Our History

Club Founders and Kupunas

Julian and Shirley Avilla

Hal Davenport, with wife Cindy

Joined by the Woodward and Bush 'ohana

Begining in 1984...

Our first practice and racing canoe was loaned to us by Roy Decoito of Hui Wa’a Outrigger Canoe Club. During our first year as a club, Aunty Arma, then editor of the Cal Hawaiian News, donated an unfinished outrigger “plug” to our club that was built into our first canoe.

The donation came with one stipulation; that should another club need help to get started, Ke Kai O’Uhane would reciprocate by helping them, as well. We had that opportunity when Outrigger Santa Cruz (OSC), (formerly Akau Hana), started their club.

That first malia was sold to OSC for the cost of building materials, and later, when the founders of OSC left, they sold Ke Kai O’Uhane, the canoe, back to us.

In the early 1980's, Hui ‘O Kalani OCC encouraged the founders to start a club in Monterey. To that goal, O’Kalani Outrigger Canoe Club had us stage the first regatta to be held in Monterey in the summer of 1984. With help from Junior Wright and his club members, the community saw the potential for a cultural activity that would encompass all of Monterey County.

Our founders, were fortunate to have the guidance and wisdom of the late Aunty Arma Fonseca and paddling knowledge of Eddie Fonseca, founder of Ke Anuenue Outrigger Canoe Club. 

In October 2022 at the request of a organizational founder, We have officially retired our club name “Ke Kai O’Uhane Outrigger Canoe Center” and are moving forward as “Hi’ilani ‘O Ke Kai Outrigger and Cultural Center.”

More than 60% of members participated the October 2022 voting process and the results were clear. In selecting our new name, several key things were important to our members: that the name still allow us to refer to ourselves as “Ke Kai,” that it demonstrate our club’s Hawaiian connection and roots, that it originate with our club’s kupuna and Hawaiian elders, and that it reflect the strength of our community and the passion that ties us all together. 

Ke Kai O'Uhane, Northern California Canoe Champions, taken at Lake Del Valle 1987
Canoes on the Beach for a Beautiful Paddle on the Monterey Bay
Canoes on the beach for a beautiful paddle on Monterey Bay
Luau 2023 performance 

and continuing today!

30th Anniversary Video Compilation

Ke Kai O'Uhane celebrated our 30th anniversary with a video compilation featuring members, community, and shared experiences.  

We welcome you to join us as we journey through the past and into our present!