IVF World Sprint Championship returns to Hilo in August

The International Va‘a Federation World Sprint Championship is returning to Hilo this summer for the first time in 20 years.

The event is set to kick off on Thursday, Aug. 15, and will be hosted at Hilo Bay through the support and partnership of the IVF, the Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association and Hawaii County, according to an announcement this afternoon from Mayor Mitch Roth’s office.


The county last hosted the IVF World Sprint Championship in 2004. This year’s event is expected to draw approximately 20 competing countries, featuring 8,000 participants and attendees from around the globe.

“We are honored to be able to welcome back this culturally significant event that braids our Polynesian heritage together while welcoming all throughout the world to our shores,” Roth said in the announcement.

“Our administration has been working closely with HCRA and on-island halau to ensure that this event is something that truly showcases the beauty of our island, the aloha of our people, and the incredible talent of our local paddlers,” he added.

Key dates and events:

— Aug. 6: HCRA setup begins

— Aug. 13-15: Course familiarization

— Aug. 15: Opening ceremony

— Aug. 16-17: Elite World Championship and Para Racing

— Aug. 18-23: Club World Championship

— Aug. 23-26: Event breakdown

The community is asked to note that the dates provided are preliminary and subject to change as the planning progresses.

The county and event organizers “look forward to engaging with various business and community leaders to ensure a warm welcome to visitors, ensuring that the best of Hawaii Island is made available during their stay,” according to the announcement.

Interested parties should refer to worldsprints2024hilo.org for more information.