Familiar Champ at Longest Race in Na Wahine History

September 27, 2019, 3:11 PM HST (Updated September 27, 2019, 3:11 PM)
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Photo by Jamilia Epping.

The 41st Annual Hawaiian Airlines Na Wahine o Ke Kai Canoe Race on Sunday, Sept. 22 set a record as the longest race in Na Wahine history, according to an event press release.

The outrigger canoe race from Hale O Lono, Molokai to Hilton Hawaiian Village Duke’s Beach included 71 crews battling to the finish line.

The winning crew, Team Bradley, won the race with a time of 6 hours, 27 minutes. The finish was 15 minutes ahead of 2nd place Outrigger Canoe Club, which clocked in at 6 hours, 41 minutes and 41 seconds—nearly an hour longer than their prior year’s winning time. Both Hawai‘i-based clubs battled during the long-distance season, sharing wins between the Dad Center and the E Lau Hoe races.

The morning started out with good race conditions. Officials noted a clean start after the blow of the horn, with crews moving well and the tide adding a helpful push coming off the island, the release said.

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The middle of the channel seemed to hold the most adverse conditions, which extended the race for all 71 crews due to a shifting tide. Most participants noted that it was a hard race, adding they were especially surprised at how long it took all the crews to complete the course.

Two teams were entered in the coveted koa canoe division. The winning crew was from the Lanikai Canoe Club paddling their koa canoe, Hokulele, with a time of 7 hours, 25 minutes and 47 seconds. Second place went to Hui Lanakila Canoe Club in their koa canoe, Tarita.

A 13th place finish by Hawaiian Canoe Club Juniors won the division with a time of 7 hours, 21 minutes and 3 seconds. Keahiakahoe Canoe Club’s Gil’s Tutubangbang won the 40s division with a time of 7 hours, 14 minutes and 57 seconds, finishing 10th place overall.

The Pacific Aunties, a crew combined with Australia and the West Coast, won the 50s division by coming in 18th overall with a time of 7 hours, 26 minutes and 57 seconds. Kailua Canoe Club won the 55 division with a time of 7 hours, 56 minutes and 9 seconds.

In the two inaugural divisions of 60s and Unlimited/Ultralite, team Oliliko won the 60s gold with a time of 8 hours, 8 minutes and 52 seconds. The Unlimited/Ultralite division winner was team Rabbit Kekai, a combined crew from Hawai‘i and Aotearoa, in a time of 6 hours, 47 minutes and 53 seconds with a 5th place overall finish.

The Hawaiian Airlines Na Wahine o Ke Kai Canoe Race was made possible by its many sponsors including the race’s title sponsor, Hawaiian Airlines. Key partners included the Friendly Isle Community from Molokai. Gold Sponsors were the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Ocean Paddler TV, Spectrum OC 16 and Hilton Hawaiian Village. Silver Sponsors were the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Platypus, Kalama Ku Kokua and AllGood reef environmentally safe sunscreen. Bronze Sponsors were Kialoa, HCRA, OHCRA, Hawaiian Electric Company, Paddler’s Inn and Patagonia.

Visit www.nawahineokekai.com for more information about the race or to inquire about registering a crew, volunteering for or supporting next year’s race. The media contact is [email protected]. A complete list of race results is available below.

Race Results

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