Orange County, CA – June 23, 2015 –
This past weekend marked the conclusion to the 18th annual Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge
, one of the largest sporting events in New York Harbor and one of the premier outrigger canoe races in the world. The day long competition hosted hundreds of competitors, enthusiasts, locals and visitors from around the world to experience the Aloha spirit through the festivities, including the debut of ocean lifestyle brand OluKai's "Aloha" sculpture.
The origins of outrigger paddling date back thousands of years to the Polynesian Islands. The sport has quickly spread across the world as an exciting means to experience the water. The Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge not only celebrates the tradition of the sport but is also reimagining it for the future. The Liberty Challenge features the world's best athletes in a competition of athleticism and endurance in some of the fastest human-powered watercraft ever designed.
To help infuse New Yorker and spectators alike with the Aloha spirit during the event, OluKai debuted the latest initiative in their Anywhere Aloha
campaign; a 3-D sculpture spelling out "Aloha." OluKai partnered with Kamea Hadar,
co-director of Pow! Wow! Hawaii, board member of the Hawaii Arts Alliance and #AnywhereAloha campaign character to create the artwork, inspired by the famous "Love" sculptures that can be seen throughout New York City. During the race, Kamea entertained viewers by painting a mural on the sculpture.
Featuring over 30 teams from around the world, including the OluKai sponsored Team Primo, the regatta is comprised of three iron races run in heats over the course of the day. The men's and women's races covered a 15 mile course, while the mixed race had a truncated course of 11 miles. Crews from around the world traveled to New York City to compete on these courses where they had to gauge strong tidal currents and negotiate traffic from ferries, barges, tankers and pleasure craft that fill New York Harbor, the East River and the Hudson River.
SAMU took first place in the Men's Open with a time of 1:53:05, Grizzlies Black won the Men's Master Race with a time of 2:07:10 and Newport Aquatic Center (NAC) won the Men's Unlimited race with a time of 1:45:17. Team Bradley took first place in the Women's Open with a time of 2:11:58 while Wai Nui Wahines placed first in the Women's Open race with a time of 2:30:36. Washington Canoe Club Mixed took first place in the Mixed Open with a time 1:50:58, Mixed Plate (Kahakai) placed first in the Men's Masters with a time of 1:53:03 and Kaua'i Ohana Mixed Plate won the Mixed unlimited race with a time of 1:47:41. The Olukai sponsored Team Primo finished in third place in the Men's Unlimited race with a time of 1:48:14.
Full race results are available at http://www.libertyoutrigger.org/category/race-results/.
The spirit of Aloha will continue to move across the United States this August. OluKai is taking the Aloha sculpture to Outside Lands Music Festival
to bring Anywhere Aloha to San Francisco. During the music festival, Kamea will be repainting the Aloha sculpture, drawing inspiration from the vibrant San Francisco atmosphere. In addition to the event, fans can keep in touch and follow the journey via social with the hashtag #AnywhereAloha.