World Famous OluKai Ho’olaule’a Festival Takes Place End of April
For the 10th year in a row OluKai, is bringing the world’s best paddlers together for a weekend of racing and celebrating the Hawaiian culture at the annual Ho’olaule’a (celebration). OluKai created the now legendary event in 2008 to pay tribute to the ocean lifestyle through competition, tradition, family and giving back to the community, a key component since the race’s inception.
This year’s event takes place April 28th and 29th on Kahului, Maui in the famed Maliko gulch and will bring together 500 paddlers for two days of racing, including two brand new divisions: Foil and Prone. The race features the largest geneder equal prize purse of $15,000 with athletes from all corners of the globe vying for the top prize and bragging rights.
Friends and family will also gather to enjoy canoe sailing and surfing, ancient Hawaiian games, a traditional luau, hula and music. OluKai’s Ama OluKai Foundation takes the opportunity to recognize and honor their “Ohana Giveback Partners” during a period of which the community shares collective gifts of time, energy and spirit.
“We are honored to share the spirit of Aloha through this weekend festival and race.” Commented Kerry Konrady, OluKai’s Vice President of Marketing. “For the past ten years we’ve been able to celebrate our shared love for the ocean with the paddle community while helping protect and preserve Hawaiian customs. We are excited to continue this tradition for many more years to come!”
As part of the tenth annual Ho’olaule’a Festival, the Ama OluKai Foundation and ‘Imiloa present “The Art & Science of Wayfinding,” hosted by Hokule’a master navigator Kalepa Baybayan and crew member Kala Baybayan Tanaka. Kalepa and Kala return from their three-year worldwide voyage to share their mastery and experiences to festival-goers on how to navigate by the stars. Workshops will be offered inside an on-site mobile planetarium and via a Hawaiian star compass at Kanaha Beach Park on Saturday and Sunday.
‘Imiloa is a museum and planetarium complex on the campus of the University of Hawai’i at Hilo. The word ‘Imiloa means “the pursuit of new knowledge,” or “one who explores.” ‘Imiloa is the first museum anywhere in the world explicitly committed to inspiring scientific exploration within the context of an indigenous language and culture and are a 2018 beneficiary of the Ama OluKai Foundation.
Top performances in the Ho’olaule’a are expected again this year from last year’s winner James Casey and five-time winner, Connor Baxter. Annabell Anderson will defend her title in the women’s category against seven-time ho’o champion Andrea Moller. OluKai Ho’olaule’a will be filmed in HD and broadcast internationally courtesy of OluKai media partner, Ocean Paddler TV.
9 am—‘Ohana Fun Paddle Start
10 am-3 pm—Music, ‘Imiloa Wayfinding Presentations, Hawaiian Games, Canoe Rides
12 pm—SUP and Prone Paddle, Maliko
1:30 pm—Live Music
11 am-2 pm—Music, ‘Imiloa Wayfinding Presentations, Hawaiian Games, Canoe Rides
12 pm—OC1/OC2 Race, Foil Board Race, Maliko Downwind 8 miles to Kanaha Beach Park
1:30 pm—Live Music
2:30 pm—Awards Ceremony
3:30 pm—Lu’au at Kanaha
Race registration fees from this year’s Ho’olaule’a Festival will go to the Kaua’i Lifeguard Assicioation to aid in recovery efforts after devastating flooding on the island.
Additional information on the Ho’olaule’a, including race registration, can be found at OluKai.com/Race. Follow along the journey or share an experience from this year’s race on social media with @OluKai #OluKaiRace.