The Pa’a Eono Hoe has now joined the Molokai Hoe and the Wahine O Ke Kai races as another six-person outrigger canoe paddling challenge across the Ka’iwi Channel.
In its inaugural race last Sunday, May 23, Team Kamanu became the first winners in a time of three hours, 56 minutes, 40 seconds. The race started at Papohaku Beach on Molokai’s West End and finished at Maunalua Bay on Oahu.
The key difference between this race and the Molokai Hoe is that the same six paddlers who start the race must also finish. In the Molokai Hoe and the Wahine O Ke Kai races an escort boat is allowed to carry three or four extra paddlers who rotate into the boats during the 32-mile race.
Another rule change is that boats were allowed to use either an open design or a more traditional design.
“There’s no question in my mind that this race could become huge,” said Team Kamanu captain Jimmy Austin.
Finishing second in a time of four hours, nine minutes, 10 seconds was the Livestrong team captained by Mike Nakachi. Team Pa’a placed third in 4:12:36, racing in a traditional style boat, which is not as light or sleek as the open design boats.
In the women’s division, the Kailua Masters 50 team placed first in 5:18.38 and the Iron Maidens finished second in 5:21.51.