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Hawaiian Airlines Sydney Harbour Challenge Set For Launch On 2 March 2014

February 12, 2014 Lifestyle No Comments Email Email

Hawaiian Airlines and the Australian Outrigger Canoe Racing Association (AOCRA) will stage the first international outrigger canoe race on Sydney Harbour on Sunday 2 March 2014, attracting more than 70 men’s, women’s and mixed teams to compete in the short- and long-course race program.

The inaugural Hawaiian Airlines Sydney Harbour Challenge will include teams from around the world –
New York, Philippines, Singapore, New Zealand and Tonga. Australian teams competing are from as far afield as Perth, Darwin, Cairns, the Gold Coast, and Tasmania. A special men’s team made up of Hawaiian Airlines employees will also travel from Hawaii to compete. In addition, two-time world surfing champion, expert
SUP rider and all-round awesome waterman, Tom Carroll, will be Master of Ceremonies for the day’s program of events at Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

“Hawaiian Airlines has been 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,” said the airline’s Director of Advertising and Promotions, Kevin B. Yim.

“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. We look forward to being part of this event for many years to come.”

AOCRA President, Mark Forbes, said the Association is overwhelmed by the response from international teams wanting to participate in the inaugural event.

“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. 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,” Mr Forbes said.

“AOCRA is also proud to announce that we will have a ‘NO LIMITS’ Adaptive crew take to the course in what will be the first time an Adaptive crew has competed in an Australian OC6 Outrigger marathon. These Adaptive paddlers will represent Australia in the 2014 World Sprints in Rio with the main goal being the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio,” he added.

The starting point for the day’s racing program will be Middle Harbour Yacht Club, with team registrations commencing from 6am. The Women’s / Mixed team 20km long course race will start at 8am, with the Men’s 20km long course race to commence at 11am. The race course takes the canoes out of Middle Harbour, around Middle Head, along the northern side of Sydney Harbour, until the turnaround point near Bradfield Park, and back.

Spectators at the Middle Harbour Yacht Club and Clontarf Reserve opposite will be entertained throughout the day with a series of short course outrigger canoe races and, while the long course races are underway, by a range of festivities including Naish N1SCO Stand Up Paddle board events.

A fun highlight of the day will be a “challenge race” over 500m between the winning team of the outrigger canoe short course race and a Hawaiian Airlines-sponsored competition boat crew from North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club. In recognition of its close relationship with Hawaiian Airlines, the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club is providing water safety services for the entire race program.

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