Hundreds Compete in 15th Annual Menehune Mayhem
The 15th Annual Menehune Mayhem was held over the weekend, at Hoʻokipa Beach Park on Maui’s north shore. The event, hosted by Maui surfer Ian Walsh is a non-profit event that’s designed to hone the skills of up and coming Maui surfers, and prepare them for success on a larger scale.
Despite nearly constant rain, hundreds of kids showed up to surf consistent 4-8 foot sets before a crowd of about 500 spectators.
The event format was changed to a two-day event this year, which provided 100 additional kids the opportunity to participate.
When the kids weren’t busy preparing or fueling up for their heat, they were taking part in a beach cleanup lead by the Maui Surfrider Foundation.
Ian and his brothers were raised by an avid surfer, Peter Walsh, and public school teacher, Kitty Walsh. Despite their aquatic achievements, Kitty Walsh said her sons were brought up to work towards educational excellence.
Educational achievement was a component to the Menehune Mayhem event, promoting school smarts among the surfing community. High school students who earned a 3.5 and above won awards at the event, and a collection of the most coveted prizes including computers.
Thanks to the support of the Menehune Mayhem Presenting Sponsor, the George and Betty Harbaugh Foundation, Ian Walsh’s Menehune Mayhem Foundation is also offering two scholarships totaling $5,000 to high school seniors planning to attend college in 2018. The deadline to apply is May 4th.
Lifelong Pāʻia resident, Valerie Toro said that she attends the Menehune Mayhem every year, and finds it to be a valuable asset to Maui youth. “I’m from Pāʻia. I used to walk to Hoʻokipa as a kid. Ian and his brothers grew up here too. Now they are giving back. That’s what our kids need–a sense of place, a sense of ʻohana and a sense of community.”
“In the end, they come for the surfing and iconic goat trophies, but leave with so much more,” event organizers said of participating kids. “The experience offered to the young minds of Maui are those that can perpetuate generations: a positive sense of environmental responsibility, cultural appreciation and a passion for surfing.”
*Kelly Estrella contributed to this report.