OluKai Ho’olaule’a downwind event set

Registration is now open for OluKai’s Ho’olaule’a, a celebration of the ocean and cultures that surround it at OluKai.com/registration. The event returns to the Lae ‘Ula O Kai Canoe Club at Kanaha Beach Park, Maui, May 15th and 16th. OluKai has also confirmed the schedule of complimentary activities including a free concert by special musical guest, John Cruz.

Elite watermen, waterwomen, and enthusiasts will have the opportunity to paddle race the famous Maliko “downwinder” on Maui’s North shore. The “downwinder” is a legendary eight-mile stretch of water from Maliko Gulch to the Lae ‘Ula O Kai Canoe Club at Kanaha Beach.

A $15,000 prize purse will be shared equally between the men’s and women’s division of each racing discipline: OC-1 and stand up paddle (SUP). The SUP race begins at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 15th. The OC-1 race will launch at 11:00 am on Sunday. Check-in for racers starts at 9:00 am. Both races start at Maliko Gulch finishing at Kanaha Beach. Space is limited, sign-up in advance to ensure a spot.

“The addition of John Cruz’s music and a Hula performance from Hula Halau Alapa’i I Maluuluolele will ensure that the Ho’olaule’a authentically encompasses the many cultural facets of the islands from day into evening for the whole family,” says Kerry Konrady, Marketing Director at OluKai.

Starting at 10:00 am each day Maui Cultural Lands will be hosting traditional Hawaiian games, while the 2009 HSCA Champions “Team OluKai” will be offering sailing canoe rides in their renowned vessel Kamakakoa. Saturday evening the celebration continues with a Luau dinner served from 3:00PM-6:00 pm. The cost for dinner is included in race registration fee, or available to non-competitors for $10. During dinner there will be a mix of Hula dancing along with three sets of music performed by John Cruz including his all-time Hawaiian classic “Island Style” to the newer favorites including “Eye of the Hurricane.”

Alternately to online registration, stop by Neil Pryde Maui on Saturday, May 1 for the OluKai Ho’olaule’a Pre-Sign Up Party. Maui residents and paddlers can sign up for the SUP and OC1 races, buy luau dinner tickets and preview OluKai’s spring line from noon to 5:00 pm.

Part of the proceeds from the OluKai Ho’olaule’a go to the OluKai ‘Ohana Giveback Program. Beneficiaries include Maui Cultural Lands and the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association’s Junior Lifeguard Program.  OluKai is the official footwear of the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association.

Register here.