Kauai News

Queen Lili‘uokalani Outrigger Canoe Races Return to The Big Island in September

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The world’s largest long-distance outrigger canoe race will once again welcome paddlers from around the world this year to the Big Island.

After a two-year pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Queen Lili‘uokalani Outrigger Canoe Races returns Sept. 1-5 to Kona, with the event’s signature 18-mile long-distance race scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Sept. 3. Online race registration is now open. Crews can also log on for general course information and a complete list of events.

Spectators can get in on the action and cheer on paddlers during the long-distance race Sept. 3 as the women and Mix 40+ and 50+ classes line up across Kailua Bay, followed by the men and Mix Open class. Iron Division crews also race the entire course with no changes.


Can’t make it to Kailua-Kona to watch? That’s OK. The signature race will also be broadcast via livestream on Facebook. Follow @QueenLiliuokalaniCanoeRace for all the action.

Throughout the event’s five days, additional ocean races will include the Hulakai OC4 8 Person Relay, the teens single hull race, the popular Wa‘a Kaulua double-hull canoe races and the Kupuna Classic. Other activities will include the Historic Kailua Village Cultural Walk, International Paddlers’ Reception, arts, crafts and food booths, Torchlight Parade and the Queen Lili‘uokalani Canoe Race Luau.

Kona’s place in canoe regatta history is unrivaled. Named in honor of the last reigning monarch of Hawai‘i, Queen Lili‘uokalani, the first race was conducted in 1972 on the queen’s birthday, Sept. 2. Since then, Kai ‘Opua Canoe Club, one of Hawai‘i’s oldest outrigger canoe clubs, has hosted crews from around the world.


Since its launch, the Queen Lili‘uokalani Outrigger Canoe Races has shared Hawaiian culture with the world through the sport of outrigger canoe racing. During the long Labor Day weekend, race participants are immersed in culture and history.

For additional information, including a complete list of events, click here.

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