Maui, HI April 28th, 2012
Conditions could not have been more perfect yesterday to welcome more than 60 excited paddlers who ventured down Maui’s famous northern coastal waters for a 3 mile downwind practice paddle, all in preparation for the 4th Annual Ho’olaule’a Fun Paddle presented by OluKai Premium Footwear, taking place this year with the additional SUP & OC1 races on Maui, May 12th & 13th.
At 8:00 AM stand up paddlers and a few kayakers of all ages and abilities signed in at the Paia Youth & Cultural Center and were greeted by OluKai’s Hawaii Ambassador, Matthew Murasko, and by me, Suzie Cooney. With the help of our amazing volunteers, we prepared them for their epic downwind coast adventure. For some it was their first real downwind experience.
After our safety meeting it was time for me to warm up the crowd with a few pre paddle exercises to shake off the jitters. The course which began at Paia Bay was 3 miles to the lifeguard tower at Kanaha Beach Park. There was a small break that made the entry a little heart pounding but everyone made it out just fine. What a site! ( Below, paddlers arriving, workout and pre launch )
With the trade winds starting to blow at around 18-20 mph, the wind swells started to build and gently offer our group some nice glides and rides. The smiles and grins were big, and for some the look of concentration, intense and laser focused. Everyone was helping each other and encouraging one another as the pack spread out as it normally does. Part of the learning is to navigate in water that is moving with a lot more action and swell. This meant bending one’s knees deeper, moving back a little further, and paddling at a faster pace with a lot more effort. To some’s surprise, some were connecting rides and glides like a pro. That was awesome to see.
The first paddler in was a fine gentleman named Bruce. Way to go Bruce! The average time was about 45 minutes or less and for others it took about an hour and some a little longer. High fives and hugs and more big grins. I think these paddlers are ready. ( paddling and finish )
We’d like to thank our volunteers: Alane, Milton, Randy, Donnie, Paul, Tommy, Wes, and Jeff. Also a big Mahalo to Peter Swanzy, director of the Paia Youth & Cultural Center for hosting us.
A special thanks to Jimmie Hepp of Jimmie Hepp Photography for providing his time and talent to give us great memories. Reprints are available. Contact Jimmy direct: email@example.com
Also a big shout out to Kelly Moore of Moore Water Time who offered her reliable and convenient downwind shuttle service to our paddlers. Be sure to call her to catch a ride and a glide.
It’s not too late to enter the main event. You can go to Neil Pryde in Kahului or register online. The Fun Paddle is $20 and includes the luau and awesome entertainment. And if you register before May 4th, ( the 8 mile Maliko race only ) you’ll receive a sweet pair of OluKai Premium Sandals, a value alone of $70. For the price of $50 for recreational, $100 elite, you get a cool race jersey, luau dinner, entertainment and you’ll be stepping in style.
Aloha, Suzie Cooney, CPT and owner of Suzie Trains Maui – Naish SUP Team Rider
Join Us Saturday April 28th, 2012
OluKai and Suzie Cooney host a Free 3 Mile “Practice” Fun Paddle
Paia Youth and Cultural Center 9AM
( no preregistration required )
In preparation for the 4th Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a, and the Fun Paddle Division, join us again for the 3 mile “practice” fun paddle, mini downwinder that everyone can enjoy. Build your water confidence. Anything paddle powered can enter as this is not a competition. The start is at the Paia Youth and Cultural Center and will finish at the lifeguard tower at Kahana Beach Park. ( Details below )
Here is a link to one of last years ( 2011 )second practice paddle.
All ages, all levels of paddlers will enjoy an escorted practice paddle with me and other safety folks. This is a great opportunity for those who desire to experience Maui’s N. shore in a fun and safe manor. Here’s a video from one of last year’s practice paddles: ( 2o11 )
So, grab your stand up paddle board, kayak, 4 man, 6 man, prone paddle board, canoe or anything you can paddle! This is your chance to get ready, test your paddle skills, meet some new friends and join the OluKai ohana. The paddle will take the fastest paddler approximately 30 minutes or less to complete and the average time will be about and hour. Take your time, soak in the sun and paddle with your friends. This is not a race, paddle at your capacity.
PRACTICE 3 MILE FUN PADDLE:
DATE: Saturday, April 28, 2012
WHERE: Start – 28 Hana Hwy: Paia Bay Cultural and Youth Center Finish: Kanaha Beach Park Lifeguard Tower
TIME: Start time is 9:00am ( please arrive by 8:00am to sign in and for course review and safety meeting )
We suggest paddlers carpool and prearrange transportation after the paddle so you can retrieve your car from the Paia Youth and Cultural Center. You will need to provide your own board or gear to paddle.
Any questions, please contact Matthew Murasko, OluKai Premium Footwear Hawaii Ambassador firstname.lastname@example.org
To register for the OluKai Ho’olaule’a Fun Paddle on May 12, 2012, click here. The cost is $20 and includes your entry and luau dinner.
More about the Fun Paddle May 12th, 2012:
The ‘Ohana Fun Paddle, is a non-timed, non-competitive 3-mile fun paddle designed for all members of the community to get out in the ocean for a good cause. The shorter course is less strenuous, and a great way for paddlers of all skill levels to experience a portion of the legendary Maliko downwind run. No timing chips, no age divisions, just come out and paddle! Maui’s own fitness and training expert, Suzie Cooney, will lead paddlers on the 3-mile course.
Represent your ‘ohana in coordinated colors and outfits, or wear your best Hawaiian warrior costume. This is meant to be a fun event! The most festive participants will receive special prizes from OluKai.
A portion of proceeds from the ‘Ohana Fun Paddle go to our ‘Ohana Giveback Program benefitting Maui Cultural Lands and Hawaii’s Junior Lifeguard Program.
Also for those who are interested in the 8 mile SUP race May 12th or the OC1 race May 13th click here.
Suzie Cooney, CPT owner of Suzie Trains Maui
Saturday April 30th, 2011, Maui’s beautiful N. Shore attracted 72 paddlers of all ages and levels of experience for our second three mile Ohana OluKai Practice Fun Paddle! With only two weeks away from the Third Annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a, we welcomed SUP paddlers, prone paddlers and Heather our OC1 paddler; joined us from Paia Bay to the lifeguard tower at Kanaha Beach Park, in preparation for the New Ohana Fun Paddle @ 9AM, May 14th, 2011.
This paddle was our second practice paddle since our first April 2nd, 2011 was such a huge success. Click here to see the video. We wanted to share again and encourage families, new paddlers and those who’ve never done a down winder, to come and build their confidence.
Peter Swanzy and Julianna Prater from Paia Youth and Cultural Center had five youth from 13 to 14 years old join in the practice paddle. The youth have been training with Pete and Julianna over the last month and their training paid off as this was the first time that these youth had paddled this 3 mile distance. A huge sense of accomplishment and pride way to go! We also had paddlers from Sweden, Nevada and England participate.
For some, this was the first or second time ever experiencing a coast run. After everyone signed in, had a little morning coffee and juice, we all gathered as Matthew Murasko, OluKai Hawaii Ambassador, announced our 3 mile course.
Then the ice chest was turned over to me, and I stood up and asked everyone to join me in some warm up exercises and jumping jacks to shake off any pre-paddle jitters or butterflies!
The conditions were perfect and inviting. The trades were light at about 10 knots that provided for some fun glides.
The first group of paddlers arrived to Kanaha in 30 minutes and the last group arrived in 60 minutes. Upon completion paddlers were treated to water, juice, granola bars and Whoopie Pies, a chocolate cake-vanilla ice cream confection handmade by my boyfriend Tommy Callan.
Mahalo to the Maui lifeguards ( Tony Colletta ) from Baldwin Tower and Kanaha Tower for PWC saftey…and special mahalo also to Milton Martinson of Haiku for PWC water safety as well as SUP water safety guards, Chris Pagdilao, John Smalley, Joshua Kjorven, Randy Royse. Also lending a hand and expertise, Deb Driscoll and Blair Thorndike.
We’d also like to thank the crews at the Naish Maui Pro Center and Second Wind for providing a few extra boards for the kids from the youth center.
I know this paddle provided many an amazing, life-changing ocean experience. I was touched to see everyone supporting one another out there and on the beach. For others it was a chance to encourage their loved ones and friends to go to the next level. Well done.
Keep up that that training! The real OluKai Ohana Fun Paddle is May 14 at 9am, same place, same course. Arrive by 8am and Register at OluKai.com. Entry Fee for the 3 mile OluKai Ohana Fun Paddle is $20 and includes one luau dinner wristband.
Aloha and thanks for supporting in community.
Suzie Cooney, CPT Suzie Trains Maui SUP Clinic/Director/ Instructor SUP Team Rider for Naish
Race Results August 23, 2009 Cycle to the Sun Maui’s 36 Mile Race to the top of Haleakala Volcano
It was a great day with many great finishes, as the bright-eyed and some still sleepy-eyed, cycling enthusiasts prepared at the starting line of Maui’s, special annual, Cycle to the Sun. A light drizzle came upon the sleepy town of Maui’s famous N. Shore surf town, Paia, but soon faded before the start. A Hawaiian priest gathered at the starting line to offer his prayers of a great race day for all. ( see lots of photos below ) For race results, click here.
The event was very well organized and went off very smoothly.
- Check In
The organizer and sponsor, Donnie Arnoult, of Go Cycling Maui and wife Michele, greeted the competitors as they signed in, and assured a smooth finish at the top!
People attended from all over the globe as far as Tokyo and Toronto. This for sure was a backyard event, as many locals proved their strength and stamina.
I was co-supporting along with Randy, and Michelle Wagner, for number 128, Gary Tuttle, who by the way rode up on a late model Bontrager, mountain bike! This was Gary’s first race up and with a fantastic time of 4:38, hopefully he’ll be back again next year! Stayed tuned for Gary’s story. Continue reading Race Results August 23, 2009 Cycle to the Sun Maui’s 36 Mile Race to the top of Haleakala Volcano