22nd Annual George Perry Memorial Keiki Race
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Kailua Beach Park
Registration: $60 per crew
Online registration available starting Sat 5/13 at https://lanikaicanoeclub.org/paddling-racing/george-perry-keiki-race/.
**All registration must be done online, even on race day**
Borrow a Canoe?: If you need to borrow a canoe, please contact Joey Foti at email@example.com or call 808-753-7685.
Lunch & Swag: Lunch and commemorative shirt tickets will be given after each race to the steersperson when they return their race vest.
Race Day Text Alerts: For this year’s event, you have the ability to receive real time text alerts for upcoming races on race day. If you’d like to receive these alerts, please go to the following link https://www.remind.com/join/georgepe and create an account to be added to our list of coaches. This will help everyone know when their crews will be racing and keep the day running smoothly.
Parking: Additional parking is available at Lanikai Elementary School.
History of the George Perry Memorial Keiki Race
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”—Outrigger’s 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 Duke’s 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 didn’t 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 A’a, and Manuke’oke’o. A’a, the first Koa Racing Canoe ever built, had been owned by Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole. Established specifically for the youth on the Oahu’s Windward side, our club’s first Board of Directors and its Officers, were all under 17 years of age. George’s 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 MO’OAHU, coming in fourth in their homemade Koa canoe.
George was a true believer in Hawaii’s 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. LCC’s clubhouse was out of her home, for its first 25 years. There were 18 race events offered for 12 – 18-year-old girls, boys, and mixed crews. Many said that the kids wouldn’t 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!