Moloka‘i-O‘ahu Through the Years: A History of the Moloka‘i Outrigger Canoe Race
The challenge, the drama, the people and the tradition of the the oldest and most prestigious outrigger canoe race in the world—The Molokaʻi Channel Race. Begun in 1952 for men and 1979 for women, the race currently attracts an international field of top crews and combines a colorful history with a rich tradition.
Billed as the world championships of the sport, crews contending for the title must train and prepare for months in order to put themselves in the best position to win. The great intangible is the unpredictable Moloka‘i (Kaiwi) Channel that has a well-deserved reputation as one of the roughest interisland channels in existence. The outcome of the race generally hinges on how crews deal with conditions that can vary from water as calm as a lake to the most fearsome and turbulent, with extreme winds and huge waves. Once out of the channel, the next challenge and sometimes a critical factor is trying to unravel the best solution to often complex coastal currents and tide factors encountered off O‘ahu. For the winners, it is a tribute to a combination of excellent preparation, conditioning, teamwork and strategy that all come together to make the difference in a most memorable and satisfying athletic accomplishment
Every year’s competition has a story of its own to tell, and this detailed chronicle highlights each race, its anecdotes, and the key players. With input and commentary from many of the race’s most respected participants along with a unique collection of both historical and current photographs, this book captures the challenge, the drama and the tradition of the event. With complete records, memorabilia, and fascinating sidebars, race coverage extends to every facet of what is the most important and prestigious event for international outrigger canoe racing.
by Peter Caldwell