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Fourth Annual Sydney Harbour Challenge Presented By Hawaiian Airlines Livestreamed And Bigger Than Ever

February 21, 2017 Sports No Comments Email Email

One of the world’s most spectacular international outrigger canoe racing events will come to Sydney again this month with over 1,000 paddlers from across Australia and around the world competing in the fourth annual Sydney Harbour Challenge presented by Hawaiian Airlines on Saturday, 25 February 2017. 

Hawaiian Airlines, a proud sponsor since the regatta’s inception in 2014, will be transporting two teams from its island home, including Red Bull Wa’a from Kona and the carrier’s very own Team Kokua from Honolulu. This year’s event has also attracted teams from across Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Tahiti, Tonga and the U.S. Mainland.

Beginning at 8am, crews will be racing throughout the day on a challenging 22km course from Manly Cove to Luna Park and back, through ocean swell as they round the cliffs at Middle Head and flat water within the harbour itself, passing Sydney Harbour National Park, Bradleys Head, Taronga Zoo, the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

This year, in recognition of the sport’s growing global fan base, organisers of the highly successful regatta have invested significant resources to produce a high-quality livestreamed webcast that will be available at –  www.sydneyharbourchallenge.sydney

In recent years, livestreaming of large-scale events has become one of the preferred ways viewers globally follow their favourite sports. Accordingly, Australian Outrigger Canoe Racing Association (AOCRA), Hawaiian Airlines and Destination NSW have ensured a full production team will be on site to webcast the 2017 regatta.

“Without a doubt, the Sydney Harbour Challenge presented by Hawaiian Airlines has grown to become the largest international outrigger canoe racing regatta in the Southern Hemisphere with a huge following nationally and internationally,” Australian Outrigger Canoe Racing Association (AOCRA) President, Mark Forbes said.

“There is an unofficial international tour of outrigger canoe racing events around the world which culminate in ‘world championship’ events held in the sport’s traditional home of Hawaii every September and October. In just four years, the Sydney Harbour Challenge presented by Hawaiian Airlines has established itself as one of the cornerstone events of the international tour.”

Hawaiian Airlines’ Regional Director Australia, Gai Tyrrell, said: “Outrigger canoe racing is the official team sport of the state of Hawaii. It is part of Hawaii’s cultural heritage. We are so proud to see how huge the Sydney Harbour Challenge has become in just four short years; and of course to have our own men’s crew – Team Kokua – competing once again in this spectacular event on Sydney’s stunning harbour.”

Hawaiian Airlines’ Regional Director Australia, Gai Tyrrell, said: “Outrigger canoe racing is the official team sport of the state of Hawaii. It is part of Hawaii’s cultural heritage. We are so proud to see how huge the Sydney Harbour Challenge has become in just four short years; and of course to have our own men’s crew – Team Kokua – competing once again in this spectacular event on Sydney’s stunning harbour.”

“Every race starts and finishes in the wonderful natural arena that is Manly Cove and thanks to the incredible enthusiasm of Manly Local Council we have been able to create a fantastic festival atmosphere right across the weekend for competitors and the general public alike. 2017 is going to be huge!” she added.

The event hub at Manly Cove will feature a range of supporting events including Hawaiian music and hula performances at Manly Wharf on Saturday 25 February.

A traditional indigenous Welcome to Country is scheduled for 6.30am at Manly Cove on Saturday 25 February, followed by a formal Hawaiian Blessing of the Canoes at 7.15am.

The program includes men’s, women’s and mixed teams competing in short and long-course races. The weekend’s showcase events on Saturday are the 8.00am Mixed V6 22km Race, the 11.00am Women’s V6 22km Race, and the 2.00pm Men’s V6 22km Race.  First place winners in the men’s and  women’s division of the 2017 Sydney Harbour Challenge will win roundtrip airfare to Hawaii and the opportunity to compete in the Hawaiian Airlines Molokaʻi Hoe and the Hawaiian Airlines Na Wahine O Ke Kai courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines.

AOCRA President, Mark Forbes, added: “Once again AOCRA thanks Destination NSW and Hawaiian Airlines for their ongoing support – and also the Pacifica Outrigger Canoe Club on Sydney’s Northern Beaches for once again performing race marshalling duties across the weekend.”

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