We woke up on Saturday and stood on our lanai and saw a massive flotilla of outrigger canoes heading on their 18 mile journey to Honaunau Bay from Kailua Bay. Having never been at the start line of the annual Queen Lili’uokalani Outrigger Canoe Race , we decided to get to the Kailua pier first thing on Sunday morning to see the double hulled canoe races and the men’s races, throw a drone in the air, and cover it live with a GoPro near the water.
What we saw was pretty amazing! So much camaraderie in the paddler community! And, Julie got to witness the realities of the race when a few teams were late coming to the start line making the race delayed by over 20 minutes. The human story of the race came when a single man looked like he was late to the line up, too, when in fact, he was blind and using remote control tech to steer his canoe properly to the start line. It’s in the video!
We spoke to the Race Director, Mike Atwood, who said that 2023 will be the big 50th anniversary party next Labor Day weekend, so if you want to see it RIGHT..come early for the blowing of the pu and the ceremonial chant at sunrise on Saturday, be part of watching 600 people take off from the pier and come the next few days to watch he stories unfold.
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