Oʻahu’s oldest racing canoe, Hanakeoki suffers damage during severe weather : Maui Now

Oʻahu’s oldest racing canoe, Hanakeoki suffers damage during severe weather. PC: courtesy

On Sunday, Jan. 29, the Makaha Canoe Club experienced a devastating blow to their most cherished asset. Hanakeoki, the oldest functioning racing canoe In the State of Hawaiʻi suffered severe damage during the extreme wind and rainy weather as it was lifted and tossed off its canoe racks this past weekend. 

Makaha Canoe Club president, Marlene R. Kahoʻonei, described the canoe as an integral part of the community, providing a platform for people young and old to come together and participate in a beloved tradition. 

“It’s heart-wrenching to see such a treasured piece of our community damaged in this way,” she said. “Hanakeoki and its history has touched so many lives and inspired many generations of canoe paddlers throughout the State.”


Historically, Hanakeoki dates back to the time of Hawaiʻiʻs beloved Queen Liliʻuokalani, which club leaders say may explain why the vessel is sometimes referred to as the Queen’s canoe. Hana-Keoki, meaning Working George, was named after George R. Carter, the 2nd territorial governor of Hawaiʻi (1903-1907). 

The canoe’s first race regatta was in 1906 at Honolulu Harbor and was even rigged for canoe sailing races with Duke Kahanamoku as part of the crew.  Hanakeoki also raced across the Molokaʻi Channel between the mid 1950-1990s.  

“Hanakeoki is more than just a vessel, it represents the rich history and culture of our islands,” said Kahoʻonei. “It is an important piece of our heritage, and our Makaha community.”


The Makaha Canoe Club is now calling for the support of communities and friends near and far to help repair the beloved historical canoe. The club has launched a fundraising campaign to cover the extensive cost of purchasing Koa wood to bring him back to prestige and glory.

With much aloha from the nonprofit organization Koa ʻIke, Makaha Canoe Club is able to accept tax-deductible donations through their 501(c)(3) sponsorship. Koa ʻIke, founded in 2003, is a nonprofit entity located in the ahupuaʻa (land division) of Makaha whose main mission is to serve the Waiʻanae wahipana (the leeward coast of Oʻahu) and to preserve its ancient cultural traditions.

To donate to the repair efforts, visit Makaha Canoe Club’s website or contact the club directly for more information. 


“Your support will help ensure that future generations throughout our Leeward coast communities can also experience the opportunity of racing Hanakeoki in the seasons ahead,” club leaders said.

Phone: 808-216-2225
Mailing Address: Makaha Canoe Club, PO BOX 715, Waianae, HI 96792
Email:  [email protected]
Venmo: Makaha Canoe Club
PayPal: Makaha Canoe Club
GoFundMe: E Hanakeoki, E Ola Mau Project

Checks must be written out to: KOA ʻIKE and mailed to: Makaha Canoe Club, PO BOX 715, Waiʻanae, HI 96792

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