Kona, Hawaii – The 42nd Annual Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races starts Labor Day holiday weekend, Friday August 30 through Monday September 2, 2013. The world’s largest long distance canoe race is organized and hosted by Kai Opua Canoe Club, started 1929 in Kona. The Queen’s Race attracts 6-person crews from Hawaii, all throughout the U.S. and international crews from as far away as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Cook Islands, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Tahiti and United Kingdom.
The 2013 Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races include the signature 18-mile long distance single hull 6-person canoe r ace for men and women crews; 6-mile men and women Wa’a kaulua (double hull canoes) races; stand-up paddleboard races including a stock 3.5 mile course and an unlimited 4.5 course sponsored by Hulakai, surfing Hawaii since 1963, OC1-man, OC2-man and Teen long distance canoe races. Back for its fourth year is the Ali’i Challenge, blend of Survivor and Amazing Race, that includes a paddling distance of almost 17.5 miles followed by each crew of 12 negotiating a land course. Other Queen’s Race events include Walking Tour of Historic Kailua Village, International Paddlers Night, Torch Light Parade through Historic Kailua Village, Ocean lifestyle street fair, Queen Lili’uokalani Awards Ceremonies and a traditional Hawaiian Luau.
2,500 Paddlers Now Gather from Around the World
Today, the 42nd 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, August 31
Wa’a Kaukahi (races for single hull canoes)
Sunday, September 1
Wa’a Kaulua (races for double hull canoes)
OC1 (one person) & OC2 Races (two person)
Teen (single hull canoes)
Monday, September 2
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.
For more race information, including a detailed slate of events, photos, history and contacts, visit www.kaiopua.org.
Summary of Overall Winners Past Five Years
- 2012 Overall Men – Livestrong # Iron Open Non Koa (NK) 1:37:08
- 2012 Overall Women – Hui Nalu Canoe Club Iron Open NK 2:20:55
- 2011 Overall Men – Livestrong #1 Iron Open NK 1:52:26
- 2011 Overall Women – Kalihi Kai Iron Open NK 2:12:17
- 2010 Overall Men – Team Primo Iron Open NK 1:53:56
- 2010 Overall Women – Waikiki Beach Iron Unlimited 2:08:52
- 2009 Overall Men – Team Primo #2 Iron Open NK 1:52:34
- 2009 Overall Women – Hui Lanakila #2 Iron Open NK 2:12:16
- 2008 Overall Men – Team Livestrong #2 Iron Open NK 1:54:06
- 2008 Overall Women – Waikiki Beach Boys Canoe Club #6 Iron Open NK 2:05:47
- 2007 Overall Men – Tui Tonga Iron Open NK 1:43:42
- 2007 Overall Women – Hui Lanakila Iron Open NK 2:18:39