Hilo Canoe Club Seeks Community Support to Attend State Championship Races

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A Hilo outrigger canoe club is excited to attend state championship races and is asking the Big Island community to help make it happen.

Kamehameha Canoe Club Hilo has four teams that qualified for state races this weekend in O’ahu. Four paddlers from the mixed Novice A and Novice B crews, 70s Women’s Crew and 65 Women’s Crew divisions make the trip for the competition.

The club is seeking support to help offset travel costs and have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help.

“We come to you today with great news!” wrote fundraiser organizer Jacob Turner on the GoFundMe page. “Our outrigger canoe racing team has recently done…remarkably well this season. After a roughly two-year hiatus from the sport, we’ve exceeded all the odds against us and fought our way to the Hawaii State Finals this season!

The club asks for donations to cover not only transportation, but also accommodation, food and entry fees for each member competing.

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Turner says on the GoFundMe page that the club has aimed since its inception in 1947 to perpetuate the art and sport of outrigger canoe racing. The club and its canoe teams faced a number of difficulties this season, but overcame those challenges to make it to the state championship.

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“Now a new, but not unfamiliar barrier stands between us and a sweet, sweet victory,” writes Turner.

He adds that the club accepts paddlers of all ages and experience levels; some members had never held a paddle prior to their time at the club. Turner says the club also has something the others don’t have: an ‘ohana-organized, ‘ohana-oriented’ team.

“Everything we have achieved is the result of our hard work and we are proud of our accomplishments,” he wrote on the GoFundMe page. “As a family, we have done a number of our own fundraisers and even sold concessions on our own at local regattas. We’ve put in countless hours of time and manual labor to get us to where we are today.

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Now the club has its sights set on the finish line and is asking the community to help them cross it. The GoFundMe campaign had raised $720 by late Thursday morning August 4. The club’s fundraising goal is $5,000.

“We’re ready to prove ourselves, make you proud, and show the world that family is all you need to achieve your dreams,” Turner writes. “We want everyone to know that our club is more than just a sports team. We are and have always been a family and we are here to stay. We are here to win.

For more information about the club, click here. You can also find the club on Facebook.

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