One of the best things to do in Kauai is try your hand at kayaking on one of our serene and enchanting streams such as the Huilea in Hanalei or the Kapaa Stream. Another great choice is cruising the Wailua river as it turns and cuts back on itself, in a path carved by a millenia worth of rainfall.
For the more adventurous ocean canoe racing may be just the adrenaline rush required before tackling a few ginger martinis or beers later in the day. Ocean canoe racing is gaining in popularity around the world, it offers the participant the thrill of riding waves and the introspection required of a long distance runner.
Today the best ocean canoe paddlers in the world descended on the Garden Island for the 2012 Kauai World Challenge. The race began in Wailua and ended in Hanapepe at Salt Pond Park. This unique event for one man and two man teams pairs participants for stages in this long race. The changeover stages were at some of our most famous beaches such as Hanamaulu Beach Park, Kalapaki Bay, Poipu Beach and finally at Salt Pond.
Epically blue skies and seas greeted the paddlers with seas that were relatively calm and wave heights of 3-6 feet. With steady winds of 10-15 knots at their backs the winning team of Jimmy Austin and Danny Ching completed the course in about 3.5 hours.
The mixed winners were the Bartlett’s of Maui, Kai and his wife Laura are premier world class water people. In fact, many of the fastest canoes on the water are Kai Bartlett designs. Like Formula One cars, his creations are made of carbon fiber and weigh about 30 pounds. Feather like when you consider the canoe is 17 feet in length.
Of course if you do decide to try this sport when you are here on Kauai you won’t be renting one of Kai’s sleek designs but a more stable kayak that will be forgiving in the ocean. You will appreciate that because it will give you the chance to linger along some of the most dramatic coastline in the world.