Paddling Forward to Giveback: OluKai Commemorates 5th Annual Ho'olaule'a Ocean Festival
Elite Stand Up Paddle Competition Brings Friends and Family Together From Around the Globe for a Weekend of Giveback and Celebration
Maui, HI (May 13, 2013) – This past weekend, OluKai celebrated extended family and Hawaiian culture at its 5th annual Ho'olaule'a on May 11-12 in Maui, Hawaii. Event participants and festivalgoers gathered Saturday and Sunday for what has become one of the most celebrated festival and elite standup paddle competitions (SUP) in the world. With the largest gathering in its history, the event featured canoe sailing, surfing, ancient Hawaiian games, luau, hula, and a history making live music concert.
Competing for equal gender prize money of $15,000, SUP and OC1/OC2 (outrigger canoe 1 man/outrigger canoe 2 man) racers traveled from 10 countries and throughout the U.S. to compete in the Maliko Downwind run, one of the largest SUP races in the world which spans 8 miles of infamous open ocean.
The top 3 winners in men's SUP included Connor Baxter taking 1st place and Dave Kalama and Kai Lenny taking 2nd and 3rd respectively. Taking 1st place in women's SUP was Andrea Moller, followed by Talia Gangini in 2nd and Devin Blish in 3rd. In men's OC1/OC2, Kai Bartlett finished 1st, Manny Kulukulualani 2nd, and the team of Dave Kalama and Junya McGurn finished 3rd. The top 3 in the women's OC1/OC2 race were Lauren Spalding in 1st, Andrea Moller in 2nd and Dane Ward in 3rd. For more information and full results of the SUP race, go to http://live.pseresults.com/e/27#/. For more information on the OC1/OC2 races, go to http://live.pseresults.com/e/28#/.
In celebration of the competition and its giveback partners, OluKai presented a musical history-making concert Saturday night featuring six of Hawaii's top musical recording artists on one stage, for a Hawaiian Kanakapili style back yard jam; 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 and longtime OluKai brand partner, Anuhea, along with Billboard's #1 Reggae artist, Mishka, played several of their original hits as well as special selections, traditional and modern, in various configurations with each other.
“Each year we are inspired by the Ho’olaule’a and how it brings together such incredible people for two days of celebrating Hawaiian culture," says OluKai Director of Marketing, Kerry Konrady. “From elite paddlers and competitors, world class musicians, volunteers from around the community, our retail partners, to locals and visitors looking to share Aloha, the event has become truly one of the world’s elite paddling and cultural festivals. We thank everyone who has supported the effort.”
Consistent with its commitment to always giving back through its Ohana Giveback program, OluKai made monetary donations in excess of $20,000 to the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association, Maui Cultural Lands, Lae Ula o Kai Canoe Club, Uhane O Waa Kaulua, Paia Youth and Cultural Center and Zenshin Daiko. And continuing with its hands-on approach to giving back, OluKai employees who qualified for travel to Ho'olaule'a by contributing a minimum of 20 hours of local service leading up to the event, wrapped up the weekend at the Maui Cultural Lands Giveback Day. Local volunteers and OluKai staff traveled to Honokowai Valley, a cultural heritage preservation site to contribute efforts towards reforestation and archeological stabilization projects.
Through this one-of-a-kind festival, OluKai connects major influential leaders of the industry; this year OluKai hosted special guests from major and specialty retailers including REI, Zappos, and Sport Chalet; professional paddlers driving the sport of SUP; cultural icons like Archie Kalepa; six renowned musicians; OluKai staff, and over 2,000 passionate locals and festivalgoers.
OluKai is an ultra-luxury lifestyle brand that believes everyone, no matter where they are, can live Aloha. OluKai is one way to unlock its spirit in all of us. It is an inspired brand that whole heartedly believes in creating an emotional connection with the consumer and communicates from an "inside-out perspective." The company is committed to building a unique and better class of products that blend ocean heritage with modern performance while leaving the smallest footprint possible on the planet. Through its Fit by Nature™, Crafted by Hand™ design principle, OluKai builds every pair of footwear with signature anatomically contoured footbeds to deliver the perfect balance of instant comfort and lasting support. Each pair features beautiful, quality materials and handcrafted details inspired by island culture. In every facet of its business, the brand is committed to respecting the people and the environments it touches. Inspired by the strong tradition of giving an offering or tribute in Polynesian culture, OluKai established the 'Ohana Giveback Program to support the efforts of those who continue to give back to preserve local cultures and traditions. For more information visit www.olukai.com