Here's a description from the Moloka'i Hoe web page: "The Moloka'i Hoe is one of the longest running annual team sporting events in Hawaii, second only to football. The Moloka'i Hoe perpetuates one of Hawaii's and Polynesia's most important and historic cultural traditions, while honoring outrigger canoe paddlers around the world. The Moloka'i Hoe tests the limits of physical and mental strength and endurance, courage determination and teamwork, and paddlers battle nature's most extreme elements."
The race was a dream in 1939, and finally became a reality in 1952 when the Waikiki Surf Club, Hawaiian Surf Club, and Kukui o Lanikaula of Moloka'i competed. The team from Moloka'i didn't even have a canoe, so they borrowed a fishing canoe and won! It's the only year the Moloka'i men have won the race.
Lanikai Canoe Club of Oahu set the course record in 1995 and broke their own record in 2000, winning in 4:50:31. Outrigger Canoe Club of Hawaii has won the race 16 times, the most of any entrant in the history of the race. This year the winners will receive a cash prize of $5,000.