On Saturday 8/1, nearly 3,000 paddlers and thousands more onlookers converged on a calm and humid Hilo Bay for the 2009 State Championship regatta. Fifty-seven canoe clubs from across the state competed in 39 sprint events in six-person koa wood outrigger canoes. This was the first time in 7 years that the Championships enjoyed Hilo!
Hawaiian Canoe Club of Maui tallied 355 points to claim its eighth state title in nine years. The local club Puna won two races on the day, and contributed to the Big Island's total of 15 wins.
The races start around 8am and go throughout the day. The bayfront park is transformed with several tents offering ono grinds, commemorative T-shirts and other trinkets.
Several of the paddlers and their supporters stayed in our Big Island vacation rentals conveniently located in and around Hilo town.
The next Big Island paddling event is over the Labor Day weekend in West Hawaii along the beautiful Kona Coast and the historic bays of Kailua, Keauhou, Kealakekua, and Honaunau. If you'll be in town to enjoy this race, contact us to stay at our beautiful vacation rental home Alaua Hale!!