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An astounding paddle to the finish line

Endurance, drive, skill, determination, challenge and tradition are all adjectives that describe the world's biggest outrigger canoe race known as the Olamau Race.
Endurance, drive, skill, determination, challenge and tradition are all adjectives that describe the world's biggest outrigger canoe race known as the Olamau Race.
Red Bulletin October 2013 Issue - Photography by Chris Baldwin

Winning is a state of mind that drives inner ambition and a strong will to succeed. Challenge and determination form our champions of tomorrow. Those with a love of the water are honored to take part in the world's largest outrigger canoe race, the Olamau Race, taking place in scenic Hawaii. It is more than just a competition, it is a centuries-old tradition of the Pacific which brings with it an equal amount of difficulty and danger.

The exciting race is all about teamwork, skill, endurance, innovation and sometimes even battling the elements of nature as teams take on the choppy waters around Hawaii's Big Island. Cultural diversity draws teams together from Tahitians, Hawaiians, Americans from the Pacific Northwest and more all with a desire to become champions and conquer the sport of paddling.

This is not an amateur race. It is action-packed and takes place over a grueling three days as the canoes travel over 100 miles to get to the finish line. The most important components that hold the key to the winning formula are skill, grit and a knowledge as well as love of the ocean. Teams train endless hours to get to this point and become a part of the monumental event in the world of water.

There is definitely a method to all this madness. Paddling takes a certain rhythm and crews move quickly to the melodious call of the strokers. Those that are the fastest are seated to the front of the canoe, the competitors with the most stamina are in the middle and the steersman is at the end, serving as a coach, navigator and monitor of the waves ahead. This risk-taking sport is challenging for both men and women.

The outrigger canoe dates back centuries when it was first built of logs direct from Hawaii's native Koa trees nestled in the forest amongst the volcano mountains. It was a very time-consuming transformation, but as the years have advanced, so has the outrigger canoe. Composite materials and computerized engineering mold the outrigger of the present. Mention Odie Sumi and anyone that is deeply involved in the sport will say that he is a master of canoe creation with his 'Pure Canoes And Paddles Laboratory' right there in Hawaii. He understands what it takes to have that winning edge and provides supplies the best of the best with his advanced product.

There is nothing more scenic than the Olamau Race. The tallest mountain in the world is located right in front of you and serves as the backdrop, also known as the Mauna Kea volcano. Black cliffs and wondrous waterfalls will amaze and astound the first time visitor and long time admirer.

Learn more about this magnificent sport by going to: www.redbull.com/cs/Satellite/en_US/Article/red-bulletin-wave-warriors-02.... Red Bulletin will fill you in with their October issue.