Kaua‘i World Challenge

race set for next week

by the garden island

Expedia.com announced it will again be the main sponsor for the 2007 Kaua‘i World Challenge. With a $25,000 cash award, this is the largest purse for any canoe event in Hawai‘i with over 300 paddlers expected to compete.

The event will be held next week from May 10 to 12.

Two warm-up races will be run Thursday and Friday. The 34-mile main race next Saturday is comprised of two- or four-person relay teams, depending on one- man (OC1) or two-person (OC2) outrigger canoes being used.

It runs from Wailua Beach with changes at Hanama‘ulu Beach, Kalapaki Beach, Po‘ipu Beach and the finish at Salt Pond Beach Park.

Depending on the conditions, top competitors will be finishing in just under four hours. Following the end of the race, a party with live entertainment is held in conjunction with the awards ceremony.

New for this year, a six-man outrigger race will be held on Sunday, May 13 and will begin at Kalapaki Beach fronting the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort and will finish at the Waiohai Marriott on Po‘ipu Beach. This offers paddlers visiting from around the world a chance to race as a six-person team and win additional money.

This 12-mile race will be open to men, women, and mixed teams in various age divisions. A combined $5,000 purse will be offered to division winners.

The Expedia.com race is held to focus on Kaua‘i and the sport of outrigger canoe paddling which is one of the oldest competitive sports in Hawai‘i.

The race is held at the end of the Hawai‘i OC1/OC2 paddling season and falls between the Starbucks Moloka‘i to O‘ahu relay race and the Moloka‘i World Championships.

Many world-class competitors travel from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Tahiti, Hong Kong and the Mainland to participate in these various Neighbor Island races.

Paddlers in the previous Kaua‘i World Challenge races have come from Maine, Florida, England, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Cook Islands, and Brazil.

For further information, log on to www.kauaiworldchallenge.com.

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