Maui Sports

The Results Are in for This Year’s Pailolo Challenge!

September 16, 2019, 10:38 AM HST
* Updated September 17, 5:59 AM
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According to a race official, the weather presented “unsually calm, challenging conditions.” Photo Courtesy: Naim Ferguson.

Paddlers pose for a picture. Photo Courtesy: Naim Ferguson.

Hundreds of paddlers battled it out through the Pailolo Channel during Saturdayʻs race. Photo Courtesy: Naim Ferguson.

A canoe crew smiles while wading on calm seas. Photo Courtesy: Naim Ferguson.

Scores of canoe crews push through Pailolo. Photo Courtesy: Naim Ferguson.

About 82 canoe crews from across Hawaiʻi and around the world competed in this yearʻs Pailolo Challenge on Saturday. 

Dubbed “The Worldʻs Funnest Canoe Race” by event officials, the 26-mile course begins at Mauiʻs DT Fleming Beach, crosses the Pailolo Channel, and ends at Kaunakakai on Molokaʻi. 

This year, Sustainable Island Products provided compostable alternatives to single-use plastic products for the race afterparty. 

The race also featured a reef-safe-sunscreen station and waste bins for recyclables, compostables, and trash. 

“We hope to minimize our impact on the landfills and ʻāina,” the race website states. 


Mauiʻs own Hawaiian Canoe Club is the eventʻs main organizer. 


The HCC, which offers multiple youth and cultural programs for the Maui community, aims to “perpetuate and preserve the art of Hawaiian canoe paddling by providing an environment rooted in traditional Hawaiian values that promote personal growth, character development, and achievement in physical fitness.”

The Pailolo Challenge, according to the event website, serves as a “perfect testing ground” for paddlers planning to enter the Nā Wahine O Ke Kai and the Molokaʻi Hoe races. 

Both races, which attract crews from around the world, begin on Molokaʻi and end on Oʻahu. 


The Nā Wahine o Ke Kai race will be held on Sept. 22 and the Molokaʻi Hoe will be held on Oct. 13. 

To view this yearʻs Pailolo Challenge results, click here.

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