by Stephen Garner

OluKaiHawaii-inspired footwear brand OluKai is kicking off its 8th annual Ho’olaule’a three-day ocean festival today, Friday, April 29, on Maui’s North Shore with the second annual ‘Demo Day,’ offering locals and visitors the opportunity to meet with the pros, gain valuable last minute race tips and an opportunity to test out the latest boards and equipment.

The festivities will kick off on Saturday at 8:00 a.m. at Pai’a Bay with the ‘Ohana Fun Paddle, 12:00 p.m. at Maliko Gulch for the SUP race and continue at Kanaha Beach Park until 4:00 p.m. The public is invited to join in the festivities, which include a lu’au, live music from special guests, traditional Hawaiian games, and to cheer on the paddlers and share in the Aloha spirit.

The competitions continue on Sunday, May 1st when the OC1 and OC2 races take to the ocean, coupled with another day of family fun. The Hawaiian Sailing Canoe Association will also stage a spectacular finish to its prestigious Hana to Kahului sailing race, ending on the shores of Kanaha Beach Park that afternoon.
The 2016 OluKai Ho’olaule’a is set to be the biggest yet in the event’s history bringing together around 600 of the world’s elite paddlers to race the famous Maliko Downwind Run for the largest gender equal prize purse of $15,000.

“It’s always exciting to see this festival come together,” said Archie Kalepa, OluKai Konohiki (caretaker) and legendary big wave surfer. “From having the competitive elite from all over the globe descend on Hawaii, to the energy of the local community; everyone is here to celebrate and support the spirit of Aloha.”

If you’re in town, go check it out.