Subscribe by Email

Share On

The Olamau Race: Hawaii’s Ultimate Outrigger Canoe Challenge

  |  Big Island Communities: Events, Big Island: History and Culture
Olamau Race start at Laupahoehoe Beach Park

Olamau Race start at Laupahoehoe Beach Park

Each summer, the outrigger canoe racing season brings together folks from all ages and walks of life. Participation in the sport is huge and can be very competitive. It is a sport that combines strength, stamina, team work and love of the ocean. Having paddled for the Kawaihae Canoe Club in the past, I can attest to its addictive nature. The Olamau Race, which had its start in 2012, brings together some very tough, hard-core paddling enthusiasts as it is a 3-day event with long paddles each day. This year’s race started in Laupahoehoe and ended in Kailua-Kona after navigating around the north end of the Big Island (which can be treacherous at times when the trade winds are howling and the seas are up).

The pictures in the slideshow below were taken at Laupahoehoe Beach Park on the first day of the race with everyone gathered around the canoes for the blessing and pule (prayer). Launching the canoes was tricky but with the help of savvy water men and women, it went off smoothly. Even if you are not a paddling aficionado, you will enjoy a glimpse inside this sport. Enjoy!

Click here to view larger photos

Moving to Laupahoehoe

Although you will rarely find a property for sale at the beach in Laupahoehoe, there are homes as well as vacant land on the market where you can build your dream along this beautiful coastal area known as Hamakua.

Learn More

Canoe paddling and sailing, an important part of all Polynesian cultures throughout the Pacific, has enjoyed a resurgence since the 1970’s here in Hawaii, in part due to excitement surrounding the building of the double-hull canoe Hokule’a in 1973-1975.  Adding an new chapter to the already legendary accomplishments of this and other canoes built in the last few decades, a refurbished Hokule’a has recently embarked on one of its longest voyages yet. The mission of this worldwide voyage is to navigate toward a healthy and sustainable future for our Earth and all humankind. Learn more at

Share On

About the Author

You May Also Like