Wa‘a Kiakahi Perpetuates Islands’ Sailing Canoe Legacy - Kaanapali Resort
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Wa‘a Kiakahi Perpetuates Islands’ Sailing Canoe Legacy

Kā‘anapali, Maui, HI – The 17th annual Wa‘a Kiakahi will grace Maui shores from June 2 to 4, welcoming 6 six-member crews from all islands to share with the public the history and proficiency of traditional Hawaiian sailing canoes.

Created by the Hawaiian Sailing Canoe Association (HCSA), the three-day event features traditional ceremonies, sailing canoe rides and educational talks about celestial navigation and water skills. HCSA conducts its races in the same mode as ancient Hawaiians: sailors do not make crew changes, and they travel every channel connecting the Hawaiian Islands.

Kā‘anapali Beach Resort Association is the title sponsor of the event, and the public is invited to interact with the canoes and sailors on Kā‘anapali Beach. Visitors and locals will have the opportunity to meet the sailors and take a free ride in a sailing canoe on Saturday. There is no age requirement to go out, and life jackets will be provided for non-swimmers.

Event Schedule:

► Friday, June 2

11:30 a.m. Race start from Kahului Harbor. Crews race approximately 27 miles to Kā‘anapali.

2:30 p.m. – 3:00p.m. Race completion at Kā’anapali Beach Hotel, Kā‘anapali Beach. Arrival of sailing canoes with a traditional Hawaiian welcome ceremony. (Arrival time dependent on weather and sea conditions.)

► Saturday, June 3

9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Free sailing canoe rides for all ages (weather and sea conditions permitting), “talk story” opportunities with race team members, and demonstrations, all happening in front of Kā’anapali Beach Hotel.

► Sunday, June 4

7:45 a.m. A traditional Hawaiian farewell ceremony will take place followed by the race start from Kā‘anapali Beach at 8:00a.m. Crews will race from Kā‘anapali to Waimanalo, Oahu, approximately 72 miles.

The participating teams for 2023 are:

  • Olukai, Kaua‘i
  • Kā‘anapali Beach Hotel, Maui
  • Maui Jim, Kaua‘i
  • Hui Nalu Canoe Club, O‘ahu
  • Ka’anapali Beach Resort Association, Maui
  • Auwahi Wind, O‘ahu


“Kā‘anapali Beach Resort Association is proud to continue its position as title sponsor for Wa’a Kiakahi,” said Shelley Kekuna, executive director for the Kā‘anapali Beach Resort Association. “With Kā‘anapali Beach Resort attracting so many visitors wanting to combine fun and Hawaiian culture, partnering with an event that’s focused on the public education of a sport tied to ancient transportation, is a natural fit.”

The mission of the Hawaiian Sailing Canoe Association (HSCA) is to learn, revive, educate and practice the ancient Hawaiian skills and values as they relate to sailing canoes and the Hawaiian culture. HSCA is the only Hawaiian sailing canoe association in the world and is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2023. For more information about HSCA, visit http://www.hsca.info.

About Kā‘anapali Beach Resort: Set beside three miles of white-sand beach and with a view of two neighboring Hawaiian Islands, Moloka‘i and Lana‘i, Kā‘anapali Beach Resort has long been established as the Hawaiian resort “where the world comes to play.” An active vacation destination, Kā‘anapali Beach Resort features eleven hotels and condominiums, world-class spas, two golf courses and two shopping centers. http://www.kaanapaliresort.com.