Spectacular finish to 8th Annual OluKai Hoʻolauleʻa

Maui’s Lauren Spalding has won every time she has competed 

Australia’s Travis Grant takes home his first win

 Experience the Aloha Festivities:  @OluKai #OluKaiRace

Kahului, Maui: Spectators witnessed an incredible finish to the 8th annual OluKai Hoʻolauleʻa three-day ocean festival today with Australia’s Travis Grant and Maui’s Lauren Spalding taking home the top honors and sharing the equal gender purse prize.

 The prestigious eight-mile elite OC1 and recreational OC2 race saw over 120 of the world’s best paddlers battle it out on the famous Maliko Downwind Run on Maui’s North Shore. The 2016 race produced an exciting field of the world’s top ranked pros, who rarely line-up together for short distance races.

 Paddlers couldn’t have asked for better conditions with straight out of the east 15-20 knot winds at the start, offering perfect downwind surfing.

 Travis Grant, a resident of Oahu, claimed first place in the men’s OC1 division with a time of 48:06. He has placed second numerous times in the event, but today’s win was his first.  His smile was hard to miss as he noted, “It was an all out sprint and the competition was huge.”

 “The hardest thing today was that the elite started behind everyone so we had to weave our way through- and we are not used to doing that,” said Grant referencing the staggered start. He also competed in the Stand Up Paddle division at the 8th annual OluKai Ho‘olaule‘a. “It threw me off yesterday so I planned my attack differently today.”

 Local Lauren Spalding has competed in this event three times to date and has won each time.  This race was her return to competitive form after having a baby last year. Her time of 53:25 claimed the win.

 “When you are out there, it is such a fun race. I really do think this is the race to do now,” said Spalding. “The prize money is amazing and OluKai does such a good job of making the event really fun for everyone- not just athletes.”

 “I really have to give a shoutout, my hat’s off for appreciation to OluKai ,” stated Spalding regarding the equal gender purse prize. “You really don’t see that in sports, and especially in canoe paddling.”

 The final day also included a spectacular finish of The Hawaiian Sailing Canoe Association’s second race of a seven race series that will cover the entire Hawaiian island chain. Captain Donnie Jones and his crew from Kauai captured the win, while Marvin Ostuji and his OluKai team came in a close second.

 The weekend’s races drew over 500 paddlers among the different competitions. Next year’s 9th Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a will be held April 28-30, 2017.

 It is not only about competition at the Ho’olaule’a. Tomorrow the OluKai team will spend the day giving back to the community as part of Ama OluKai Foundation’s mission in Hawaii.

 OluKai Hoʻolauleʻa will be filmed in HD and broadcast internationally courtesy of OluKai media partner, Ocean Paddler TV.

Full race results available here

For more information visit www.olukai.com/race

2016 OluKai Ho’olaule’a OC1 Race Results

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Elite Men

Elite Women