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With regret, and for the second time, I write to announce news that makes me unhappy. The Board of Directors of HCRA, in conjunction with the Executive Committee, Race Committee and the input of other interested stakeholders, has unanimously voted to cancel the 2021 State Championship Race.

This decision was not made lightly, particularly since other sports are resuming, more folks have been vaccinated, and paddling has shown itself capable of being conducted in a safe way. Paddling is a multi-generational sport which puts literally thousands of people on a single beach for the championship race; that being the case, the board determined that there was no way to conduct the race, honor the format, and include the necessary level of participation.

This week, the boards that govern the Na Wahine O Ke Kai and Moloka'i Hoe distance races also made the determination to cancel those races.

I am happy to have some positive news to share as well:

Return to Paddle: As of this writing, each county has allowed paddlers to resume paddling. Yes, rules are in place regarding distancing, where and when we can paddle, how many people can be in a canoe, and how many canoes can go out together, but we are slowly dusting off the paddles, re-rigging the canoes, renewing permits, and taking to the water.

Regattas: While all of our member associations except KOA have elected to cancel their respective regatta seasons, KOA has, with County, State, and various agency assistance, found a way to conduct an abbreviated season for its youth paddlers. We all remain hopeful that the success demonstrated thus far will also allow the adults to have a shortened regatta season on Kauai.

Long Distance: Na Wahine, Moloka'i Hoe, and Pailolo are canceled for 2021. However, Queen Lili'uokalani is working with all stakeholders to hold the September race. Na Pali is going to be held under certain participation considerations. All Associations are giving consideration to an abridged distance season.

This was not the news we hoped to be delivering for 2021, but the safety and well-being of the paddling 'ohana outweighs our individual desires to be back together. We appreciate all of you who are using this time to do good in the community, and look forward to seeing you on the water.

Stay healthy.