Maui Sports

9th Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a Competition, April 29-30

April 12, 2017, 8:10 AM HST
* Updated April 12, 8:16 AM
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The 9th annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a 8-mile downwind competition takes place April 29-30.

The two-day long festival on Maui’s north shore includes an elite stand up paddle and outrigger canoe race, a fun paddle, family-friendly cultural activities including Hawaiian canoe sailing, and a Lu’au.

OluKai Ho’olaule’a 2015 Paddlers pre race.
Photo by Mark Kushimi

The 2017 OluKai Ho’olaule’a races are expected to bring together more than 500 of the world’s elite paddlers to race in the famous Maliko Downwind Run for the largest gender equal prize purse of $15,000.

Racers from all corners of the globe, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Brazil and Sweden will be vying for the top prize and bragging rights.

“The beauty of Maui’s coast will be highlighted by the elite paddlers coming together to celebrate the spirit of Aloha,” commented OluKai Konohiki (caretaker) and legendary big wave surfer, Archie Kalepa. “The premiere paddling festival, features one of the most fun runs in the world, and will bring the community together to protect and preserve Hawaiian traditions.”


Top performances are expected to participate again this year from five-time OluKai Ho’olaule’a winner and native Hawaiian, Connor Baxter to Sonni Hönscheid who will defend her title in the women’s category.


In addition to the races, festival attendees will be able to help restore ‘Aina Momona (abundant land) through the core principles of sustainability and cultural preservation.

OluKai’s Ama OluKai foundation is partnering with the Hui Aloha ‘Aina Momona nonprofit for a Poi-making workshop.
Participants will learn how to pound taro into poi and will discover more about Hawai‘i’s cultural traditions and why it is critically important to protect them. The workshops are first-come, first-serve and take place both Saturday and Sunday.

OluKai Ho’olaule’a will be filmed in HD and broadcast internationally courtesy of OluKai media partner, Ocean Paddler TV.


The deadline to register for the Premium Race Package, which includes a pair of OluKai sandals, is April 14; participants can register here. Onsite registration will be available on race day.

The schedule for the weekend festivities are:

9 a.m. —‘Ohana Fun Paddle Start
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Music, Ama OluKai Foundation Giveback Activities, Hawaiian Games, Canoe Rides
Noon — Maliko Downwind Eight-mile race to Kanaha Beach Park
1:30 p.m. — Lu’au and Live Music
3 p.m. – SUP Awards Ceremony

11 a.m.-2 p.m. — Music, Ama OluKai Foundation Giveback Activities, Hawaiian Games, Canoe Rides
Noon — OC1/OC2 Race
1:30 p.m. — Lu’au and Entertainment
2:30 p.m. — OC1/OC2 Awards Ceremony

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