Monterey Hoe Wa'a

May 28, 2022 | Del Monte Beach

MOnterey Hoe Wa'a & Memorial Day Race

For more than 30 years, Ke Kai O’Uhane’s annual Memorial Day Hoe Wa’a long distance race has been one of the destination races for Northern Californian outrigger canoe paddlers. Started as a small gathering of local paddlers, the race has grown over the decades and now welcomes an average of 200-300 paddlers, ages 12-70+, for an exciting day on the beautiful Monterey Bay. Ke Kai has been honored over the years to have clubs participate from the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, Arizona, and Hawaii, in addition to the many clubs that make up the paddling community in Northern California.

Join us in 2022 as we welcome paddlers, water sport enthusiasts and those interested in watching canoe racing at its best. It’s the perfect way to start the Memorial Day weekend, including our annual salute and acknowledgement of our military service people and veterans.

Join Ke Kai O’Uhane and the NCOCA paddling Ohana as we celebrate the start of another exciting racing season. See you at Del Monte Beach, Monterey, on Saturday, May 28th!

Race Courses

The race follows the pristine Monterey Bay coastline, with views (not that the paddlers should be looking!) of historic Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row, passing the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Hopkin’s Marine Station as teams head out towards Pacific Grove, and then back to Del Monte Beach.

Keiki (kids) Course, 2 miles
**by request only**

Novice and Junior Course, 4.5 miles

Short Course (yellow), 6.5 miles
Long Course (yellow + blue), 10 miles

Weather Conditions

With weather conditions ever-changing, paddlers know to expect the unexpected: their day may begin in the fog, open up to the sun and end with gale-force wind. This translates to exciting conditions on the water, including large roller swells, bumpy waves, and impressive shore breaks. Whether new to the sport or a seasoned paddler, the races (men, women, co-ed, novice, and teens/keikis) will challenge one and all!

Order your race jersey!

Order your race jerseys by May 6th to have them in time for race day. All proceeds go to support Ke Kai, our canoes, and the race season.

Place orders through our Custom Ink Fundraiser.

Shirt design by Head Coach Keanu La'a, flyer design by Secretary Sharon Wyatt, fundraiser coordinated by Paddle Rep Nicole West

Now seeking: safety boats

We are seeking escort boats and drivers to provide safety and “eyes on the water" during the day's races.

Your role as a driver/boat owner is to follow a set course, maintain radio contact with the lead race boat, report any mishaps or change in water conditions, and follow any direction issued by the Coast Guard Auxiliary. It’s an approximate 8 hour time commitment, starting around 7:30 am and finishing ideally around or before 2:00 pm.

Ke Kai offers a $150 honorarium and lunch, reimbursement for gas/parking/slip fees, as well as a few thank you goodies.

This is a great chance to be on the beautiful Monterey Bay, helping fellow watersport enthusiasts, and to be part of an outrigger canoe event! We can’t thank you enough for considering this unique volunteer opportunity.

For additional questions, contact Lisa Phares at

Thank you to our Sponsor

Pure Water Bottling Company has generously sponsored drinking water for our race event. With their support, Ke Kai is able to host a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable event. Thank you, Pure Water!