The New York Times, June 1998

The New York TimesHawaii on the Hudson? Outrigger Racers Hope So

In a spectacle of endurance and speed more commonly seen in the turquoise ocean waters of Polynesia, dozens of paddling teams raced outrigger canoes through the steely gray swells of New York Harbor yesterday.

The event, the second annual Liberty World Challenge, was a 15-mile paddling sprint that organizers said had become the premier outrigger competition on the East Coast.

The canoes were molded fiberglass, not hewn koa wood, and racers wore baseball caps and Spandex, but the spirit of the ancient sport prevailed. Organizers and team members, some of whom prayed together in Hawaiian before their races, said they hoped to bring mana, the Polynesian life force, to New York City. After all, they pointed out, Manhattan is an island, just like Oahu.

Well, sort of.

”In Hawaii, it’s a little different,” said Todd Bradley, one of seven members of Team Hawaii, all-star paddlers from Hawaiian canoe clubs who are serving this weekend as outrigger racing’s ambassadors to New York. ”We have beaches.” Read the complete article on

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