If you’re on Maui this weekend (Oct. 15-16), then check out the third annual Paddle for Life fundraising event. This is in support of the Pacific Cancer Foundation of Maui, a non-profit that cares for those whose lives have been touched by cancer.

A crew from last year’s Paddle for Life make their way from Maui to Lanai.

Crews will launch from Kaanapali Beach this Saturday, paddle across the Auau Channel, around the backside of Lanai and land at Manele Bay. After spending the night, the crews will return to Kaanapali the next day. Enjoy your Hawaiian vacation with a celebration dinner under the stars at Maui’s Hulopoe Beach Park on Saturday evening. On Sunday morning, there will be a continental breakfast send-off at Manele Bay, Lanai. There will also be a welcoming celebration on Kaanapali Beach when the voyagers return to Maui.

I was invited to paddle in this wonderful event by a good friend of mine, Dr. Torey Goodman. We met a while back when racing in the one-man and have continued our friendship since, paddling together during the six-man season as well. Dr. Goodman, an emergency room doctor at Kaiser, has played an instrumental role in coordinating the Paddle for Life event – recruiting teams and gathering sponsors. But most of all she is a woman with huge heart and great energy; she’s an excellent water woman in every aspect, and I was honored when she called. However, because I had already committed to participate in a canoe race this same weekend, I had to decline. I was able, though, to donate hotel room stays to paddlers at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel.

The Pacific Cancer Foundation was founded in 2004 by a group of concerned health care professionals and cancer survivors. The foundation facilitates access to innovative treatments and clinical trials, as well as provides up-to-date information with an extensive library and resources. The paddle this weekend is one of many efforts to raise awareness about cancer within the community.

You may donate to the cause by pledging in honor of your favorite paddler. Please visit this link: http://www.pacificcancerfoundation.org/news-and-events/paddle-for-life-maui/.

I would like to say mahalo nui to all participating paddlers and to wish you a safe journey, with the wind and following seas at your back!

Photos Credit: Dr. Torey Goodman


• Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 15-16 • Kaanapali Beach & Manele Bay • 808-242-7661 • rnjeff@pacificcancerfoundation.


  1. Thanks Alyssa for posting this! Its a wonderful event bringing in desperately needed funds for this ever so important cancer research. If everyone donates a little, it equals a lot. Imua!

  2. No problem. Thank you for sharing this wonderful event with us! Sounds like lots of fun in the sun for a good cause. Hope this windy weather helps push paddlers through the ocean.

  3. Glad to hear that The Pacific Cancer Foundation exists! Thank you Kalei for bringing this wonderful orginization and The Paddle for Life event to our attention.

  4. So proud of my “baby” sistah Torrey for her role in this event. My husband is a two time cancer survivor (and totally healthy today) so we know what it’s like to have cancer touch your famiy. Keep on paddling Little Nipper! You are doing a great thing!

  5. You go girl! When it’s a good cause Torrey is there to make it happen with heart, body and soul. Proud of you and happy to support this very worthy effort.

  6. For our Oahu gang, the flight to Maui was delayed several hours, so everything took longer and later. The five Molokai paddlers came over on their own escort boat and caught a big ahi and aku enroute. They had tales of very big seas out there too. We all didn’t get to the hotel until 9pm, which was a bummer because the Kaanapali Beach Hotel is such a lovely place. We had beautiful rooms right on the ocean and I left the door open to hear the surf and wind all night long.
    The next morning didn’t disappoint. As the sun rose, and the wind was a steady 20 knots, we left Canoe beach at Kaanapali. The ocean is pretty flat inside there, but as soon as came around the island and hit the Pailolo Channel, it just got bigger and bigger. We had a very strong crew and were having a blast (although I will admit being a bit nervous!). Then several canoes flipped but no one was injured. After about 1 hr, the race organizers called a course change for safety reasons. We hadn’t even gotten out into the the full force of the channel and it was already 25 knots and 6 ft seas. Fun for seasoned paddlers but dangerous for others. The new course took us straight across the channel to the east side of Lanai which still gave us several hours of FABULOUS downwind surfing. We reached Manele quite a bit earlier at about 11 am, but not such a bad place to spend the day! That evening there was a lovely dinner on the lawn with music and hula dancing as the sun set across the bay.
    Thankfully, the next morning the wind and waves died down and we had an early start back across the channel.
    It was smooth with some long gentle swells. We stopped midway and all got into the water around the canoe, then one of our paddlers spread some of her father’s ashes and we all spread flowers in honor of those who we paddled for that day. Everyone shared their stories and even a few tears. We returned back to Canoe beach about 11 am to more music and dance. Our canoe was from Lae E Ula O Ke Kai and since we had been late, they had rigged it for us. It was a beautiful Mirage rigged perfectly and we were happy to help derigg and load all their canoes. Such a gracious and generous group of people. We ended the afternoon at the Hyatt pool and bar until our flight later that day.
    Big Mahalo Kalei for your support. We have a shirt for you so we will have to paddle together soon.
    Big hugs and Aloha….. look for this event on OC 16 soon!

  7. Wow, Torey..this sounds amazing! I would love to be a part of this next year with you! Thank you for being a part of this wonderful and necessary event. A hui hou!

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