Today I want to share one of my favorite sports that is in full swing during the summer months.
This is outrigger canoe racing season in Hawaii.... only a couple of races are left before the last regatta culminating in the State races. Canoe races are great fun to watch, and even more fun to participate in.
Each canoe club has divisions from the keiki (kids) to the Golden Masters. I paddled for Hawaiian Canoe Club in Kahului for many years. My club has always been very competitive ,often winning the State Races. We have done a lot for the kids in our community, and we take racing very seriously. Even though I have not raced for years, I still feel a kinship with my canoe ohana. The camaraderie and bonding is born out of a deep respect for this sport and the Hawaiian culture. It is a lifetime connection.
Racing in and watching the State Races is awe inspiring, as this is when the revered koa canoes come out to shine. Members of our canoe club hiked through upcountry forests until the perfect koa tree was found. After prayers many hands brought the tree down the mountain to be lovingly fashioned into a beautiful vessel. Getting the koa canoe up and running takes finesse and a lot of hard paddling, it is heavier, but once it is going...................
My daughter's family used to have a 4 person canoe and we spent some great times surfing the waves in the canoe........oh, how incredible to dig in hard and feel the canoe lift up on the face of the wave...one of my all time favorites feelings rushing down a wave in an outrigger canoe !!!!!!!!!
Outrigger canoe racing caught the attention of the ali'i (royalty) during the later part of the 1800's. It was reported that canoe competitions were fierce with intense betting and high stakes.
That put some perspective our our races, one of our coaches used to remind us of this fact.
So, state races are in Oahu this year, coming up soon...check it out, and island hop over to Maui for a different pace.....You'll be very happy that you did.
See you out there, and remember to tell the special people in your life just how much you care.
" Ho O Makaukau. Hoe Hapai. Imua~ Huki": "Get ready, lift paddles, forward... pull!"
Commit, and go for it!