World Best Water Athletes to compete at the World Paddle Expo which benefits HCKT and Friends of Hawaiian Charities
Honolulu, HAWAII -The inaugural World Paddle Expo will feature the best local, national and international water athletes and showcase vendors from a large variety of paddle sports all to benefit local youth paddlers. Held at the Ala Wai Community Park on October 3rd, 2010, the premiere event will act as an exhibition for six different areas of paddling, ranging from Olympic caliber K1 kayaking to one-person outriggers canoes, rudderless canoes, SUP, surf ski and paddle boarding.
Formatted much like existing world class events such as the IVF World Sprints for Outrigger and the ICF flatwater Olympic competition for kayaking, competitors will race in 200m heats throughout the day in pursuit of a $6,000 prize purse.
The public event will feature a youth, open and elite division for various levels of experience and hopes to attract all who have an interest in water sports and traditional Hawaiian paddling. Unlike other single craft sprint events, the World Paddle Expo will provide water crafts to keep it fair and also award the best all-around water man who is able to achieve the best results in all six disciplines.
This first-ever event has already attracted the interest of paddlers from across the world, with paddlers committed from Italy, Hungary and Australia. Ensuring strong international competition, the Expo it will be held between the weeks of what's known as the World Championships of Outrigger paddling, the Na Wahine 'O Ke Kai for women and the Molokai Hoe for men.
"Our goal is to provide an opportunity for local athletes to compete against the best in the world and bring together the all paddling communities locally and abroad," said event director Shelley Oates-Wilding. "We also want prepare our youth to dream of one day representing Hawaii on the world and Olympic stage."
Profits from the event benefit the Hawaii Canoe and Kayak Team who last month sent 18 athletes to the National Kayaking Championships in Oklahoma City. The team and training site, is now home to the National Men's Kayaking Team, training here for the London 2012 Olympics, with two of our local national team members Patrick and Ryan Dolan, who will undoubtedly be the ones to watch in the elite category.
Those who aren't as water savvy still have a lot to look forward too. Spectators can experience outrigger canoeing through clinics and exhibitions, as well as browse the various local businesses. Assorted vendors will be set up to talk story with members of the paddling community and provide valuable resources for those interested in the sport.
Local sponsors have also stepped up to make the event world class. Outrigger Hotels and Resorts are offering great deals for both spectators and competitors during the Expo, and Umeke Market will provide their delicious local food for competitors. The awards presentation will be held at Murphy's Bar and Grill immediately following the event.
"Hawaii Canoe and Kayak Team has provided a pathway for our athletes to compete in the Olympic Games since 1988, we are now at the stage of requiring more equipment and resources to continue to develop our youth into champion athletes and people," commented Oates-Wilding.
"This event is a major fund raiser to enable us to take our Hawaiian paddling culture to the world and bring the World to Hawaii, so please come and enjoy all the wonderful benefits of our sport, our culture and our people. "
More details are available at www.worldpaddleexpo.com and www.HCKT.org
The Hawai'i Canoe & Kayak Team (HCKT) was founded in 1988 through a United States Olympic Committee grant with Billy Whitford hired to recruit and train young paddlers. In the first year, 18 Hawai'i athletes attended the U.S. Canoe and Kayak Nationals and brought home 76 metals. Subsequently, HCKT won five consecutive National titles. HCKT has competed in every National Championships and many regional competitions since its founding. HCKT athletes have competed internationally at the highest level of competition. Today, HCKT is guided by Head Coach Shelley Oates Wilding.
For more information visit: www.HCKT.org