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State Championship Regatta set for Saturday at Canoe Beach

By Staff | Aug 3, 2017

Hanaka‘o‘o Beach Park, also called Canoe Beach, is the only true open ocean regatta venue that can handle a race the size of the annual state championship, the Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association reported.

LAHAINA – Top crews from Maui and around the state will face off at the Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association State Championship Regatta on Saturday, Aug. 5, at Hanaka’o’o Beach Park (Canoe Beach).

Opening ceremonies begin at 7:30 a.m., and the races start at 8 a.m.

Admission is free for this full day of racing in traditional koa canoes.

A highly competitive and fun-filled day of racing is expected, as HCRA crowns individual champions in 41 events and club winners in four divisions.

There will also be food booths and cultural/paddling merchandise vendors at the regatta.

Event parking is available at Lahaina Civic Center, with shuttle buses that will run continuously from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Racers are advised to allow extra time for their commute to the beach, especially during the early morning hours.

There will be no parking at Canoe Beach – unless you have been issued an HCRA parking pass – and the left turning lane into the park will be closed.

HCRA received an $8,000 ‘Ahahui Grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) in support of the 2017 HCRA State Championship Regatta and recognizes OHA as a sustaining sponsor of the annual event.

“OHA has been a resolute and sustaining supporter of the HCRA State Championship Regatta, and we are honored that OHA has chosen HCRA to receive an ‘Ahahui Grant. We know OHA receives funding requests for many worthy events and programs from dozens of applicants, and we are pleased to be a grant recipient,” said HCRA President Walter Vierra of Maui.

This year marks the 67th annual HCRA State Championship, celebrating Hawaii’s team sport.

Veteran paddlers eagerly return to Maui to test their skill against their fellow paddlers and the ocean conditions.

Each summer, nearly 10,000 outrigger canoe paddlers, from keiki as young as seven years old to kupuna who are ageless, race at weekly regattas in the state’s four counties to determine who has the privilege of representing their island association and canoe club at the annual State Championship Regatta.

The regatta represents the best crews from HCRA’s six island associations.

Final results of the State Championship Regatta will be posted at www.hcrapaddler.com.