Saturday, August 25, 2012

Queen Lili‘uokalani Canoe Race

It's the World Cup of outrigger canoe paddling, and it happens every Labor Day weekend (September 1, 2, and 3) right here in Kailua-Kona.

The Queen Lili‘uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Race attracts more than 2,000 outrigger canoe paddlers from around the world to compete in canoe races along the shores of the Kona Coast. Beginning Saturday, September 1, crews from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Tahiti, United Kingdom, Canada, Mainland U.S. and Hawai‘i will descend on the pier in Historic Kailua Village — the starting point for the signature 18-mile race featuring the best paddlers in the world. Iron-women crews — who paddle the entire 18 miles without a crew change — begin their race at 7:30 a.m., followed by other crews in a variety of divisions, male and female. The winning men's crews are expected to reach the finish line at the pier around 1 p.m. in the afternoon.

There are lots of places along Ali‘i Drive to enjoy the action, or better yet, take a stroll to the pier and see all the paddlers gathered together in one place. Food and craft vendors will be on hand. Many of the clubs sell souvenir T-shirts, hats and paddling memorabilia to raise money for their organizations.

Saturday's race champions will receive their awards at 3:30 p.m. at the luau grounds adjacent to the pier. The public is invited to attend. Then at sunset, don't miss the traditional Torch Light Parade that travels through Historic Kailua Village. More racing events take place on Sunday and Monday, including the double hull canoe races, stand-up paddleboard races and the Ali‘i Challenge single-hull canoe race featuring 12-person crews.

Located just 10 minutes from downtown Kailua-Kona, Holualoa Inn offers a tropical Hawai‘i bed and breakfast retreat with incredible panoramic views of the Kona Coast. From our vantage point, you might even be able to see outrigger canoes as they traverse the coastline.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

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