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Event introduced by George Downing
sponsored by Mana Hoe - 40 miles IRON

The richest prize money in the sport of Hawaiian outrigger canoe racing, $35,000, will be offered at The Great Canoe Race to be held on Sunday, October 17, 1999. The first place team will receive $20,000, second place takes home $10,000 and $5,000 will be given to third place.

The excitement, challenge and human endurance of the original Moloka`i to O`ahu six-person canoe race, begun in 1952, is being re-introduced as The Great Canoe Race by George Downing, one of the paddlers in the first Moloka`i race.

"The sport of Hawaiian canoe paddling has achieved international recognition and participation, resulting in hundreds of expert, trained paddlers," explained George. "The time is right to return the sport back to the original concept of human endurance that was conceived by Toots Minville."

The Great Canoe Race is an invitational event which intends to return the channel crossing to its original format of a six member crew paddling ironman 40 miles across the Kaiwi Channel without relief paddlers. This race is an endurance test requiring each paddler to reach within themselves, using their body and mind to achieve personal strength and maintain faith and confidence in their team mates. This first race will be dedicated to the men of Moloka`i, champions of the first crossing.

The Great Canoe Race begins at the Kaluakoi Hotel on Moloka`i and finishes nearly 40 miles later in front of the Sheraton Moana Surfrider, the finishing site of the first race.

Founded by A.E. "Toots" Minville in 1952, the first Moloka`i crossing became the ultimate test of human stamina, navigation skills, ocean and equipment knowledge and mental fortitude. Invitations to participate in The Great Canoe Race will be offered to the top ten men's crews from the Bankoh Moloka`i Hoe and the top three women's crews from the Bankoh Na Wahine O Ke Kai. The remaining entry positions will be determined by the race committee set up by the sponsors. The total teams selected will be a maximum of 30 entries.

While spectators wait for The Great Canoe Race to finish, they will be entertained by water sports events outside the surf area, including a solo canoe race, paddleboard race and rough water swim competition. The celebration will continue throughout the day with Hawaiian entertainment at the Sheraton Moana Banyan Courtyard and a Hawaiian arts and crafts display on the lawn of the Sheraton Moana.

The Great Canoe Race is sponsored by Mana Hoe, a group of paddling enthusiasts interested in investing in the future of Waikiki by bringing back the original concept as conceived by Minville.

Hele on to Canoe Club News

Last Modified:Thursday - 19990527.13:18 HST
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