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Fall Canoe Races Cancelled

OHCRA News Release

The spirit of aloha continues to permeate our Hawaii communities as we champion making difficult decisions to support one another and care for the safety and health of our people and visitors. Many have had their lives change overnight and businesses, as well as individuals, continue to feel these effects as we transition into the next phase of our statewide COVID-19 response efforts.

As our state has been tremendously impacted by the global reach of this pandemic, the Board of the Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association (OHCRA) together with the organizing committee of Na Wahine O Ke Kai, regretfully announce the decision to cancel this year’s championship canoe races — Hawaiian Airlines Na Wahine O Ke Kai, scheduled for Sept. 27, and Hawaiian Airlines Molokai Hoe, scheduled on Oct. 11. This collective decision reflects our steadfast commitment to put individual and community safety ahead of racing for this 2020 season.

While assessing the ongoing situation and weighing reports provided by medical professionals and State and County Officials, as well as reckoning with lead time for event production and growing financial constraints, it became very clear that proceeding with these races was not feasible nor advisable. In addition, recommending more than 2,000 paddlers and support staff travel from around the world into our fragile communities during this time of uncertainty would be imprudent.

The early decision to cancel pre-season and regatta seasons for canoe racing associations around the state were required in accordance with the “stay at home” orders issued in all counties. At this time, six-man canoe paddling continues to be a restricted activity. As our associations wait on the phased reopening of our sport, we feel that the first order of business for our clubs will be to focus on the needs of their own paddlers and families impacted by COVID-19. For the remainder of the 2020 season we stand positioned and ready to support our canoe clubs as they look to reengage their athletes as is appropriate. Our sincere hope is that with the easing of restrictions our clubs and paddlers will join together to once again be on the water perpetuating our state sport of canoe paddling. Until then, the Kaʻiwi Channel crossing will be waiting, and we look forward to continuing the legacy of our races in 2021: Na Wahine O Ke Kai on Sept. 26, 2021 and Molokai Hoe on Oct. 10, 2021.

Please continue to watch out for one another. We look forward to our community emerging from this difficult time, strengthened in unity, kindness and aloha!

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