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Queen Lili'uokalani


The Annual
Queen Lili'uokalani Race

The world's largest long distance outrigger canoe race is set for August 31-September 4, 2017.


Race History

Queen Lili'uokalani Canoe Race → General Information → Race History

What is now the World's Largest Long Distance Canoe Race was actually started in 1972 simply to fulfill a need. The race really began as a way to train for the grueling Na Wahine O Ke Kai (Women) and the Molokai Hoe (Men) long distance canoe races from the island of Molokai to the island of Oahu.

Named in honor of the last reigning monarch of Hawaii, Queen Lili'uokalani, the first race fell on the Queen's birthday, September 2.

Since those early beginnings, the race has grown tremendously. We now are host to over two thousand five hundred paddlers from all over the world - Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Florida, California and Canada - just to name a few.

And it has grown from a one day event to three days of racing, with the first day being the strenuous single-hull canoe races, which cover the 18 miles between Kailua and Honaunau, followed by double hull and one-person canoe races on Sunday. All this action is then followed up with the Ali'i Challenge held on Monday - a northward paddle from Kailua-Kona to Kona Village.

Held each year on Labor Day Weekend, the fun includes a torchlight parade and dance on Saturday night, and an awards luau on Sunday.

What's New
with the Q.L. Races?

Live Tracking for Saturday's Races! This year, the Queen Liliuokalani Race is excited that we have teamed up with the innovative products and services company, DotVision, to bring you live tracking of Saturday's races. You will be able to track your favorite crews and events LIVE. A link to the official site will be published on the website and our Facebook pages prior to the race.

Also new in 2016, we have added MIXED Iron Saturday Races to our schedule! But if you require a canoe for the mixed races - you must act fast! We are only loaning out 10 canoes each for the Mixed Open and Mixed Masters (40+) races. Once we have reached that limit, YOU MUST PROVIDE OR SECURE YOUR OWN CANOE FOR THIS RACE. NOTE, THERE IS NO LIMIT OF ENTRIES. There is only a limit on the number of canoes we are lending out.

Queen Lili'uokalani
Race Sponsors


Kai 'Opua Canoe Club welcomes donations from individuals, corporations, trade associations and others interested in our organization and community services. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, donations to the Kai 'Opua Canoe Club are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

To donate online using your Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover card, click here and you will be directed to our secure Donations page.