EVENT: Perfect Conditions for 7th Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a
The 7th annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a three-day ocean festival kicked off Friday May 1, on Maui’s North Shore with the inaugural ‘Demo Day,’ offering the opportunity to meet the pros, gain valuable last minute race tips and the chance to try out the latest boards and equipment.
The 2015 OluKai Ho’olaule’a is set to be the biggest yet in the event’s history bringing together around 600 of the world’s elite paddlers to race the famous Maliko Downwind Run for the gender equal prize purse of $15,000.
In addition to a strong contingent of Hawaii’s homegrown talent, competitors have traveled from throughout the Mainland U.S. and all corners of the globe representing Canada, Australia, Japan, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Israel, Puerto Rico, French Polynesia and the Virgin Islands.
The conditions are tipped to be near perfect for the eight-mile Stand Up Paddle (SUP) race on Saturday May 1 at 12 p.m. blowing 12-18 knot winds, with open water swells rolling down the coast.
Legendary big wave surfer and OluKai Konohiki (caretaker), Archie Kalepa says “there’s a pre-race buzz here on Maui as we come together for this highly anticipated race and to celebrate our love of both the sport and the ocean lifestyle we’re so fortunate to have.”
“We invite everyone to join in the festivities of OluKai Ho’olaule’a by taking part in the three mile ‘Ohana Fun Paddle, or enjoy complimentary surfing canoe rides and watch the SUP demonstrations. It’s about embracing Hawaiian culture. We have games, a luau and live music by one of my favorite Maui bands, Nuff Said,” says Kalepa.
Three time OluKai Ho’olaule’a winner and Maui local, Connor Baxter, is tipped as race favorite with Kody Kerbox and Dave Kalama marked as hot contenders.
For the women, six-time consecutive winner, Andrea Moller, has been touted as hard to beat however is expected to face fierce competition from international paddlers.
The festivities kick off at 8 a.m. at Pai’a Bay with the ‘Ohana Fun Paddle and conclude at Kanaha Beach Park at 4 p.m. after the awards ceremony.
Come join in the festivities, cheer on the paddlers and share in the aloha spirit.
OluKai Ho’olaule’awill be filmed in HD and broadcast internationally courtesy of OluKai media partner, Ocean Paddler TV.
For more information visit www.olukai.com/hoolaulea