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Aloha! Hawaiian Airlines Turns Sydney Harbour Into Hawaii For The Day

March 4, 2014 Destination Hawaii No Comments Email Email

And they are off!... in the inaugural Mens 20km Hawaiian Airlines Sydney...Hawaiian Airlines and the Australian Outrigger Canoe Racing Association held the first ever international outrigger canoe race on stunning Sydney Harbour, which became Hawaii for the day on Sunday, with 87 men’s, women’s and mixed teams competing in the short and long course race program.

Teams from all over the world competed for the inaugural Hawaiian Airlines Sydney Harbour Challenge, including from New York, Philippines, Singapore, New Zealand and Tonga, with a special men’s team made up of Hawaiian Airlines employees also travelling from Hawaii to compete and Australian teams travelled from Perth, Darwin, Cairns, the Gold Coast, and Tasmania.

In addition, two-time world surfing champion, expert SUP rider and all-round awesome waterman, Tom Carroll, was Master of Ceremonies for the day’s program of events at Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

Australian Outrigger Canoe Racing Association President Mark Forbes acce...AOCRA President, Mark Forbes, said the Association is overwhelmed by the response from international teams wanting to participate in the inaugural event, saying “When you are creating an entirely new event it can go either way but registrations have shown that the opportunity to compete at a location as beautiful and iconic as Sydney Harbour is incredibly attractive to the global outrigger canoe racing fraternity.”

He added, “We are convinced the Hawaiian Airlines Sydney Harbour Challenge will indeed become one of the world’s most prestigious outrigger canoe racing events in the years to come.”

Early in the Mens 20km race - the Hawaiian Airlines team - centre foregr...In what appeared to me to be an incredibly tough race in the rather choppy waters of Sydney Harbour, the races started at Middle Harbour Yacht Club by the Spit Bridge, with the Women’s/Mixed team 20km long course at 8am and the Men’s 20km long course race at 11:00am.

The outrigger canoes paddled fiercely out of Middle Harbour, around Middle Head, along the northern side of Sydney Harbour, until the turnaround point near Bradfield Park, and then back to Middle Harbour, with hand blisters and aching muscles very much having to be the order of the day!

Passing Balmoral Beach soon after the start of the Hawaiian Airlines Sydney Harbour Challenge...Hawaiian Airline’s Director of Advertising and Promotions, Kevin B Yim said, “Hawaiian Airlines has been the proud sponsor of the annual Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge race event in New York City for two years now, out of its proud 18-year history, and we are incredibly proud that the Australian Outrigger Canoe Racing Association has also allowed us to lend our support to the staging of the first ever Hawaiian Airlines Sydney Harbour Challenge.”

He added, “Crews competing this year on your beautiful Sydney Harbour will be part of what we hope will become one of the world’s most prestigious outrigger canoe racing events,”  adding, “We look forward to being part of this event for many years to come.”

A report by John Alwyn-Jones, Special Correspondent.

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