The 41st annual Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races embrace and celebrate Hawai’i's ocean heritage. The Races draw more than 2,500 competitors from around the world who arrive in Kona to race the 18-mile open ocean course.
Several events unfold throughout the three-day weekend:
Saturday, September 1
Wa’a Kaukahi (races for single hull canoes)
Sunday, September 2
Wa’a Kaulua (races for double hull canoes)
OC1 (one person) & OC2 Races (two person)
Teen (single hull canoes)
Monday, September 3
Ali’i Challenge (a blend of Survivor and Amazing Race with single hull canoes – 12 person crew)
New to the sport of outrigger canoe races? Single hull outrigger racing canoes carry six paddlers; double hulls carry 12. Add these traditional words to your vocabulary and you’ll sound like a pro in no time: wa’a (canoe, the very same word in Hawaiian, Tahitian and Maori), ama (outrigger float on the canoe), hoe (start paddling), huki (dig) and huli (flip the canoe – not what you want to do in racing).
Not a paddler? No problem. There’s plenty to do including Thursday’s “talk story” cultural walk through Historic Kailua Village. Walk with noted historians who will share rich history of the village including ancient Hawaiian cultural sites like Ahuena Heiau, Hulihee Palace and Mokuaikaua Church. Throughout the weekend check out the cultural craft and ocean fair and on Saturday, Blue Sea Cruises and Body Glove are offering spectators and race crews shuttle cruises. This is a great way to watch the race without getting wet and enjoy the scenery along the beautiful Kona coast.
The 2012 Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races are sponsored in part by the Hawai’i Tourism Authority, County of Hawai’i, Queen K Tesoro, Steinlager, OluKai, Ocean Paddler Television, King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, Hulakai and numerous corporate and community donors.
For more race information, including a detailed slate of events, photos, history and contacts, visit www.kaiopua.org.