LAHAINA, Maui – With one month to go before the First Annual Maui Jim OceanFest, registration for this first-of-its kind waterman competition is proving to draw an elite group of international athletes. From June 6 to 7 on Ka’anapali Beach fronting the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel in Lahaina, Maui, HI, athletes 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. Competitors will accumulate points in the varied disciplines over the two days that will accrue towards the individuals’ total in either open or age groups to name an overall Waterman and Waterwoman for the event. They are competing for $40,000 in prize money, which is one of the largest purses in the world for this type of event. Registration remains open until capacity is reached.
Registrations to date include sportsmen coming from as far away as the Gold Coast of Australia and Denver, along with a healthy dose of Hawaii’s top athletes. “Maui Jim OceanFest takes place one week after the Maui Jim Molokai Challenge, considered the World Championship for SurfSki and OC-1 paddling,” said Matt Dubrule, Maui Jim Event Director. “So, we are drawing a great group of talent that will make for exciting, fast-paced competition.”
OceanFest is a “sprint” competition that will challenge the best in the world and will create constant excitement for participants and spectators. Races will be no longer than five to 10 minutes in length, broken into categories for men and women. Participants are encouraged to enter multiple races to accrue cumulative points.
The venue and race course for the inaugural Maui Jim Ocean Fest.
Top men who will be at OceanFest include SUP racers Travis Grant (FCS SUP athlete who recently won the Carolina Cup against 800 participants), Riggs and Aaron Napoleon, and Travis Baptiste; Hawaiian outrigger canoe competitors Alfred Van Gieson, Kai Bartlett, Patrick Dolan, Jim Foti, Jimmy Austin and Kekoa Cramer; Ironman swim record-holder and gold medalist at the World Championships and Pan Pacific Championships John Flanagan; Ironman Competitor Andrew Penny; North Shore lifeguard and downwind surf fanatic Kirk Ziegler; Australian paddle boarder Lachlan Finlay; longstanding waterman racing champion Scott Diederich; Surfskier Richard Spork; and Olympic kayak champion and top OC-1 paddler Zsolt Szadovszki. Inspiring Australian Ironman Jackson Maynard also will arrive at this competition having survived cancer and two rounds of life-saving heart surgery.
Top women include SUP racers Andrea Moller (SIC Maui); paddling champions Jennifer Lee, Rachel Bruntsch, Sondra Purser, Kelsa Gabehart and Jennifer Polcer; lifeguard Chelsea Bizik; eight-time Molokai Paddleboard champion Kanesa Duncan Seraphin; one of the greatest female surf life-saving athletes of all time Karla Gilbert; and open water swim champion Kathy Shipman.
“For anyone wanting to see the best of the best compete in one of the most beautiful settings in the world, this is a not-to-be-missed event,” added Dubrule.
For an updated list of registered participants visit the race website.
ABOUT MAUI JIM OCEANFEST
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.
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.
- 5 of Our Favorite Paddling Spots in Southern California
- How To Punch Through A River Wave On A SUP
- Choosing Healthy, Delicious Snacks For Stand-Up Paddleboarding
- Annapolis Native to Travel 240 Miles Across Chesapeake Bay by SUP to Support Oyster Recovery Efforts
- Cape Cod Bay Challenge SUP Event Returns Virtually in 2020