Kona Coast Hosts World's Largest Outrigger Canoe Race
The Big Island’s Kona Coast played host to the largest long-distance outrigger canoe race in the world on Labor Day weekend. The annual Queen Lili’uokalani Canoe Race—started in 1972—takes place between Kailua Pier and Hōnaunau and celebrates the legacy of Hawaii’s last reigning monarch. Over 2,500 paddlers from all over the Hawaiian Islands and the world participated in seven events over three days.
“This race brings paddlers together from all over the world who want to be a part of this great race here in Kona,” stated Bo Campos, president of the Kai Opua Canoe Club, which hosts the event. "Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Races are about sharing the spirit of Hawaiian outrigger canoe racing with the world.”
In addition to single hull, double hull, one and two person canoes, and standup paddleboard races, there was a new event this year. Thursday saw the addition of a Hulakai four-person canoe sprint relay race.
OluKai proudly took part in these events, which unified competitors and attendees with the Hawaiian spirit and celebrated a cultural connection to the history of the Hawaiian people.