The 3rd Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a

A quick video recap of the 2011 OluKai Ho'olaule'a, courtesy of our friends at Ocean Paddler TV. The 3rd annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a two day ocean festival was held this past weekend, May 14th and 15th 2011, at Kanaha Beach Park, Maui. Ho’olaule’a literally means “celebration”, but for us, it’s also an expression of gratitude. Each May, we hold our interpretation of this storied Hawaiian tradition on Maui’s north shore. The event blends elite competition with family-friendly cultural activities and attracts some of the world’s best SUP and OC1 paddlers to race the legendary 8-mile Maliko downwind run. Over 400 paddlers participated is this years event, with approximately 220 SUP competitors, 100 OC1, and 100 ‘Ohana Fun Paddle participants. In addition to the races, friends and families came together to enjoy canoe sailing and surfing, ancient Hawaiian games, traditional luau, hula, and live music by Paula Fuga and Ekolu Kalama. The 8-mile SUP and OC1 race was very close with extremely tight times in all race categories. The conditions were perfect with clear sunny skys, trades blowing 15-25 knots and the wind swell made it great for big glides and rides. The finale of both courses also made for a dramatic finish that engaged cheering friends, families, and spectators. The SUP race finished with a exciting 200 yard beach run, while the OC1 race featured a 180 degree buoy turn with a 100 yard up-wind paddle to the finish. Sharon Baildoy opened both race days with a beautiful Pule – a traditional Hawaiian blessing. Soon after paddlers carried their watercrafts to the waters edge and set out to the starting line. Both races began at noon, with the top competitors finishing incredibly fast under an hour and the last competitors finishing just under 2 hours. Both race days had an amazing spirit from paddlers and all others enjoying the event. The competitors demonstrated undeniable concentration and strength but once they crossed the finish line there was a true sense of camaraderie and respect for each other, displaying an authentic expression of Aloha! The top 6 elite men’s and women’s division of each racing discipline shared a gender equal $15,000 prize purse. Kai Bartlett took first place in the Men’s Elite SUP race with a record time of 00:49:02, and 2010’s title holder Livio Menelau, took second with a time of 00:49:19. Sunday, Jimmy Austin won the OC1 Men’s Elite race with a time of 00:47:37. Andrea Moller defended her 2009 and 2010 OluKai Ho’olaule’a sweep by winning both the Women’s SUP and OC1 Elite races back-to-back. Full race results are available at https://www.olukai.com/Hoolaulea/raceresults Men’s SUP Elite: 1st Kai Bartlett, Maui- 00:49:02 2nd Livio Menelau, Maui- 00:49:19 3rd Ekolu Kalama, Molokai- 00:51:39 4th Mark Raaphorst, Maui- 00:52:31 5th Jeremy Riggs, Maui- 00:53:12 6th Zane Schweitzer, Maui- 55:25 Women’s SUP Elite: 1st Andrea Moller, Maui- 00:55:42 2nd Talia Gangini, Maui- 00:59:25 3rd Devin Blish, Maui- 00:59:40 4th Theresa Felgate, Maui- 1:03:22 5th Rebecca Jakeway, Maui- 1:03:27 6th Dane Ward, Maui- 1:04:07 Men’s OC1 Elite: 1st Jimmy Austin, O’ahu- 00:47:36 2nd Manny Kulukulualani, O’ahu- 00:48:06 3rd Karel Jr.Tresnak, O’ahu- 00:48:30 4th Mael Carey, Maui- 00:48:45 5th Kai Bartlett, Maui- 00:48:56 6th Felipe Gomes, Maui- 00:49:14 Women’s OC1 Elite: 1st Andrea Moller, Maui- 00:53:15.4 2nd Dane Ward, Maui- 00:54:32 3rd Emili Janchevis, Maui- 00:54:43 4th Sharon Balidoy, Maui- 00:56:48 5th Trez Harrisson, Maui- 00:57:37 6th Theresa Felgate, Maui- 00:59:14 This year we expanded the Ho’olaule’a to include an ‘Ohana Fun Paddle, a 3-mile non-competitive, non-timed paddle for ocean enthusiast of all ages and all skill levels. The ‘Ohana Fun Paddle took place Saturday morning, from Paia Youth and Cultural Center to Kanaha Beach Park, with participants of all ages and all types of watercrafts. In addition to the paddling events, guests enjoyed traditional Hawaiian games hosted by Maui Cultural Lands, sailing canoe rides on the HSCA champion vessel Kamakakoa, Lae ‘Ula O Kai canoe club’s traditional luau and a Hula performance by Hula Halau Alapa'i I Maluuluolele. Families relaxed on the park grass enjoying the festivities awaiting musical headliner, Paula Fuga. Before she took the stage there was a dramatic plumeria drop over the crowd. Following Paula Fuga’s performance, elite waterman Ekolu Kalama concluding Saturday’s event with an acoustic performance into the twilight hours. One of the most important roles of our ‘Ohana is actively giving back. Through the event we were able to present over $100,000 in giveback donations to our ‘Ohana Giveback partners: Maui Cultural Lands, the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association's, Team Bradley, Team Kamakakoa of the Hawaiian Sailing Canoe Association, and hosts Lae ‘Ula O Kai canoe club.

May 14, 2011 'Ohana Fun Paddle

May 14, 2011 SUP Race

May 15, 2011 OC1 Race

Mahalo nui loa to the County of Maui, Lae’Ula O Kai Canoe Club, Maui Cultural Lands, Team Kamakakoa, Hawaiian Lifeguard Association, Mary Kielty and her ocean safety crew, Ocean Paddler TV, Paula Fuga, and all the paddlers, friends, and families for making this a truly special event. For more photo's from the event please visit www.facebook.com/olukai