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Moloka'i is the most important place for resurgence of interisland ocean travel through paddling and sailing canoes. The island's West End is a perfect launch site and the world's top paddling and sailing canoe races begin at Kaluakoi. Kaluakoi is also a wonderful place to watch the races and to learn ocean kayaking - instruction is available at the resort. To see the races, make reservations early.
Na Wahine O Ke Kai, the Moloka'i-to-O'ahu six-woman race is the world's championship for women's outrigger canoe paddling. Some 55 teams travel to Moloka`i from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Tahiti, the United States and other countries. They take off early Sunday and paddle from Hale O Lono Harbor, 41 miles across the Kaiwi Channel. The event coincides with Aloha Festivals, providing enthusiasts with Hawaiian cultural activities along with the weekend of sports competition.
Dean Gardiner is a frequent winner
of the Kayak Challenge
Moloka'i Hoe, the men's Moloka'i-to-O'ahu outrigger championship will cover a similar course with an international field. The men leave Hale O Lono Harbor at 7:30 a.m. and attempt to break the record of 4 hours, 53 minutes, 3 seconds.and finish at Fort DeRussy Beach.
The third important paddling race from Moloka'i is the Starbuck's Kayak Challenge, known originally as Kanaka Ikaika, for Hawai'i's oldest surfski association. It has become the world championship of ocean kayak racing during the last 20 years and draws competitors from Australia, South Africa and Japan. A same-day single-person sailing canoe race attracts participants from the Pacific basin.
The weekend often coincides with Ka Hula Piko festival .
For more information, call Carol Hogan of Ocean Promotion at 808-325-7400 or Pia Arma at Bank of Hawai'i at 808-537-8660. Or check the web at: http//www.holoholo.org/
Early reservations for fiights to Moloka'i, rental cars and accommodations are recommended.