Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, May 26, 1999

C A N O E _ P A D D L I N G

Molokai race
returns to roots

The Great Canoe Race will
use rules from 47 years ago and
not allow the use of
relief paddlers

Star-Bulletin staff


The original extreme sport -- the Molokai Hoe outrigger canoe race -- will return this October to the format used in the inaugural men's race in 1952, organizers announced this morning.

The Great Canoe Race, a 38.6-mile invitational event across the Kaiwi Channel, is scheduled for Oct. 17. As happened 47 years ago, no relief paddlers will be used; crews have been able to use up to nine paddlers alternating at six seats.

"The time is right to return the sport back to the orignal concept of human endurance that was conceived by (late founder) Toots Minvielle," said George Downing, one of the race organizers.

Invited to compete will be the top 10 crews from the Oct. 10 Bankoh Molokai Hoe men's race and the top three women's crews from the Sept. 26 Na Wahine O Ke Kai. Some $35,000 in prize money will be awarded, making it the richest purse in the sport.

Downing, a renowned waterman, competed for Waikiki Surf Club in the first Molokai-to-Oahu race. The 1952 race was won by Kukui O Lanikaula of Molokai in 8 hours and 55 minutes.

The Great Canoe Race will follow the original Molokai Hoe course, from off the Kaluakoi Hotel to Waikiki Beach off the Moana Hotel.

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