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Na Wahine O Ke Kai Receives OHA Ahahui Grant

Na Wahine O Ke Kai News Release

The Na Wahine O Ke Kai Race Committee,  producers of the 2015 Hawaiian Airlines Na Wahine O Ke Kai Molokai to Oahu Canoe Race, announced today that it will receive $6,000 from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), Ahahui Community grant.

This race is considered the world championship of outrigger canoe racing which unites paddlers from all walks of life and brings them together as one. The participants, of which 70 percent are Native Hawaiian and 80 percent are from the state of Hawaii, will come together to strengthen their identity, to preserve, practice and perpetuate their culture, on Sunday, Sept. 27. This prestigious outrigger canoe race has grown nationally and internationally, attracting crews from Hong Kong, Japan, United Kingdom, California, Washington, Oregon, Tahiti, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The race is 41 miles across the treacherous Ka`iwi channel, beginning at Hale O Lono Harbor on Molokai and ending at Duke Kahanamoku Beach fronting the Hilton Hawaiian Village at Waikiki.

Na Wahine O Ke Kai (Women of the Sea) was founded in February of 1979. The canoe race has flourished through the years because of the tireless efforts of race supporters, volunteers, and paddlers. Through their endurance, devotion and sponsorship they have helped to perpetuate Hawaii’s cultural heritage.

“Our love for this race is deep, because it represents the power and potential of women,” said Hannie Anderson, race director of Na Wahine O Ke Kai. “To put on this race year after year, for a total of 36 years, is a tremendous team effort by the entire race committee. We set out to create a movement for the sport of women’s paddling and we succeeded. This race and the women who come back every year to participate are a testament to that.”

The Na Wahine O Ke Kai Race Committee is honored to have OHA as a sponsor again this year. The grant exemplifies OHA’s commitment to malama protect Hawaii’s people, towards ensuring the perpetuation of the culture. This grant will help with the cost of hauling the canoes from Kaunakakai Harbor to Hale O Lono Harbor on Molokai.

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