About Us

Helu Ekahi

Kahului HarborNā Kai `Ewalu is located at Kahului Harbor in Ho`aloha Park, Maui. Look for the purple and white canoes! We are dedicated to preserving Hawaiian culture and the competitive art of polynesian outrigger canoe racing.

Nā Kai `Ewalu offers a broad range of experience levels. We invite any and all to come and join us. We host Kamehameha School and Baldwin High School during the Maui Interscholastic League season. We participate in the MCHCA regatta season posting crews in divisions ranging from 8 years old to 60+ years old with all experience levels.

Mission Statement

The primary purpose of Nā Kai `Ewalu is educational. Nā Kai `Ewalu is committed to supporting our youth and all members so they may reach their highest potential through the integration of academic excellence and cultural awareness.

Nā Kai `Ewalu shall conduct mentoring programs in order to revive, develop and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture and traditions through promoting academic achievement, accomplishment through canoeing competitions, education of cultural practices, and self esteem programs in a drug free, non-violent environment.

Nā Kai `Ewalu shall through these programs instill in our youth and all members well being, personal achievement and self-respect.

History

Named after the Eight Ocean Channels Surrounding the Seven Main Islands in Hawaii

Founded in 1972, Nā Kai `Ewalu was named after the eight ocean channels surrounding the seven main islands in the Hawaiian chain. The club was formed as a non-profit, tax- exempt corporation to revive, develop and perpetuate Hawaiian culture and traditions through instruction and training.

The founding members and the original board of directors were: Officers: Michael Adams-President, George Uwekoolani-Vice President, Boyd Mossman- Secretary, John Wilmington-Treasurer, Directors: David Kahoohanohano, Thomas Kahea, Edward Vickeny, Elmer Coyle and Peter Keau.

Over the years the club has participated in events as far away as Tahiti and the mainland as well as neighbor island long distance races. We have played an active role in our community through participation in Kamehameha Day parades, community work days, and it’s not unusual to find some of our members at the hale teaching a Boy Scout troop or kids from local schools the finer points of paddling. We have even won a canoe in the Na Mele O Maui songfest competition for keiki (our prize canoe was aptly named after the song fest).

In 1991, Nā Kai `Ewalu and Hawaiian Canoe Club joined together to launch a defense against the state’s plans to purchase the original hale sites from A&B and displace both canoe clubs. In the years that followed, the collaborated effort from both clubs resulted in A&B’s donation in 1996 of a parcel of land at Ho`aloha Park to the County of Maui for the canoe clubs’ use. With a grant from the County and kokua from members, both clubs successfully completed the two-year effort to construct our new hales.

Nā Kai ‘Ewalu suffered a devastating blow in November of 1996 when a fire destroyed our hale and almost the entire fleet of canoes, including two heirloom koa canoes. Our club immediately rallied and within eight months had completely replaced our racing fleet. The year 1997 was a test of strength and spirit for Nā Kai ‘Ewalu, bringing together community and club members.

Nā Kai `Ewalu continuously serves its members and the community. We have hosted the students at Job Corp, giving them a recreational opportunity away from the site, for many years we hosted Seabury Hall for part of their Hawaiiana program. Nā Kai `Ewalu is also the official host of Kamehameha School Maui's and Baldwin High School's MIL paddling team.

In 2006, we started working towards getting a log for a new koa canoe to replace the one lost in the fire of 1996. The club prepared culturally and spiritually for the harvest of a koa log. With help from many, we have been involved in replanting koa seedlings in Kahikinui and Ulupalakua. Nā Kai `Ewalu has also traveled to Kipahulu on many weekends to find a koa log and had a night march from Ma`alaea to Kihei. The club continues to be involved in other cultural events that include learning chants, working in the loi (taro field), malama `aina (taking care of the land) and restoration of Ko`ie`ie fishpond in Kihei.

Board Members

2016 Board

Executive Board

  • Jake Freeman – President
  • Robin Wainui – Vice President
  • Pete Hamill – Treasurer
  • Ashley Jung – Secretary

Members at Large

  • Rosie Amico – Membership
  • Shahlia Wainui – Culture & Education
  • Lars Gascon – Hale & Grounds
  • TRACY STICE – Equipment
  • Amanda May – Fundraising
  • Owen Seiki – Head Coach Rep

2017 Coaches

2015 Coaches

  • Head Coach – Owen Seiki

  • Keiki Coaches – Lars Gascon, Larson Gascon, Stephanie Franklin, & Shahlia Wainui

  • Women’s Coaches – Keone Ball & Brandon Wong

  • Men’s Coach – Brock Johnson

  • Novice Coaches – Owen Seiki, Ashley Jung, & Taima McCarthy

Wa`a

Canoe Names

  • Pomaika'i Lua Kanaka O Maui Nui
  • Lea Wainui O Ke Kai
  • Mana O Wainui
  • Ka'ie'iewaho'elua
  • Kū`oko`a Manu O Ka`iwi
  • Kapua
  • Brianna Malia
  • `Alenuihāhā
  • Ko Pailolo Mana
  • Kahiwaokalohi
  • Mariana
  • Huliamahi O Ka `Au`au
  • KEONI