Tihati Ignites the Fire in First Annual Maui Competition
By Wendy Osher
Richard Siolosega from the North Shore of O’ahu took the title in the 1st Annual Maui Fireknife Competition over the weekend in Wailea.
As the inaugural title holder in the Maui event, Sioloega was awarded a $1,000 cash award, and sponsorship to compete in the 2011 World Fireknife Competition at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie.
The Grand Prize also includes a round trip inter-island ticket, ground transportation and lodging.
The Second Place award of $500 in cash and additional prizes went to Julian Andrew Maeva of American Samoa.
Third Place went to Martin Taylor Tevaga of Wailuku, Maui, who was awarded $250 in cash and additional prizes.
The event, entitled “Si’a Le Afi … Ignite the Fire!” was presented by Tihati Productions over the course of two days on the oceanfront luau grounds of the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. The first ever Maui event also included a viewing of the newest Tihati Production, “Te Au Moana Luau … The Ocean Tides.”
The event began with all competitors competing in a preliminary round, and only the top three highest scored competitors advancing to the finals. The competition was scored by three judges including renown Fireknife dancer, and founder of the World Fireknife Competition at the Polynesian Culutral Center, Pulefano Galea’i. Joining him in scoring the event were Malo Seleni and Alex Galea’i, a former World Fireknife Champion and Titleholder.