Aloha and Happy Easter to all:
You can access the results of yesterday’s race at:
Mahalo to all our sponsors, supporters, volunteers and most of all, the runners, for making this the biggest Mac-A-Thon ever! There will also be photos posted in the near future.
Aloha and Happy Easter to all:
Aloha mai kakou!
We extend a heartfelt welcome to all our paddlers, young and old, novice and experienced, as we begin our 2015 season. Our first week of practice began with many familiar and new faces coming together to pule and acknowledge our kupuna, those who came before us and made it imperative for us to malama such a culturally significant and spiritual place. Mahalo Akua for the blessings of ‘ohana, for our health, for the beauty and abundance of our ‘aina, and for the aloha that we share paddling our sacred waters.
While training and conditioning for a rigorous competitive schedule –close to 20 races between May and October – we have several other events and activities on our calendar.
First of these is our 34th Annual Mac-A-Thon 5K & 10K Race on Saturday, April 4th in Honaunau. This is one of our major fundraisers and requires the participation of all our members and supporters in soliciting donations for our silent auction, clean-up of the race course between Honaunau & Napo‘opo‘o, preparing individual race packets, race registration & timing, set-up and decoration of our stage area, preparing/serving our delicious pancake breakfast to all entrants, and handing out awards.
At some point before the Mac-A-Thon, we will have a brief, informal blessing of our club’s first canoe, Keoua, which, after more than 40 years of faithful service, was completely restored by our kalaiwa‘a, Kurtis Yamauchi. Our canoes are integral members of our ‘ohana and it is befitting that we honor and care for our distinguished elders.
Keoua, a Malia-class fiberglass canoe, was one of 10 canoes purchased by the County of Hawai‘i in the early ‘70s, and distributed among the various Moku o Hawai‘i clubs. Before 1980, all regattas except the State Races were in fiberglass canoes, so Keoua entered and won many races until 1980, after which all regattas required the use of a koa canoe, and she was from that time used as a practice canoe. So come down to our halau and take a look at a living piece of our club history. Better yet, breathe in the mana she radiates when we take her back out into our waters!
As with all sports, the overall level of paddlers’ fitness and conditioning has improved dramatically over the years. There have also been many changes in paddling styles, race categories & classifications, and canoe design. This year, Keoua will welcome into our fold a new “unlimited class” Makika canoe, currently being built by Tiger Canoes. It will weigh well under 200 lbs. and usher in a new era of competition, so get in shape and work hard for the opportunity to paddle in this canoe. As with all new canoes, there will be a christening and blessing to celebrate its birth.
Fast-forwarding to August 22nd, we will be hosting the 29th Annual Calvin Kelekolio Long Distance Race. Honoring one of our first coaches, this event brings together paddlers from our island as well as guest paddlers from the neighbor islands, U.S. continent and Aotearoa. Complemented with music and our legendary pa‘ina, it is one of the high points on everyone’s race calendar.
We are also raising funds for entering the Pailolo Challenge, 25 miles across the channel between Maui and Moloka‘i, held in mid-September. This event requires much advance planning and expenditure for hotel accommodations, travel arrangements, escort boat and entry fees, so now is the time for interested paddlers to commit and begin working towards this goal.
In addition to this exciting schedule, we have the day-to-day maintenance of our equipment and halau grounds, the collection and sorting of HI-5 recyclables which fund our children’s program, and a pending request to ANA for funds to restore and rebuild the Hale o Ho‘oponopono in our canoe lot near the boat ramp. All of these are an integral part of our stewardship of Honaunau Bay and perpetuation of our cultural legacy, so we welcome and urge you to take an active role in any way you can.
Mahalo for being a part of our Keoua ‘Ohana.
– Rafael Ramirez, President and Head Coach
Congratulations to the paddlers that competed in the
Louis Kelekolio Memorial Canoe Race
sponsored by Keoua Canoe Club
The results are:
Mahalo to Hawaiian Shotz for posting these results.
This past weekend, Keoua Honaunau Canoe Club was deeply honored to be part of a profound and historic event in honor of the coming of Makahiki, which begins today.
Makahiki, a four-month observance dedicated to Lono, the deity of agriculture, rain and fertility, is an ancient Hawaiian tradition that has been slowly brought to life again over the past two decades. Beginning in November on the first new moon after the constellation Makali‘i (the Pleaides) becomes visible on the horizon, Makahiki was set aside as a time to celebrate the harvest and play competitive games and sports. It was also a time of reflection and spiritual cleansing. The people and the ‘aina rested and re-energized.
For many Kanaka Maoli and others living in Hawai‘i, this is our time of “Thanksgiving,” rather than the U.S. continental concept based on a convoluted tale about Pilgrims and Indians.
The first Makahiki activities to make a re-appearance in more recent times were the Makahiki games. Serving in ancient times as a way for warriors to stay fit, these games also taught young people to develop skills, speed and quick thinking. Today, many schools and groups have organized annual events focusing on Makahiki games.
Also concurrent with the Makahiki of ancient times was a reverent ceremonial procession around the island, as the chiefs surveyed their lands and received tribute from the people. A ceremonial staff carved with a depiction of Lono was carried from each ahupua‘a to the next, and protocols were performed honoring the chief and the god Lono.
On Hawai‘i Island, residents and visitors observed something a bit unusual going on around our island this past weekend – groups of runners, one carrying a ceremonial carved akua (deity), others following with Hawaiian flags and banners.
This modern portrayal of the ancient Makahiki procession is the Makahiki Pule ‘Aina Holo, a ceremonial relay run circulating the Island of Hawaiʻi following the ancient practice. According to organizer Lanakila Mangauil, “this holo is to give our time, energy, sweat, body, and hā (breath) to lift the consciousness of all towards healing and reminds us to malama our āina and ourselves. It is to reconnect us to our kuleana (responsibility) to malama our kino (body/self) so we can malama our ‘ohana (family), our lahui and our ‘āina.”
After months of grassroots planning, this modern interpretation of the traditional island circumnavigation began in Honoka‘a before dawn last Thursday. Oli (chants) and pule (prayer) were offered, and the carved Lonoikamakahiki staff, adorned with a kapa cloak, was presented.
With the dawn, a new awakening in the hearts and minds of the people of Hawai‘i Island was set in motion.
Members of the Pitt River Nation from California, with a tradition of long-distance running to carry the message of the sacredness of all life, our relationship to all living species, and of the need to maintain the delicate balance that exists between humankind and our Mother Earth, joined Native Hawaiians in this historic event.
Lonoikamakahiki was carried by relay, from one group of runners to the next, through the towns along the highway to Hilo, then climbing until reaching Kilauea Volcano, where the first day’s travels ended at Na Makani Paio campground. On Friday the runners continued past Pahala, Punalu‘u, and Na‘alehu, rounded Waiohinu and ended in Miloli‘i, the “last fishing village in Hawai‘i Nei.” There, they were welcomed by the villagers and members of Pa‘a Pono Miloli’i with traditional chants, hula and a delicious meal to restore their energy and spirit, before retiring for the night.
On Saturday, in the stillness before dawn in Miloli‘i, Lonoikamakahiki boarded a canoe and traveled, with an escort of a second canoe from Miloli’i Canoe Club, north to Ho‘okena, where he was met by three canoes from Keoua Honaunau Canoe Club. All five canoes then traveled together up the coast to Kealakekua Bay, stopping to pay homage in front of Hale o Keawe and ‘Ale‘ale‘a Heiau in Honaunau and offering ho‘okupu at Hiki‘au Heiau in Napo‘opo‘o.
The meeting of the canoes at Ho’okena was itself a historic occasion. The previous weekend, Miloli’i Canoe Club had been officially re-born and celebrated with an ocean festival event that included traditional protocols, paddling races and a joyful pa‘ina. Keoua Canoe Club was especially thrilled at the formation, after many decades, of a new canoe club in Miloli‘i to serve the many children and adults living in this isolated village and its neighboring ahupua‘a– and at the same time strengthening the culture of the wa‘a in Kona Hema (South Kona). As the paddlers in the canoes paddled towards each other, whoops of joy carried across the sparkling morning waters, while youngsters on the shore at Kealia sounded the pu in honor of the occasion.
From Hiki‘au Heiau, Lonoikamakahiki took to the road again, traveling north through Kailua-Kona and reaching Pu‘ukohola Heiau by nightfall. On Sunday, the Holo relay runners continued to Hawi, then through Waimea back to Honoka‘a for closing ceremonies.
All who participated in this sacred and historic journey were blessed with the essence of its healing and uplifting intentions. May the spirit of giving and sharing fill our hearts and guide our thoughts and deeds always.
Editor’s Note: Keoua Honaunau Canoe Club’s beloved Herb Kawainui Kane, who passed on in 2011, was the originator of the conceptual design for the Hokule‘a. Here is Herb’s story about how the wa‘a was named:
“This happened when the parts of the canoe were close to being completed. One day when I visited the building site, a large shed at Young Bros., one of the guys had chalked ‘Da Boat’ on the side of one of the hulls. When I asked the reason for the graffiti, they said it was to remind me that it was time to come up with a name.
“According to Kenneth Emory, in the old days a name would come to a canoe designer in a dream. Be that as it may, we tossed the question around at the board meeting a few days later. Several names were suggested, mostly compound names, each including several words; none seemed to be what everyone was looking for. Several weeks went by.
“One exceptionally clear night I stayed up quite late, star chart in hand, locating and memorizing stars and their relative positions. I think I turned in around midnight. Some time later, I dreamed of stars. My attention was attracted to Arcturus, our Hokule’a. It appeared to grow larger and brighter, so brilliant that I awoke.
“It’s been a habit for many years to keep a pad and pen on my nightstand. When the body is at rest, the mind half-awake, thoughts range about freely, and ideas form which I’ve found are sometimes worth noting down. Some painting ideas have come to me that way. I turned on my reading light and wrote ‘Hokule’a.’
“The next morning, I saw the notation, and immediately recognized it as a fitting name for the canoe. As a zenith star for Hawai’i it would be a star of gladness if it led to landfall. I phoned Paige Kawelo Barber; she thought it appropriate. I tried it on a few others and got a positive response. The name was proposed at the next board meeting and adopted.”
You can find the 5k results and 10k results at jtltiming.com. A huge mahalo to everyone who participated, all of our club members who volunteered, and to our local businesses and community members who helped support our club. We couldn’t do it without you!
The coastal areas of the four ahupua‘a between Hōnaunau and Napo‘opo‘o are home to a unique and precious array of cultural, historical and natural resources.
Between the significant cultural sites of Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau to the south and the Hikiau Heiau to the north lies the site of the Battle of Moku‘ohai, fought in 1782, which was a key battle in the early days of Kamehameha I’s effort to conquer the Hawaiian Islands. Here, the opposing armies of Kamehameha and his cousin Kiwalao skirmished for seven bloody days, with victory going to Kamehameha when Kiwalao was slain on the 8th day. Many of the fallen warriors were buried on the battlefield so this area is dotted with burial platforms, surviving the ravages of time, grazing cattle and invasive vegetation.
Linking the two ancient coastal communities is a system of well-trodden ancient pathways that are now part of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail. Several mauka-makai trails are also currently being restored by dedicated volunteers. The two sheltered bays – Hōnaunau and Kealakekua – and the pristine waters along the coast that connect them were bountiful sites for the practice of lawai‘a, traditional fishing.
Forming a curving, protective arm embracing the waters of Kealakekua Bay, the 600-ft. tall cliff is known as Pali Kapu o Keōua, the sacred cliff of Keoua. Here is where the bones of Keōua Kalanikupuapa‘ikalaninui Ahilapalapa, the father of Kamehameha I, were laid to rest after his death in the mid-1700s. At the northwest base of the cliff lay the village of Ka‘awaloa, where Capt. Cook met his fate in 1779, while Hikiau Heiau sits at the end of the road in the village of Napo‘opo‘o.
Keoua Hōnaunau Canoe Club is proud to host its Annual Mac-A-Thon 5K and 10K race on the road between Hōnaunau and Napo’opo’o. We hope to instill appreciation and respect for this beautiful and significant cultural landscape for the benefit of future generations.
|I Ku Mau Mau – Chant|
|Alaka’i: I ku mau mau
Pane: I ku wa
Alaka’i: I ku mau mau
Pane: I ku wa
Alaka’i: I ku lanawao
Pane: I ku wa
|Leader: Stand up together
Response: Stand and shout
Leader: Stand together
Response: Stand at intervals
Leader: Stand up among the tall forest trees
Response: Stand at intervals
Keoua’s 16 yr. old boys during the State Championships in Kaneohe, circa 1978. Front row: Kelly Losalio, Dennis Andrade, Byron Kukua, Coach Calvin Kelekolio. Back: Billy Mitchell, David Serafin, Leonard Moses, Jamie Newlon.