Women of the Ocean

Paddlers again tackle ’The Molokai’

For 32 years, the toughest wahine paddlers from Hawaii and around the world have taken on the challenge of the Kaiwi Channel – paddling a rough 41 miles from Hale o Lono Harbor on Molokai to Duke Kahanamoku Beach on Oahu.

“We did it because there wasn’t a race for women – the guys didn’t want to do it for us,” said Carleen Ornellas, one of the founding organizers. “We said, oh yes we can…and we did it.”

Their first crossing was in 1975, but Na Wahine o Ke Kai – Women of the Sea – officially became the Molokai to Oahu canoe race for women in 1979.


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