Race Seasons

Pre-season Regatta

Training for the Na ‘Ohana O Na Hui Wa‘a Regatta Season starts in March and goes through the end of May. Hui Wa‘a distance races are between 9 and 12 miles in length and average about an hour and a half to complete. These races are all "iron", that is, there are no water changes required. As a member of Hui Wa‘a, WYC is required to race ten (10) crews during the pre-season races.

Regatta (Sprints)

Regatta races start at the end of May and goes through July with Hui Wa’a championships and Hawaii State championships in August. These sprint races are between ¼ and 1 ½ miles in length.  There are many heats based on your experience.  The groups range from first timers to paddlers with many years of expeience as well as age groups all the way to 70+!

Long Distance

Long distance races range in length from the 18 mile Queen Lili‘uokalani Races to the 41.6 mile Ka‘iwi Channel crossings. All the races except the Queen Lili‘uokalani Races involve water changes, in which up to 3 paddlers at a time are rotated in and out of the canoe. Water changes add a level of complexity to distance racing, making it important that each crew is able to perform fast and efficient changes for the duration of the race.

The Ka‘iwi Channel races from Moloka‘i to O‘ahu, Na Wahine O Ke Kai for women and Moloka‘i Hoe for men, involve paddling in open ocean conditions, for which the Hawaiian outrigger canoe was designed. These races allow our canoes and crews to perform at their limits. Canoes are rigged with spray covers (“canvas”) and must have escort boats to carry extra crew members, coaches and helpers.

WYC Molokai Hoe 2013 from Risa Beer on Vimeo.


Paddling starts to get a little more personal November thru February.  One and two man outrigger canoes (OC1, OC2) is where you will start to hone in your skills and take your paddling to the next level.  Pa’a (Paddling Athelets Association) races are generally down wind (Hawaii Kai to Kaimana, Makai pier to Kaimana, relays, and Moloka’I to O’ahu) and some of these races take you past China Walls and Makapu’u lighthouse!

Waikiki Yacht Club   •   1599 Ala Moana Blvd   •   Honolulu, HI 96814