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The Annual
Queen Lili'uokalani Race

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


Race Information


The Queen Lili'uokalani Canoe Races are organized and hosted by the Kai 'Opua Canoe Club, a member of the Big Island's Moku O Hawaii Outrigger Canoe Racing Association.
  • Club President
    Lawrence (Bo) Campos (808) 938-8577 Cell
  • Race Director
    Mike Atwood (808) 937-3255
  • Contact Persons
    Nicki Lacy-Enos, Registrar, (808) 938-7846, e-mail or send fax to: (808) 443-0248
    Amy Young (808) 769-0876 for Ali'i Challenge


NEW!! Thursday - Hulakai OC4 8 Person Relay:
This fun sprint race consists of a relay team of 8 paddling in a OC4 canoe. One member of your 8 person crew is required to start the race on Stand-Up for a short leg. The exact details are as follows:

  • 2:00 pm - Race meeting at the Hulakai tent on the pier
  • 3:00 pm - Race start (heats)

    Race Details:

  • Race begins with 1 crew member doing SUP (approximately 1/8 mile total)
  • That SUP crew member then returns to the start line, jumps in the OC4 and a crew of 4 race out 1/8 mile to the marker and back (1/4 mile total)
  • Those 4 crew members jump out and the next 4 jump in and paddle out 1/8 mile (to the marker) and back to the finish.
  • And you're done!
The cost for the event is $80 total and includes awards. Classifications include Open Men, Open Women and Mixed.

Saturday we will have staggered starts with Iron first and Non-Iron crews later.

  • 7:30 am - Iron women
  • 7:35 am - Unlimited women
  • 7:40 am - 9 women
  • 11:45 am - Iron men
  • 11:50 am - Unlimited men
  • 11:55 am - 9 men

All Races start at Kailua - turn at before Lyman's - back to Kailua - note, times are subject to change

  • 7:30 a.m.  - Teen Girls / Boys / Mixed → OC-6
  • 8:30 a.m.  - Mixed (40+) → Double-Hull
  • 9:00 a.m.  - Kane / Teen Boys → OC-1, OC-2
    Stand-up Paddle Boards, LONG - 4.5 miles
  • 9:10 a.m.  - Stand-up Paddle Boards, SHORT - 3.5 miles
  • 9:30 a.m.  - Wahine → Double-Hull
  • 10:45 a.m. - Kane → Double-Hull
  • 11:00 a.m. - Wahine Teen Girls → OC-1, OC-2, Mixed OC-2
  • 12:00 p.m. - Mixed (Open) → Double-Hull

Monday: The Alii Challenge
Race Division and Age Requirements:

  • Open (18 and older)
  • 50+ (50 years and older)
  • 12 person team - 2 mixed crews (Six women, six men required per team)


Along the beautiful Kona Coast and the historic bays of Kailua, Keauhou, Kealakekua, and Honaunau.


We are transitioning to an all new online registration format this year. Please visit our online registration page to register today! For those of you who can't register online, our registration room will be located just across for the Logo/Merchandise shop and pool at the King Kam, and will be open:
  • Thur. 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Fri. 8:00 am - 6:00 pm don't wait until the last minute gang!
  • Sat. from 3:00 to 5:00 pm

Please remember - we cannot guarantee that all crews requiring canoes will be able to get them. Registering early greatly improves your chances of participation in this fantastic event!


Awards ceremony, luau, and torchlight parade to follow canoe races. Please note, times are subject to change.


  • 3:30 pm - Award presentations for all Saturday races at Kamakahonu Bay, by the King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel.
  • 6:30 pm - Torchlight parade of paddlers from Hale Halawai Center to Kailua Pier.


  • 2:00 pm - Award presentations for all Sunday races at Old Kona Airport Events Pavilion. Luau for all paddlers, race officials, and their families. Paddlers' luau tickets are included with the entry fee. All others may purchase tickets at the Kai'Opua Registration Desk or at the luau door.


Note - the age restrictions below are for the YOUNGEST paddler on your crew. For example, if your crew consisted of a 45 YO and all the rest were 52 years old - then you must select the 40+ age category. If one member is 39, then the crew must go Open etc...
  • Open - All ages (all Iron)
  • M/W - Age Group 40+
  • M/W - Age Group 50+
  • M/W - Age Group 55+
  • M/W - Age Group 60+
  • M/W - Age Group 65+
  • Mixed Open (3 women, 3 men)
  • Mixed 40s+ (3 women, 3 men)

Sunday Race Divisions and Age Requirements:

  • Double Hull: M/W - Age Group 18+
  • Double Hull: M/W - Age Group 40+
  • Double Hull: M/W - Age Group 50+
  • Double Hull: M/W - Age Group 60+
  • Double Hull: Mixed
  • SUP: (Stock - 13' 11" and under: Age groups M/F 12 & under,13 to 18, 19+, 30+, 40+, 50+, 60+, 70+) and (Unlimited: Open M/F, 14' race, 16'+ unlimited)
  • OC-1: Age Groups M/F Teen (18 & under), 19+, 30+, 40+, 50+, 60+
  • OC-2: Age Groups M/F Open, 50+, Mix: 18+, 40+
  • Teens: 16 & under, 18 & under, Mix: 18 and under


As always, we are excited to have many crews coming this year from the mainland and other countries... so heads up to our neighboring clubs from Kauai, Oahu Molokai and Maui. As usual, we loan all the available canoes we can arrange for to crews coming from outside the Hawaiian Islands. Hopefully you've already got your bookings with Young Bros!

Please visit our Canoes & Canoe Shipping webpage to learn more about our lending policies and/or fees along with shipping guidelines.

**Also please note: We do not provide OC1 & OC2 for the Sunday races. We are working on securing information for those who register as to where they may inquire about renting one.

Canoe Classes:


This year, Hulakai is helping sponsor the SUP event for the weekend. They offer:
  • Rentals stock class boards
  • Race shirts for early registration online
For more information, visit their site at or by phone at 808 896-3141.


Just off the pool area in the King Kamehameha Hotel, open Thursday through Monday. As usual, we will have really cool Queen Lili'uokalani merchandise and paddling gear!


  • Thursday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Friday: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Saturday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sunday: 8:00 am - Noon


Please join us Thursday morning for a free Walking Tour of Historic Kailua Village. This FREE tour is from 9:00 to Noon. Meet at the beach at Kamakahonu (in front of the Marriott King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel). Hannah Kihalani Springer is our expert guide. We'll visit nearby historic sites and learn of the area's rich history. Expect to cover about 3/4 mile over the course of 2.5 - 3 hours....easy strolling pace with plenty of stopping along the way. Here's the program from last year's Walking Tour.

This years tour will visit some new sites in area close to Kamakahonu and we'll hear new stories from Hannah and other cultural experts.

  • Thursday, 9:00 am - Noon
  • Meet at Kamakahonu Beach
  • Hosted by Kai 'Opua Canoe Club
  • Guided by Hannah Kihalani Springer


Thursday night, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, in the Ballroom at the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel. This evening of fun for our mainland and international competitors just keeps growing. Bring your flags, family and have some fun! Better yet, if your crew has any song, skit or other entertainment to share, we'll be happy to take the stage. Come and sign in....door prizes will be given away! HEAVY pupus and no-host bar. Come early to make sure you get your Aloha lanyard.


Information at this meeting needs to be heard by all coaches and escort captains. Make sure there is at least one representative from each crew attending this meeting! The meeting is at 7:00 pm at the King Kamehameha Ballroom (off to the right of the front desk). Because of new regulations at the Honaunau end, this is a mandatory meeting.


If you are planning to drive to the race site (King Kamehameha Hotel at Kamakahonu Beach) Saturday and Sunday mornings, please allow extra time to find parking.


Parking at Honaunau will be more restricted than in years past, however if you are a registered paddler in Saturday's race, shuttle service is available to you for a nominal fee.
  • Buses will depart from the circular drive in front of the King Kamehameha Hotel at 8:30 am.
  • Buses return from Puuhonau o Honaunau at 11:30 am.
  • The drop off and pick up at Honauanau will be at the park entrance.
To get your ride on the shuttle, wear the wrist band (purchased at registration).


  • No early finishing canoes (paddled by wahine) will be allowed to land within Puuhonua O Honauanau National Park.
  • Early finishing canoes will be brought up the ramp and held in the Church Lot for the return race to Kailua by the kane paddlers.
  • No parking of cars, trucks, trailers will be allowed on the roadside of the one-way road or along the beachside the entire way to the main highway from 6:00am to 1:00 pm. This is to allow for emergency responders and allow for early finishing canoes to access the Church Lot.
  • We ask your kokua to respect the cultural, archeological and spiritual importance of this place.
  • Details about these changes will be explained at the coaches meeting.


Escorts boats are required for the 9 person change out crews. All boat captains must be insured, licensed and need to complete our Escort Boat waiver.


Just a reminder...the change crews now compete in Hawaiian Racers. Please note this if you are shipping a canoe for this division or are hoping to borrow one.


Any canoe past the official start boats in the wahine and kane races will be given a 5 minute time penalty.


Don't forget...awards celebration for the ALL divisions of Saturday's race will begin approximately 3:30 pm at Kamakahonu Beach (race site in front of the King Kamehameha Hotel).

TORCH LIGHT PARADE - A Queen Lili'uokalani Race tradition!

The paddlers celebrate the race weekend with Alii Drive closed off while they parade from Hale Halawai to the pier. Be there to represent your club and country! Parade begins at dusk, approximately 7:30 pm.


7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at our Steinlager Beer Garden, the makai side of the King Kam. Large screen slide show of Saturday races as well!


Teens - Double Hull - OC1/OC2...and...STAND-UP PADDLE BOARD. Awards given at luau.


**Please note: We do not provide OC1 & OC2 for these races. We are working on securing information for those who register as to where they may inquire about renting one.

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.