Friday Waikiki Sailboat Races - One of our favorite things to do in Hawaii is to go sailing off Waikiki. There's a small but dedicated community of sailors in Hawaii and a lot of them sail out of Ala Wai Harbor on O'ahu's south shore near Waikiki. Ala Wai Harbor has two yacht clubs, Waikiki Yacht Club and Hawaii Yacht Club which hosts the weekly informal Friday night beer can race. Why is it called a beer can race? Maybe because the winner gets a can of beer or because the race usually goes out to Diamond Head buoy and back and the buoy is a can buoy.
The races are nothing serious, just a fun way to end the week. It's also a way for sailors to meet and for skippers to find crew or crew find boats. You don't have to own a boat or even be an experienced sailor to participate if you're interested. Just show up around the docks around 4:30pm or so and talk to people on their boats. Or contact either of the yacht clubs about membership if you want a cool place to hang out and an opportunity to meet people.
You can also watch the races from shore, especially from Ala Moana park where the boats tack through the wind in the narrow channel. It gets interesting sometimes watching them scramble to the start line in the harbor when the winds aren't right and the boats have to squeeze by each other without running aground or bumping into each other. You can tell some sailors know what they're doing but if they don't they can always learn by taking a class.
One really nice thing about the Friday Waikiki sailboat races is that you're out on the water at sunset. There's some truly magical views from the water at golden hour. And with the sun in your eyes, you'll definitely need some good sunglasses for looking up at the sails and at the beautiful sunset, watching for the green flash. Is that for real? When you're out on the water it's all about good vibes with your crew and feeling grateful for the warm sun on your face and breeze in your sails!