KAHULUI, Maui - The 9th annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a 8-mile downwind competition and Hawaiian cultural celebration takes place in less than a month on April 29th and 30th. The two-day long festival on Maui’s north shore includes an elite stand up paddle and outrigger canoe race, a fun paddle, family-friendly cultural activities including Hawaiian canoe sailing, and a Lu’au. The deadline to register for the Premium Race Package, which includes a pair of OluKai sandals, is April 14th; participants can register by visiting OluKai.com/race. Onsite registration will be available race day.
The public is invited to join in the festivities and share the Aloha spirit with paddlers all weekend long. In addition to the races, festival attendees will be able to help restore ‘?ina momona (abundant land) in Hawaii through the core principles of sustainability and cultural preservation. OluKai’s Ama OluKai foundation is partnering with the Hui Aloha ‘Aina Momona nonprofit for a Poi-making workshop. Participants will become active stewards by learning how to pound taro into poi and will discover more about Hawaii’s cultural traditions and why it is critically important to protect them. The workshops are first-come, first-serve and take place both Saturday and Sunday.
The 2017 OluKai Ho’olaule’a races will bring together more than 500 of the world’s elite paddlers to race the famous Maliko Downwind Run for the largest gender equal prize purse of $15,000. Racers from all corners of the globe, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Brazil and Sweden will be vying for the top prize and bragging rights.
“The beauty of Maui’s coast will be highlighted by the elite paddlers coming together to celebrate the spirit of Aloha,” commented OluKai Konohiki (caretaker) and legendary big wave surfer, Archie Kalepa. “The premiere paddling festival, features one of the most fun runs in the world, and will bring the community together to protect and preserve Hawaiian traditions.”
Top performances are expected again this year from five-time OluKai Ho’olaule’a winner and native Hawaiian, Connor Baxter. Sonni Hönscheid will defend her title in the women’s category. OluKai Ho’olaule’a will be filmed in HD and broadcast internationally courtesy of OluKai media partner, Ocean Paddler TV.
9 am—‘Ohana Fun Paddle Start
10 am-3 pm—Music, Ama OluKai Foundation Giveback Activities, Hawaiian Games, Canoe Rides
12 pm—Maliko Downwind Eight-mile race to Kanaha Beach Park
1:30 pm—Lu’au and Live Music
3 pm—SUP Awards Ceremony
11 am-2 pm—Music, Ama OluKai Foundation Giveback Activities, Hawaiian Games, Canoe Rides
12 pm—OC1/OC2 Race
1:30 pm—Lu’au and Entertainment
2:30 pm—OC1/OC2 Awards Ceremony
Additional information on the celebration, including race registration, can be found at OluKai.com/Race. Follow along the journey or share an experience from this year’s race on social media with @OluKai #OluKaiRace.
OluKai is a sought after lifestyle brand that believes everyone, no matter where they are, can live Aloha. OluKai products feature thoughtful design elements and handcrafted details inspired by the ocean lifestyle. We are committed to partnering with best-of-class retailers with whom we share an unwavering pursuit of excellence. OluKai's spirit is shared by others through the Ama OluKai Foundation, a 501(c)(3) created to formalize the company’s giveback initiatives. Every OluKai sold supports Ama OluKai Foundation’s mission in Hawaii. For more information visit www.OluKai.com or #AnywhereAloha.