Canoe Races – How Long Does it Take to Paddle a Canoe From Oahu to Molokai?

Canoe Races — How Long Does it Take to Paddle a Canoe From Oahu to Molokai? image 0

You may have heard of Canoe races. But what do they mean? And how long does it take to paddle from Oahu to Molokai? Here are some essential facts:

Canoe races

The Canoe Race from Oahu to Molokai is a traditional Hawaiian outrigger canoe race that takes place each year on the big island. This 41-mile event is considered the ultimate challenge for competitive paddlers. You can stream the race live on the internet if you’re not a local. Here are some of the things you should know about race.

The event began as a single-hull invitational event in the early 1980s. However, as one-person canoes became more popular, it was easy to see why the race was eventually combined with the surf ski division. As a result, it is expected to attract more than 125 paddlers for the 1997 race. The event is sponsored by the Ocean Club on Restaurant Row in Oahu.

Albert «Toots» Minvielle started the Molokai to Oahu Canoe Race in 1952. It was the first long-distance outrigger canoe race in the world. Though it is the most famous of its kind, the race has some controversy, mainly because the Outrigger Canoe Club felt it was too risky to participate.

The Molokai Hoe, a solo paddle race between Oahu and Molokai, is a unique challenge for both the participants and the spectators. It is an actual test of strength, endurance, and teamwork. The challenge of the Molokai Channel is regarded as one of the world’s most dangerous waters, and the challenges that canoe racers face are immense.

While the Tahiti teams have won the last nine Molokai Hoe events, Hawaii-based crews are expected to make a run for the title this year. The Shell Va’a set the record in 2011, and the EDT Va’a, named after the energy company, shook them off last year. The Kailua-based club Lanikai is another familiar name in the canoe world, and they were the previous local crew to win hardware in 2005.

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Women’s kayak race winners include Leslie Conner, who won the event in 1987, 1992, and three times in a row. Nalu Kukea finished second. The race is a 32-mile journey, and it is not easy for even the most experienced kayaker to finish in four and a half hours. However, the women’s solo canoe race has a reputation for being the toughest of all.


The distance between Oahu and Molokai by canoe is roughly 26 miles (42 kilometers). The two islands are separated by the Ka’iwi Channel, which plunges to a depth of 2,300 feet (701 meters). It is considered one of the world’s most treacherous bodies of water due to the swells from the open ocean crashing into a narrow canyon. This channel has destroyed ancient Hawaiian canoe fleets, and today, its treacherous conditions have claimed the lives of modern watermen.

The 41st Duke Kahanamoku Long Distance Race was won by the Lanikai Canoe Club of Windward Oahu, targeting the Molokai Hoe. The Lanikai Canoe Club, based in Windward Oahu, is on a mission to dethrone Shell Vaa as Molokai Hoe world champion. Lanikai’s nine-man crew won the race from Kailua to Waikiki and placed second, followed by Hui Lanakila and Outrigger.

In 1952, A.E. Minvielle proposed a race from Molokai to Oahu, and after 13 years of unsuccessful attempts, he convinced three teams to attempt the feat. He found a local friend to sponsor the race and put up a prize of $500 for the winner. The Molokai residents donated $600 not to compete. The Molokai team won in five minutes less than nine hours, and a world record remains today.

The Molokai to Oahu canoe Race is a race between two islands. The race runs four0.8 miles from Hale O Lono Harbor to Waikiki Beach. The teams are limited to twelve paddlers; every 20 minutes, relief paddlers are dropped into the ocean ahead. They must duck under the outrigger struts and haul themselves into the seats left empty by winded teammates.


You’ll need to plan if you want to paddle a canoe from O’ahu to Molokai. You’ll want to prepare for a high tide and rising tide. It can be a challenging experience. This is an excellent opportunity to try if you’ve never paddled between the islands. You can even race the pros.

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One of the biggest challenges you’ll face is the rough conditions. You’ll have to paddle across the Kaiwi Channel, which translates to ‘Channel of Bones.’ The water is rough and changes rapidly. The paddle begins from Hale o Lono harbor, 30 minutes from civilization. You’ll cross the southern portion of Oahu, where the Hawaiian islands are called «islands» and Diamond Head. The race ends in Waikiki.

Paddling the Molokai Hoe is a challenging and adventurous experience. The ocean is incredibly rough, and you’ll have to prepare for the Kaiwi Channel — translated as «Channel of Bones» — two-and-a-half miles of open water. You’ll need an extra crew, coaches, and helpers, and you’ll be rewarded with a view of some of Hawaii’s most beautiful islands.

During the 2011 event, Team Primo had four victories before Na Koa won the event. In 2011, they won the Pailolo Challenge, a 25-mile race between Molokai and Maui. At the 2011 Molokai Hoe, they broke the Hawaii record. Last year, EDT Va’a upset them. Kailua’s Lanikai club was the last local crew to win the event in 2005.

You’ll see some of Hawaii’s most beautiful sites during the race, such as Diamond Head. Many watermen have shared this view, and the views from the top of Molokai are amazing. The course is less than three hours long. But you’ll need to prepare yourself for the rough sea conditions. For many, the challenge is worth the effort.

You can hire a canoe rental company when ready to take on the challenge. They can provide a kayak for you and teach you about the islands. Afterward, you can go snorkeling and view turtles. You’ll be rewarded with amazing views and a fantastic experience. However, keep your canoe in perfect condition because the Molokai Police Department will send you a citation if you don’t obey the rules.


The annual canoe to Molokai race draws over 1,000 participants from the U.S. and worldwide. The race is held annually in May. The distance is 52 kilometers. The conditions vary from island to island, but the canoe trip is generally considered a challenging event. If you have never paddled from Oahu to Molokai before, you are in for a treat.

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Water temperatures are near 27C/80F, and water clarity is excellent. Those planning to paddle in the morning will want to prepare for surfing before starting their journey. Surf can break further out, and paddlers should expect to deal with the occasional wave. Patience is essential to making the journey safely. Once you’ve geared up for your adventure, be prepared to be patient and be aware of the conditions.

Before the race, Dudoit carefully monitors the wind and tides over the months before the event. He also speaks to Oahu friends who paddle the same route and plot the ideal way. While the escort boat tracks the conditions, paddlers must adjust stroke rates, direction, surf, and other factors to keep themselves within a group of other teams.

Before you start your race:

  1. Meet your captain.
  2. Discuss loading plans, safety procedures, and the route with your escort boat.
  3. Ensure your race number stickers are visible.
  4. Carry the boat captain’s contact information. The captain must have the owner’s name, boat description, and a Hawaii cell phone number.

You’ll need these details if an emergency arises.

A race from Oahu to Moloka’i takes two weeks and is rated as one of the roughest navigable channels in the world. Participants paddle at 72 pulses per minute. The race is part of the Outrigger Canoe Club of Oahu’s annual outrigger races. While the competition is not scheduled to last longer than two weeks, it’s still a challenge that can’t be missed.

Canoe racers must check in their boats before the race. Paddlers who don’t fit in their boats will be disqualified. If they withdraw from the race, they must radio the HEAD OFFICIAL BOAT. If their equipment is damaged, they must exchange it or submit the problem to the race officials. Otherwise, they will receive a time penalty. If the ocean is rough, the race could be canceled altogether.

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