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World’s top ocean sports athletes to compete at Maui Jim OceanFest in Kaanapali

By Staff | May 5, 2016

KAANAPALI – Hundreds of the premier ocean sports athletes from around the world will gather on Kaanapali Beach next month for the second annual Maui Jim OceanFest.

Over the course of two days – June 4-5 on the beach in front of the Kaanapali Beach Hotel – teams and individuals will compete in a unique ocean lifeguard-style event that showcases the breadth and diversity of a wide range of international and Hawaiian-style competitive ocean sports.

They are competing for $40,000 in prize money, which is one of the largest purses in the world for this type of event.

“Maui Jim has been enhancing the experience of being in the sun and near water for over 30 years. We once again look forward to hosting friends from around the world to enjoy intense competition and spectacular views on the beaches where our sunglasses were first created,” said Jay Black, vice president, global marketing for Maui Jim Sunglasses.

Maui Jim OceanFest takes place one week after the Maui Jim Molokai Challenge, considered the world championship for surf ski and OC-1 (one-person outrigger canoe) paddling.

“We have custom-designed the Maui Jim OceanFest to offer the most unique and intense competition for athletes,” said Matt Dubrule, event director, Maui Jim Sunglasses.

“But, it’s also a terrific experience for spectators, because the race format at Kaanapali Beach allows us to race very close to shore. The races are under five minutes each, but the intensity is extremely high. The races are fast, competitive and fun.”

The lifeguard-style sprint races include swimming, paddleboard, stand-up paddling (SUP), one-person outrigger canoe, surf ski and elite mixed events that combine the various disciplines, similar to a triathlon.

The “sprint” nature of each race will create constant excitement for participants and spectators. Races will be under five minutes in length and are broken into open and age group categories for both men and women. Participants are encouraged to enter multiple races to accrue cumulative individual and team points.

Complementing an elite field of international ocean athletes, many of Maui Jim’s 250-plus brand ambassadors are expected to participate, most of whom are elite paddlers, surfers and well-known ocean athletes. Reigning 2015 Maui Jim OceanFest overall champion and professional Australian ironman athlete Jackson Maynard is expected to return to defend his title this year.

One of the world’s best SUP champions, Travis Grant, will join a pack of top paddlers, including Zane Schweitzer, Riggs Napoleon and many more. OC-1 champions Kai Bartlett and Pat Dolan, along with some of the world’s top surf ski racers, who will be in town for the Maui Jim Molokai Challenge the prior weekend, will take to the waters for OceanFest.

For an updated list of registered participants, visit: raceroster.com/ events/2016/7247/maui-jim-oceanfest-2016.

Registration will remain open until capacity is reached. All registration fees will be donated to five nonprofit charities: Hale Makua Health Services, Imua Family Services, Women Helping Women, Maui Arts and Cultural Center, and the Maui County Junior Lifeguard Program.

For detailed information on registration and races, visit MauiJimOceanFest.com.