LAHAINA, Maui – Registration has officially opened for the First Annual Maui Jim OceanFest in which hundreds of the premier ocean sports athletes from around the world will gather on Ka’anapali Beach fronting the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel in Lahaina, Maui, HI, from June 6 to 7, 2015. Over the course of two days, teams and individuals will compete in a unique ocean-lifeguard-style event that showcases the breadth and diversity of a wide range of international and Hawaiian-style competitive ocean sports. They are competing for $40,000 in prize money, which is one of the largest purses in the world for this type of event.
“This is the first major international event that has been staged by Maui Jim,” said Jay Black, Vice President, Global Marketing for Maui Jim Sunglasses. “For more than 30 years, our brand has been synonymous with enhancing the experience that people have outdoors in the sun, especially around water. We look forward to hosting people from around the world for an unusual ocean experience, right on the beaches where our sunglasses were first created.”
Maui Jim OceanFest takes place one week after the Maui Jim Molokai Challenge, considered the World Championship for SurfSki and OC-1 paddling. “We have designed Maui Jim OceanFest to offer the most intense competition for athletes,” said Matt Dubrule, Maui Jim Event Director. “But, it’s also a terrific experience for spectators, because Ka’anapali Beach allows us to race near the shore. The views will be spectacular, and the races will be fast, competitive and fun.”
The “sprint” nature of each race will create constant excitement for participants and spectators. Races will be no longer than five to 10 minutes in length, broken into open and age group categories for men and women. Participants are encouraged to enter multiple races to accrue cumulative points.
Races include swimming, paddleboard, stand-up paddling (SUP), 1-person outrigger canoe, surfski and elite mixed events that combine the various disciplines. For updated race schedules and events visit MauiJimOceanFest.com.
The 2015 race course. | Photo via: Maui Jim Oceanfest Website
Complementing an elite field of international ocean athletes, many of Maui Jim’s more than 200 brand ambassadors are expected to participate, most of whom are elite paddlers, surfers and well-known ocean athletes. The world’s top SUP Champion, Connor Baxter, will join a pack of the top paddlers, including Zane Schweitzer, Riggs Napoleon, and more. OC-1 Champions Kai Bartlett and Pat Dolan, and a long list of world’s top SurfSki Racers in town for the Maui Jim Molokai Challenge the prior weekend, will take to the waters. For an updated list of registered participants click here.
Surrounding the races will be a Hawaiian beach experience in front of the official host hotel, Ka’anapali Beach Hotel. On the evening of June 7th, festivities will include a party at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel with food, music and awards.
Maui Jim OceanFest will be seen by more than 63 million viewers in 41 U.S. markets and in five countries. Viewers can catch all the action on a wide variety of broadcast options. International television coverage will be provided by ZONE Media (Ocean Paddler Television, Hawaiian Extreme and WHATSUP). US distribution will be on Universal Sports Network, Hawaiian Skies (Hawaiian Airlines in-flight), Outside Television and Time Warner OC16. Video news releases will be provided for national distribution upon request.
Maui Jim OceanFest partners include the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, Hawaii’s Most Hawaiian Hotel. Other partners include the Ka’anapali Beach Resort Association, Hale Makua, Maui Junior Lifeguard Association, United States Lifeguard Association, ZONE Media, Kanaka Ikaika Paddling Association and Kai Wa’a Canoes.
Registration is currently open and will remain open until reaching capacity. Athletes are encouraged to register for more than one race at no additional charge. Early-bird registration fees until May 23 are $125 to participate in all events on one day or $200 to participate in all events over two days. Registration fees will be donated to nonprofit charities: Hale Makua Health Services, Imua Family Services, Women Helping Women, Maui Arts and Cultural Center, and the Maui County Junior Lifeguard Program. Travelers are encouraged to stay at the host hotel, Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, to be close to the action. Participants will find discount hotel information after they register online.
Prize monies will be divided by races and categories. Maui Jim will do its best to supply as many crafts as possible, but participants are encouraged to bring their own equipment and be open to sharing if needed. Contact race organizers through the race website to arrange for gear rental.
For detailed information on registration, races, entertainment, hotels and more, visit MauiJimOceanFest.com