World’s Largest Outrigger Canoe Race Limits Paddlers to Big Island

July 31, 2021, 7:24 AM HST
* Updated July 31, 7:39 AM
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Queen Lili‘uokalani Long Distance Canoe Race will be limited to Big Island paddlers only, officials announced Friday, July 30.

Officials say they are scaling back the race out of caution and public health concerns amid the rise in COVID-19 cases. By doing this, they hope to ensure the future integrity of the race in the years ahead.

The race was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic and was already announced that it would be postponed to Sept. 2, 2021.

“The decision to limit participation weighs heavy on all our hearts as we come to terms with respecting public health concerns. To paddlers around the world, we ask you to stay safe, healthy and for your patience and understanding,” said Kai ‘Opua Canoe Club President Doug Vera Cruz.

Queen Lili‘uokalani Long Distance Canoe Race, hosted by Kai ‘Opua Canoe Club, has been welcoming paddlers from around the world to Kona every Labor Day weekend in September since its first race in 1971.


Log onto for updated race information. The race is slated to take place on Sept. 4.

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