Adventures on Maui – The October Molokai Hoe Race

October on Maui brings shorter days, cooler nights, and the end of the competitive Outrigger Canoe paddling season in Hawaii. The Moloka’i Hoe held on October 9, 2011 was its 59th crossing from Maui Nui’s Moloka’i to Oahu, some 40+ miles from Hale o Lono on Moloka’i’s southwest corner, across the rough waters of the Pacific to Waikiki. The race hosts over 1,000 paddlers from around the world in what is known as the Superbowl of competitive paddling.

Paddlers risk injury and life with extreme weather conditions, 8 to 10 foot waves, over 100 power boats, and 100 plus 1,200-pound 6 man canoes racing across the rugged Kaiwi Channel in an effort to be first across the finish line in the distant Waikiki. Canoes flipping, waves crashing over canoes and power boats alike, and canoes hitting paddlers making substitutions in the water are a few of the annual dangers of this event. All fears are set aside as athletes pursue victory in this grueling event.

Now, let’s back it up a few days before this annual event for the real adventure…I, like many others, love this event for the year of training and preparation that comes together when competitors converge on the beautiful island of Moloka’i.

With limited hotel lodging, competitors find refuge in tents, condominiums, and a variety of housing all over the island. We visit with old friends over breakfast in Kaunakakai, rig our gear at Hale o Lono, and enjoy the calm before the competition.

A few years ago, our paddling team had the privilege to stay in an amazing beachfront house for the days leading up to the Moloka’i Hoe. This home is situated on a very private beach at the end of the road on Moloka’i’s west end, just past the soft white sands of Papohaku Beach.

The bay fronting the home allows for multiple boats to anchor between adventures. The bay is home to the surf break known as Dixie Maru’s. It is a water man’s dream property…surfing…world-class ono and mahi mahi fishing…lobster diving, etc. right out your front door.

There are many activities, adventures, and places on Maui that will leave you with the memory of a lifetime. If this lifestyle interests you, contact me at (808)-870-2227.

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