Inaugural Paddling Race This Weekend

Manny Kulukulualani
Manny Kulukulualani
Terrance Quong
Terrance Quong

Paddlers from around the state, even as far away as Australia, are competing in a first of its kind event this weekend.

They check out the results after the first race of the inaugural Koa Nui race.

Two days, three different races -- a two mile sprint, an 8-mile time trial and a 19-mile journey.

The format is similar to races in Tahiti.

"We're still home to some of the best paddlers, so we're trying to make our races, the quality of our races progress with the sport ourself," said Manny Kulukulualani, the race organizer.

"We're still kinda learning it and we're usually training for hour long races," said Karel Tresnak Jr., of Outrigger Canoe Club. "So to jump in to a 20 minute race is definitely different for us. We're hurting more than after an hour long race."

"Hopefully bring other people in that are interested in doing different things other than the normal, just, straight runs," said Terrance Quong, of Ka Mamalahoe Canoe Club.

There are five age groups. Winners in each division will have their name engraved in a koa paddle, that will remain at Duke's Waikiki.

"It's awesome," said Tresnak. "Duke's the place."

"It's one of those things people remember perpetually," said Quong.

Paddlers finished the first two races on Saturday. On Sunday, they'll race the 19-mile course from Waimanalo beach park to Duke's beach in Waikiki.