Kaiwi Channel Races Up and Running

Photo by Dewitt Jones

The Pa’a Hawaii Kaiwi Solo was held on May 4 in the daunting waters of the Kaiwi Channel.
The demanding solo between Molokai and Oahu looms large in the world of competitive paddling.

“If a [single-man canoe] paddler was allowed just one accolade to define their lifetime of paddling, many of the world’s best would argue that a Kaiwi Solo win would be it,” explains the Pa’a Hawaii website.

118 paddlers from across the world journeyed to Molokai to compete in this year’s race, prepared to subsist for hours on just the rhythm of the waves and the strength of their own will.

The paddlers were followed by a flotilla of escorts and safety boats as they crossed the channel. Last July’s Molokai 2 Oahu race had raised concerns amongst Molokai residents about the behavior of numerous escort boats. No specific reports were made following this race. However, Molokai residents who do witness any marine violations conducted by vessels should report it to The Dept. of Land and Natural Resources at (808) 643-3567.

This year’s race was won by Patrick Dolan from Honolulu in a time of 3:19:10 for the men and Lindsey Shank, also of Honolulu, in a time of 3:39:16 for the women. There were no competitors from Molokai.

This past weekend, the Kanaka Ikaika Racing Association hosted the Molokai Challenge race, likewise spanning 32 miles across the Kaiwi channel, with a combination of entries from surfski to team canoes. No results were available at the time of publication.


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