Event Info

What You Need to Know

Canoe Hire, Shipping & Requirements


Kai 'Opua will try to help all participating overseas crews and clubs obtain canoes for our races. If you are out-of-state and do wish to borrow a canoe, a fee of $300 per crew/entry for Saturday's races will be charged to secure a rented canoe. Stay tuned on our website for the latest canoe availability updates.

Kai 'Opua will try to help all visiting participating crews and clubs obtain canoes for our races. Because clubs within Hawaii have the ability to ship their own canoes, we will accommodate out of state requests to borrow canoes first. Clubs and crews needing canoes can email our canoe coordinator Cheryl Villegas at  zenawpa@gmail.com and select "Need Canoes" on the online registration form for your entry. Requests will be honored as they are received and additional fees may apply.


If you require a canoe for the mixed races on Saturday - you should act fast. We are only renting out 10 canoes each for the Mixed Open and Mixed Masters (40+) races. Meaning - we can rent up to 10 canoes for the Mixed Open crews and we can rent up to 10 canoes for the Mixed Masters crews. Once we have reached those limit, YOU MUST PROVIDE OR SECURE YOUR OWN CANOE FOR THESE RACES. NOTE, THERE IS NO LIMIT ON ENTRIES. There is only a limit on the number of canoes we are renting out for these mixed Saturday races.  


For clubs travelling to Kona from the neighbor islands, we recommend shipping your own canoes. This allows you to race in canoes you are familiar with, and allows more out of state paddlers to participate. If you cannot ship a canoe, please contact me for additional information.

  • Canoes shipped to Kawaihae must be sent prepaid, and canoes returned will be sent COD. CANOES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED ON FRIDAY AUG 30TH
  • When shipping your canoes, please strap them down if possible. Rigging cord used to tie canoes can break.
We will make sure your straps stay with your canoes, and we ask you have the straps in the canoes when we are ready to return them to the dock on Monday morning.

Koa canoes shipped to Kawaihae must be on a trailer, all others can be put on either 20 or 40ft racks provided by Young Brothers. You can also combine canoes from more than one club, and split the shipping fees. Please show Kai 'Opua as the consignee on the Young Brothers Bill of Lading, with "Mike Atwood" and (808) 937-3255 as the contact info.

Kai 'Opua will trailer all canoes consigned to us from Kawaihae to Kailua before the races, and will return all canoes to Kawaihae Monday morning. There is a trailering charge of $100.00 round trip per canoe, to be paid at registration.

Typically all returning canoes are put on the barge to Honolulu on Wednesday. Maui and Kauai canoes make connecting barges in Honolulu. If you need your canoe sent to another island, like Molokai, please let me know and I will make the arrangements.


Practice canoes will be available starting Monday and go through Thursday. The club will have canoes available from 6am to 2pm, practice sessions are for one hour. Reservations for use of the canoes is on a first come first serve basis. Interested teams please contact Cheryl Villegas to reserve times - 808-989-4918 or email zenawpa@gmail.com 


  1. Canoes only (no trailers) may be parked on Kailua Pier in preparation for the races. All canoes are to be placed on the end and makai side of the Kailua Pier.
  2. All canoes transported from Kawaihae will be placed on Kailua Pier.
  3. Trailers are to be taken to the Old Airport Park Halau area for parking.
  4. Canoes and trailers may be parked overnight at Honaunau for the Kane Race Saturday. Kai 'Opua Canoe Club will not be responsible for any damages. All trailers must be parked on the upper road. No parking of any vehicles or trailers along the road past the boat ramp.


Crews who will need their canoes trailered to Honaunau for the men's race should inform the Race Director (Mike Atwood).


Space is very limited on the Kailua Pier and only authorized vehicles with a "PIER PARKING PASS" will be allowed entry to the pier.


  • Canoes approved for racing by the various canoe racing associations throughout the state shall be declared eligible provided the following items are
    submitted to the race officials:
    • Certification of weight of canoes (400# minimum). (Copies of certification used by other associations and certified by their Race Director will be accepted.)
    • Certification that the canoe is eligible and approved for racing in the corresponding club's association.


Five classes: Koa, Non-Koa, Hawaiian Racer, Unlimited. 


All crews are responsible for providing their own rigging line and/or quick straps. Quick straps will on sale in the Logo Shop - $70 for a set of 4.


Sponsor of the Thursday relay, Hulakai, will provide canoes to the registered crews.


Kai 'Opua Canoe Club will provide two 4" x 4" lengths of wood. If you are rigging your own canoes, please use your own quick straps. If you are rigging Kai 'Opua canoes, Kai 'Opua will provide the quick straps. (There will be some extra line to lash two canoe hulls together if needed.)


Kai 'Opua Canoe Club is not responsible for canoes loaned by other clubs to paddling crews. Please handle the canoes at all times with great care and respect.


Kai 'Opua Canoe Club does not coordinate the rentals of OC-1 and OC-2 canoes.Try logging onto the RACE BLOG for requesting canoe availability. Also, we recommend that you first secure an OC1/OC2 before registering for the event as they are sometimes hard to come by.



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