2021 Molokai Hoe canceled over COVID-19 concerns

2021 Molokai Hoe canceled over COVID-19 concerns
File (Source: Outrigger Canoe Club/Facebook)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The 2021 Hawaiian Airlines Molokai Hoe has been canceled due to the abundance of caution regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, event officials announced on Friday.

In a press release, officials announced the cancellation of the event that was scheduled for October of this year, citing the ongoing pandemic as the driving factor in the decision.

It is with a saddened heart that we regretfully announce the cancelation of the 2021 Hawaiian Airlines Molokai Hoe that was scheduled for October 10. 2021 We plan to come back in 2022 bigger and better!

Posted by Moloka'i Hoe on Friday, April 16, 2021

Event officials also told Hawaii News Now that concern for the people of Molokai was also a factor — not wanting to bring a large amount of visitors into the small community with limited medical resources.

This is the second-straight cancellation of the event after the 2020 race was canceled at the onset of the pandemic.

Started in 1952, when three koa outrigger canoes paddled from the west side of Molokai to Oahu, it has since grown into one of the largest team sporting events in the islands, testing the limits of physical and mental strength while perpetuating one of Hawaii’s most historic cultural traditions — the event draws roughly 1,000 paddlers from around the world each year.

The Molokai Hoe does plan to return in 2022.

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