic water bottles in the race.

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The Hawaiian Airlines Na Wahine o Ke Kai Canoe Race is supported by Hawaiian Airlines as well as the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Island of Molokai‘.

Gold Sponsors include the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Ocean Paddler TV, Spectrum OC 16 and Hilton Hawaiian Village Silver Sponsors include the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Platypus, Kalama Ku Kokua and AllGood reef environmentally safe sunscreen. Bronze Sponsors include Kialoa, HCRA, OHCRA, Hawaiian Electric Company, Paddler’s Inn, Maui County and Patagonia.

Visit www.nawahineokekai.com for more information about the race or to inquire about registering a crew.

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