Challenge starts Thursday

When the 6th annual Kaua‘i World Challenge gets under way, $20,000 in purse money will be on the block.

The OC-1, OC-2 and surfski coastal relay boasts the largest purse in the nation, said Alana Goo-Frazier, in a Hoe Wa‘a press release.

The main event for the Kaua‘i World Challenge is the 34-mile run from Wailua to Salt Pond starting at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Teams literally sprint from Wailua to Hanama‘ulu, on to the Kalapaki Beach fronting the Kaua‘i Marriott, down south to the beach fronting the Marriott Waiohai Beach Club before finishing at the Salt Pond Beach Park.

A post-race party will include lunch, beverages and entertainment.

Prior to the Saturday event, two individual warm-up races will take place on Thursday and Friday. These races offer cash prizes in addition to the Saturday event with no additional entry fee required.

On Thursday, racers will be running from Kalihiwai to Ha‘ena with a 1 p.m. registration at Kalihiwai Bay and a 2 p.m. start.

Friday’s race will be from Wailua to Kalapaki with registration starting at 11 a.m. and the race starting at noon.

Following that, paddlers have a last chance to register at the Friday night event at Lydgate Park Main Pavilion with registration taking place from 4 p.m.

A trade show will start at 5 p.m. with a paddlers’ race meeting and spagetti dinner to follow.

An OC-6 race starting at 9 a.m. on May 11 will conclude the series with another $5,000 in cash offered for the top teams.

Last year’s event attracted 274 athletes from different parts of the state and the Mainland, and was won by the team of Kai Bartlett and Kea Paiaina who made the 34-mile journey in 3:41.46, just about a minute faster than the runner-up crew of Dolan Everole and Matt Dubuell (3:42.03).

The Bartlett/Paiaina team earned first overall honors as well as first in the OC-1 division, followed closely by the team of Maui Kjeldsen and Manny Kulukulualani (3:42.37) who finished second in the OC-1 division.

With all three overall finishers finishing within a minute of each other, and Bartlett, teaming with Aaron Napoleon, to finish second in the Rhino Kaiwi Channel Race Sunday, the race should provide spectators with lots of excitement.

The public is invited to view the races at the relay transition points and join the fun at the post-race awards party at Salt Pond.

For race registration and information, visit the Kaua‘i World Challenge Web site at www.kauaiworldchallenge.com, or the Kaua‘i Hoe Wa‘a Web site at www.kauaihoewaa.com.

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