Aloha kakou! This year’s paddling season is fast coming to an end as we prepare to welcome all the paddlers from around the world to our sacred waters.
It has been a very challenging season but as always, Keoua rose to the occasion. Our 26th Annual Calvin Kelekolio Long Distance Race held on August 18 was a memorable event. Kukulukumuhana o Honaunau, Betty Kelekolio, and her daughters escorted our newest koa, ‘Ale’ale’a, to the water and performed a brief ceremony in remembrance of Calvin Kelekolio, just before the race start.
Meanwhile at our halau, all hands were busy cooking and preparing our now famous meal for all the participants and guests, nearly 400 very happy and satisfied people. I’m always amazed at how well and smoothly our kitchen crew works to put together such a sumptuous and nourishing feast.
Mahalo nui loa to Norman, BJ, Kurtis, Harold & Helen, Wave, and the many people who volunteered their time to make it possible. We are so grateful to have you as part of our Keoua ‘Ohana. Mahalo also to our escort boat captains, to our music makers, Owen & Sarah, to Kona Brew Pub for their sponsorship, to Chris and his timers, to all the participating clubs from Moku o Hawaii, and a special mahalo to our women, who earned ‘Ale’ale’a’s first medal!
The following week our paddlers traveled north for the Great Waikoloa Canoe Race, taking first place in the Mixed division and finishing third overall, while our 55+ Men battled 25mph winds to take first place in their division. Congratulations to all who participated!
Now we turn our attention to the Queen Lili’uokalani Races this weekend, with the women finishing and the men starting at Honaunau. As always, we need people to help move canoes, direct parking, clean our area, and help Gloria staff our T-shirt & merchandise booth. We are also hosting a number of paddlers from Washington DC, California, and Aotearoa. Please join us in welcoming them and sharing our Aloha.
Our keiki and kupuna will perform a special ceremony of love and healing for Honaunau, as the women finish in the bay (see the post and flyer below). We invite you to bring flowers and participate with your presence as we welcome them to our wahi kapu. And to all our paddlers, may you have a great race!
– Rafael Ramirez, Keoua Board President