Oahu Event, Molokai Hoe Canoe Race

Oahu Event | Molokai Hoe Canoe Race

The Molokai Hoe Canoe Race is an exciting Oahu Event that has taken place for more than 50 years.

October 11, 2015

The Molokai Hoe Canoe Race is the traditional men’s outrigger canoe race between the islands of Molokai and Oahu. Attending this Event is a top Thing to do in Oahu for both locals and visitors.

About Molokai Hoe Canoe Race:
Held in October for over 50 years, the Molokai Hoe Canoe Race is the largest of Hawaiian water sporting events. More than 160 teams take part in the competition. The outrigger teams launch from the west side of Molokai and travel along the Kaiwi Channel. The route is just over 40 miles long and the channel is considered one of the most treacherous sections of ocean in the world.

The record for passage along this route is just under 5 hours. Each team consists of a steersmen and 9 or 10 paddlers that switch from a following water craft. This is a race of endurance and team effort, and the paddle movements are synchronized. The crew members may switch team members from the following water craft in the open water as the outrigger continues to race.

Since 1952, this annual race has attracted outrigger teams from the islands, and in more recent years teams from around the world have taken part. The outrigger canoes are about 40 feet long and 2 feet wide with two 10 foot long wooden struts called iako. 

The first contest was held in 1952 and started on Molokai and ran to the Kawakiu Bay. The six man team finished in just under 9 hours, and started this long standing competition.

Teams will face the challenge of the Kaiwi Channel and the many variables of the open sea. With strong currents, trade winds, and 10 to 25 foot swells, the teams experience the Hawaiian cultural tradition of the Hoe. A tie to the great Hawaiian past, and the challenges faced by generations of islanders, the outrigger teams in the Molokai Hoe Canoe Race serve as a source of pride for all Hawaiians.