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George Perry Keiki Race Sponsored by Lanikai Canoe Club

Please join Lanikai Canoe Club for the 23rd Annual George A. Perry Memorial Race being held on Saturday, May 19th at Kailua Beach Park. This event is for all keiki crews from ages 10 & under till 18 years old. Bring your keiki crews down for an event held just for them...

Race Background: George A. Perry was born and raised in Waikiki. For all his youth, he played both in-and-out of its then unspoiled waters, eventually becoming a Beach Boy. In the 1920s and 1930s, as a member of Outrigger Canoe Club, he paddled under legendary coach Dad Center. During his early years, he became close to the famous Kalai Waa Jim Kaya, who was the Domi Outriggers current and highly respected Canoe Builder of that period. Kaya crafted and repaired many canoes of that era, and is the reason that George became interested in the art of canoe building. He was close friends with many of the old-time legends, including Toots Minvielle, and Duke Kahanamoku. In fact, he was Dukes insurance agent.

In 1937, George resigned from Outrigger, to move to Lanikai and start a family. Back then, during the days of the Old Pali Road, he simply didnt have the time to make the long trip to-and-from Waikiki and Lanikai. To share his love of the sport, using two borrowed Koa canoes, he helped establish Lanikai Canoe Club in 1953. The canoes were named Aa, and Manukeokeo. Aa, the first Koa Racing Canoe ever built, had been owned by Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole. Established specifically for the youth on the Oahus Windward side, our clubs first Board of Directors and its Officers, were all under 17 years of age. Georges son Tay, was our first President, at 16 years old.

In 1954, the club was gifted with a Koa log. George and the kids spent a full year hewning, building, and finishing Kehukai! In 1959, George and a very young Lanikai crew entered their first Molokai to Oahu race, known back then as MOOAHU, coming in fourth in their homemade Koa canoe.

George was a true believer in Hawaiis youth. To honor him and his Aloha, the first George Perry Memorial Na Keiki O Na Waa was held in 1996, organized by former club president Mauli Olds Aspelund, who was coached by George as a youth. LCCs clubhouse was out of her home, for its first 25 years. There were 18 race events offered for 12 thru 18-year-old girls, boys, and mixed crews. Many said that the kids wouldnt be able to handle the distances. The incentive then, and still, is providing youth paddlers, the same benefits, and exposure as adults, in our ever-growing sport. Kids love this race! Today, this race has grown from 44 entries across 18 events, to nearly 120 entries through 21 events. Aloha Nui Kakou me Mahalo Piha, for your support!


***Registration Link & Race Flyer can be found here.

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