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Three teams close together in the Queen Lili’uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe RaceEach year on the Labor Day weekend, the Big Island’s Kai ‘Opua Canoe Club hosts the world’s largest long-distance outrigger canoe race. Over the 4-day event, more than 2000 paddlers compete in outrigger canoe and stand-up paddleboard races.

We were thrilled that an outrigger canoe team from Japan stayed in one of our vacation homes while they were in town for the competition! They competed in the long-distance race and in a stand-up paddleboard race.

In the highlight – The Queen’s race – single-hull outrigger canoe teams compete on a course over 18 miles  between Honaunau Bay and Kailua Bay right in the heart of downtown Kona. This year, over 200 teams competed in Saturday’s long-distance races!

We went down to Kona to try to get a glimpse of our guests’ team and cheer them on. We captured these photos at Keauhou Bay to watch the kane (mens’) race round the point as they headed into Kona.  It was inspiring to watch so many outrigger canoe teams cut through the water on this long distance race.



For information on this and other events happening on the Big Island this month, check out our list of annual festivals and events.