OluKai invited paddlers and islanders to share a true Hawaiian experience at its
Inaugural Ho’olaule’a Ocean Festival on the North Shore of Maui. The event celebrated the Ocean
lifestyle and the island culture by giving the gift of Aloha back to Hawaii and the paddling community.
The OluKai Ho’olaule’a featured an OC1 race and a Stand Up Paddle race starting from Maliko Gulch and
ending at Kanaha Beach Park. Although racers typically face this eight mile downwind course with the
support of 20-30 knot gusts propelling them from behind, on both race days, paddlers faced the grueling
conditions of calm winds and glassy water.
The finale of both courses added to the drama and ignited spectators’ enthusiasm. The OC1 race
featured a 180 degree buoy turn and sprint to a waterline finish. The SUP race was highlighted with a
200 yard run finish over a rugged coral filled sand beach. In a sport that is often supported by the
paddlers themselves, OluKai awarded the contestants of the Ho’olaule’a with $15,000 in cash prizes split
equally between men and women.
Andrea Moller swept the women’s competition both days, coming in first with a time of 59:27.3 in the
OC1 race and 1:21:21.5 in the Stand Up race. Manny Kulukulualani crossed the men’s OC1 finish line at
53:28.9, serving a humble tribute to his native Hawaiian land. Stand Up Paddle icon Dave Kalama swiftly
captured the top finish time of the course coming in at 1:08:18.4, nearly two minutes ahead of his
“At the end of the day, even though we are all out there trying to beat each other into submission, when
we get on the beach it’s all handshakes and talking about how fun it was,” said Kalama. “It can be so
serious on the water but when you get on the beach there’s a lot of Aloha and there’s a lot of
Community members were welcomed into the OluKai ‘Ohana as they participated in authentic Hawaiian
activities. Locals and tourists alike experienced the thrill of riding OluKai’s iconic yellow and brown
Kamakakoa sailing canoe. Families and kids enjoyed the island heritage and culture with an array of
ancient Hawaiian games, hosted by Maui Cultural Lands.
Saturday’s festivities were accented with the serenades of talented Hawaiian musician Paula Fuga as she
and her band performed to an intimate crowd in the beautiful outdoor setting of Kanaha Beach Park.
Her soulful sound enhanced the community’s gathering of a traditional Hawaiian luau presented by the
Lae Ula Canoe Club.
“The true meaning of Aloha is to love without expectation,” said Ed Lindsey, Project Director for Maui
Cultural Lands. This inspiring organization is one of the members of OluKai’s ‘Ohana Giveback Program
that benefitted from receiving part of the event’s proceeds. Other members include the Hawaiian
Lifeguard Association and Team Kamakakoa. OluKai further embodied the Aloha spirit by contributing
$6,000 to its ‘Ohana Giveback programs.