Maui, Hawaii will once again be the setting for OluKai’s Ho’olaule’a ocean festival, which brings together the world’s best paddlers to race the eight-mile Maliko downwind run for a chance to win the gender equal prize money of $15,000.
The competition will include stand up paddle, OC1 and new for this year, OC2 paddlers. Athletes last year included names like Connor Baxter, Andrea Moller and Travis Grant.
The fifth-annual festival kicks off on May 11-12 and will host more than 2,000 event participants and festivalgoers.
OluKai’s Ho’olaule’a blends competition with family-friendly and traditional cultural activities. It gathers communities for canoe sailing, surfing, ancient Hawaiian games, luau, hula and live music. OluKai also announced that the Saturday night concert will include performances by six of the top Hawaiian artists in an authentic backyard style Hawaiian Kanikapila; a style of Hawaiian music produced in an impromptu jam session. Paula Fuga, Kimie Miner, Justin Young, Ekolu Kalama and Hawaii’s hottest female recording artist, Anuhea, will be joined by Billboard’s No. 1 Reggae artist, Mishka. The group will play their original hits as well as special selections, traditional and modern, in various configurations with each other.
OluKai employees have been preparing for several months for this special weekend by earning their way to Maui as a part of ‘Ohana Giveback Program. To be eligible to travel to Hawaii and participate in the festivities, employees were challenged to volunteer locally a minimum of twenty hours as one of the prerequisites. On Monday following the event, OluKai employees and local volunteers will travel together to Honokowai Valley, a cultural heritage preservation site, and spend the day on reforestation and archeological stabilization projects with OluKai’s ‘Ohana Giveback partner Maui Cultural Lands.
“As a company we believe that everyone, no matter where they are, can live Aloha,” said Kerry Konrady, director of marketing at OluKai. “This event brings together friends and family from all areas of the country, giving us the opportunity to share ‘Ohana and honor our giveback partners,”
He added, “One of the most important roles of ‘Ohana is the passing along of shared history and hard-won wisdom to the next generation. All the organizations participating in our Giveback Program are actively involved in this connection of past and future.”