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King Kamehameha Day Regatta sponsored by Kailua Canoe Club

Race / Club Background:

The wa`a (canoe) history of the ahupua`a of Kailua has been celebrated since time immemorial.  The first known accounts of voyagers in Kailua come from mo`olelo (stories) like the 11th century travels of Kauluakalana and Paumakua as well as the scene from the Epic Hi`iakaikapoliopele where Hi`iaka marvels at seeing a koa forest offshore at Oneawa, but is really referring to a multitude of koa canoes. Kailua has a long history of wa`a tradition.  Kailua Canoe Club honors this tradition by hosting the annual King Kamehameha Day Regatta in Kailua at the `ili of Kawailoa.  Held on the weekend before the annual holiday celebrating Kamehameha I, the Regatta recognizes the day as a remembrance of Hawai`i`s history, of our kupuna (elders) and ali`i (chiefs), and our unity behind this place we call home.  We honor Kailua and our history and know that "I ka wa ma mua, ka wa ma hope," meaning we cannot move forward without knowing where we came from.  From those of us from Kailua, we welcome our wa`a `ohana to the home of Kauluakalana and Paumakua - welina mai nei!


This year, Kailua Canoe Club seeks to minimize single-use plastic waste by using eco-friendly products and eliminating single-use plastic water bottles from the concession stand.  The Club is excited to partner with Kokua Hawai`i Foundation to offer a Plastic-Free Hawai`i water filtration refill station for people to refill their reusable bottles.  As an organization whose lifeblood is the ocean and is active in beach, stream, and park cleanups - Kailua Canoe Club recognizes the importance to malama `aina (care for our environment) and set an example for the community.  Please kokua this effort and bring your own reusable bottle to fill at the station, and  REDUCE-REUSE-RECYCLE.  Mahalo!


Kailua Canoe Club was incorporated in 1972 as an offshoot of the Kailua Hawaiian Civic Club, who owned the racing canoe Kalanakila purchased from Pops Puakea.  Kailua Canoe Club`s mission is to promote and provide for the member, paddler, family and community: The sport of canoe paddling and other ocean-related activities; A sense of family and community in conjunction with the ocean; Education of safety, respect, and knowledge of the ocean and equipment

We strive to paddle with passion and excellence, and to live the values represented by the word "Aloha"

A  Akahai - Kindness, expressed with tenderness

L  Lokahi - Unity, expressed with harmony

O  `Olu`olu - Agreeable, expressed with pleasantness

H  Ha`aha`a - Humility, expressed with modesty

A  Ahonui - Patience, expressed with perseverance

Kailua hopes to continue to carry on the legacy of the Club`s founders Cliff Ornellas and James Marciel whose mission was to be aggressive and competitive while being fair. KCC was founded with our koa racing canoe Kalanakila and 1 six-man fiberglass training canoe (5 seats), affectionately called "The Water Wiggle" Kailua still owns all of its original Malia fiberglass training canoes still being used to train keiki.  Kailua comes from a family-oriented club of less than 100 paddlers to an extended `ohana of over 400 paddlers from 8 to 80 years old.

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