The First Kaiwi Channel Crossing for Women

The First Kaiwi Channel Crossing for Women

September 15, 2017


The Kaiwi Channel wasn't always a race women were allowed to enter. Many women fought hard to be able to cross the channel just like the men. The history of their efforts is amazing. For those of us who have crossed the Kaiwi Channel and even those who haven't, we owe gratitude to the women who fought to make it happen. Most of us take this race for granted, but it was quite a struggle for these pioneer women to convince the men that they were capable to paddle across the channel. In a few short weeks women will be congregating on Molokai to race across to Waikiki. Before you leave Molokai, take a moment to give thanks to the women who made it possible.
The Remarkable Story of the First Women to Paddle the Kaiwi Channel
The determined all-female paddling crews who were first to dare the Molokai to Oahu crossing, a race once restricted to men.
BY MATTHEW DEKNEEF
SEP 12, 2017 Considered the pinnacle of long-distance Hawaiian outrigger canoe racing, the Kaiwi Channel is a grueling 41-mile stretch of open ocean separating the Hawaiian Islands of Molokai and Oahu. In Hawaiian, ka iwi suitably means “the bone”—it takes every muscle and fiber of the human body to complete, a reminder that, when one’s physicality is stripped away and tested, our ka iwi is truly all we are.
Renowned, revered, sometimes feared for its sheer unpredictability, with surf and wind conditions that can fly in the face of weather forecasts come race day, paddlers are required to use their full arsenal of skills, training and instinct because the only thing certain in the Kaiwi is that anything can happen here.

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