Kaua`i Outrigger Canoe Recreation & Competitive Club

Kawaikini Canoe Club

History of Kawaikini Canoe Club

Uncle Bobby Puakea ~ Queen Lili2009By

Special to TGI | Posted: Saturday, March 20, 2004 12:00 am |
Pu‘uwai Takes Kawaikini Regatta

The Makani O Ke Kai (Wind of the ocean) beats uphill toward Wailua against rain and rough seas.

Wet and wild weather tested the mettle of the seven crews that entered the Kawaikini Canoe Club's first annual long distance race on Saturday, Mar. 13 2004.

Kawaikini wahine row with the flow -
Garden Island July 7, 1998

Puanani Carvalho, Kawaikini  - 3rd from the last

This is a picture of the Na Wahine O Ke Kai 2007 MoloKai Crew with Uncle Bobby Puakea of the Puakea Foundation.  This canoe is a refurbished koa with lots of "mana".  Uncle Bobby has a distinguished reputation for his skills in crafting koa canoes, a skill which has been passed down from his father and ohana. 
This happy crew of women came from Kauai, Oahu, Big Island, and California and were extremely honored to be able to paddle this koa canoe from Molokai to Oahu.

Kawaikini Canoe Club is named for the highest summit, at a height of 5,243 ft, on the central volcano on the Island of Kauai, called Kawaikini Summit, part of the mountain range of Wai'ale'ale, where many waters gather and come together.  Kawaikini, and is one of the most scenic mountains in the world.  The Kawaikini Canoe Club is based at the Wailua River with a nice view of this summit.

Summit of Kawaikini from the NW.  Viewed from a ridge top near Kapoki Crater
Summit of Kawaikini from the NW

Waialeale ("rippling waters" in Hawaiian)is the name given to the small lake at the northern end of the summit rim, the highpoint near there where the official rain guage is located and a common name for the mountain as a whole.

The volcano itself is long extinct, and millions of years of erosion have contributed to its rugged beauty.

The rain keeps the summit shrouded in clouds most of the time and makes it (officially) inaccessible by foot. To the east are dramatic waterlogged cliffs, which were used as backdrop in Jurassic Park, South Pacific and many other movies. The access to the summit is further guarded by sheer cliffs on the south and the north side and to the west are the thick jungles of the Alakai Swamp. The ancient Hawaiians were able to reach summit by climbing a ridge from the northeast, but the most realistic approach is to slog through the Alakai Swamp, starting on existing trails of Kokee State Park.

At the summit, the ancient Hawaiians built an alter, which still remains. There is also a modern rain guage at the top, used to verify the "Wettest Spot on Earth" designation (about 450 inches a year). The rain guage is serviced by helicopter, which is also how most tourists view the peak.


By David Simon - The Garden Island
Thursday, October 8, 2009
LIHU‘E —A number of Kaua‘i athletes participated in the 2009 Na Wahine O Ke Kai women’s canoe race on Sept. 27. The 41-mile race from Moloka’i to O‘ahu, which is considered the world championship of long distance outrigger canoe racing for women, was won by Team Bradley, with a time of 5 hours, 25 minutes, 16 seconds. They narrowly topped the Waikiki Beach Boys I by 1 minute, 22 seconds.

Three of Kaua‘i’s women paddlers, Alana Goo-Frazier, Kristin Foster of Namolokama O’ Hanalei Canoe Club and Noelani Auger, were part of the Team Bradley championship squad.

In addition to Team Bradley’s first-place win, Kaiola Canoe Club had teams  place 10th and 31st overall with the following Kaua‘i paddlers: Fran Acoba, Annie Allen, Kanoe Beard, Kathy Braach, Darcy Gray, Llikea Handley, Kristie Nagao, Tiffany Palama, Suzette Smith, Taryn Sokolow, Doneen Stokes and Val Wilson.

In addition were Ele Johnson, Kahea Zietz of Namolokama O’ Hanalei Canoe Club in the 10th overall canoe and Loretta Toth in the Master’s entry.

Other Kaua‘i women athletes included Team Hawaiian Kanaktion, which was second in the Masters 50 division even after almost being eliminated. The escort boat broke down and the crew had to paddle mid-channel for over an hour without guidance or relief. At the last minute, the escort boat was able to re-start. The crew included  Laola Aea, Margie Goodno and Cindy Grover.

Kawaikini Canoe Club paddlers included Stephanie Zufelt and Debi Watson paddling in the Kukuiula entry. Other paddlers on the Kukuiula team were Melissa Burovac, Lauren Denton, Annette Fernandez-Ventura, Dana Miyake, Denise Morrison and Tenley Ueda. Two others, Fran McDonald paddled for Manu O Ke Kai and Hedy Downing paddled with Puakea Foundation.

Hanalei Canoe Club paddlers included Carrice (no last name provided), Brenda Rogers, Lou Rubio and Tess Wolfe, who all paddled in the Namolokama O’ Hanalei Canoe Club entry. Also in this canoe was Sherri Yokotake from Namolokama O’ Hanalei. Additionally, Kim Stewart, from Hanalei paddled for Niumalu Canoe Club.

The men will be paddling the same course in the world championship Molokai Hoe, scheduled for Sunday.