photo of Uncle Bobby and a Makapo paddlerThis past weekend the Puakea Foundation sponsored the Makapo blind racing crew from the Makapo Canoe Club in California at the world famous Queen Liliuokalani Canoe Race in Kona. This crew took third place in the Koa Division, Women 40+ and is an outstanding accomplishment by any measure. (Uncle Bobby also donated a hand-made paddle to help them fund raise for this trip!)

This is one of the globe’s most popular long distance canoe races. And one of the most challenging as it is an “iron” race – meaning there are no crew changes and each paddler commits to the entire 18 miles from Kailua Bay to Honaunau near Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The foundation would like to thank Kirsten Williams and Mike Atwood for joining us in making the opportunity available!

During the race weekend, Uncle Bobby also gave a two hour workshop about wood-working and the art of paddling and canoe-building. Many other blind paddlers joined us and were able to feel for the first time the rigging of the canoe and the texture of various woods immersed in water.

The entire weekend gives a whole new meaning to shining a light on this traditional polynesian sport!