Saltwater Supremacy

What happens when the world's best paddlers migrate to Maui for a race along one of the most famous downwind courses? You get the OluKai Hoʻolauleʻa.

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I’ve attended the OluKai Hoʻolauleʻa a total of five times in the last eight years it has been running, so I was pretty bummed that I couldn’t be there again this year. That said, I received some photos of the day, which confirmed the fact that I missed out on one heck of a time.

The three-day celebration includes everything from a short fun paddle to a fiercely competitive eight-mile downwind race that features the top SUP and OC-1 paddlers in the world. At the end of it all, there’s a celebration that is always the best party in town. Proof: This year’s surprise guest was Hawaiʻi favorite, The Green!

While the event may be over, the good news is that there’s always next year—which happens to be on April 28-30, 2017. Calendar = marked!

olukai maliko
More than 120 paddlers battled it out along the Maliko Downwind Run along Maui’s North Shore.
olukai pule
Racers gather for a pule (blessing) before the race start.
olukai ocean
With 15-20 knot winds from the east at the start, the conditions were as perfect as the views.
olukai aerial
Racers launch out of Maliko Bay. Next stop: Kanahā Beach Park.
When The Green is the surprise guest, you know you're at the best party in town.
When The Green is the surprise musical guest, you know you’re at the best party in town.

For more information about the event, or to get in on next year’s action, check out the OluKai Hoʻolauleʻa event page.


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