On October 12, 1952, three Koa outrigger canoes launched through the surf at Kawakiu Bay on Moloka’i’s west side. Powered by six paddlers, each of the canoes were bound for O’ahu, across 38+ miles of open ocean in the Ka’iwi Channel. Eight hours and 55 minutes later, the Moloka’i canoe, Kukui O Lanikaula landed on the beach at Waikiki in front of the Moana Hotel. This event started the world’s most prestigious outrigger canoe race, the Moloka‘i Hoe.
The Moloka’i Hoe has become one of the longest running annual team sporting events in Hawai’i, second only to football. The Moloka’i Hoe perpetuates one of Hawai’i’s and Polynesia’s most important and historic cultural traditions, while honoring outrigger canoe paddlers around the world. The Moloka’i Hoe tests the limits of physical / mental strength, individual endurance, courage, determination and teamwork while battling nature’s most extreme elements.
Each year over 1000+ paddlers from around the world compete in the Moloka’i Hoe, the men’s world championship in outrigger canoe racing. This year marks the Moloka’i Hoe’s 65th crossing of the treacherous Ka’iwi Channel.
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