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Published on : Friday, June 12, 2015
New York, NY — As the largest outrigger regatta on the East Coast, Hawaiian Airlines is proud to once again sponsor the 19th annual Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge, hosted by New York Outrigger. The internationally-recognized outrigger canoe race and Pacific Island festival will bring nearly 400 athletes from around the globe to Hudson River Park’s Pier 26 on Saturday, June 20, 2015. The first 15-mile race begins at 7:30 a.m. while the festival will be open to the public 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
With athletes from Australia, Brazil, Hawaii, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and more, the 2015 Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge invites challengers to race outrigger canoes in a 15-mile course in the waters adjacent to the World Trade Center, Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. The busy harbor will remain open to typical boat traffic, challenging each crew of six to navigate complicated currents, heavy commercial traffic and pleasure craft, and transforming the waterways into a dramatic urban stadium.
The outrigger canoe dates back thousands of years to Polynesia and the Pacific and was used as a mode of transportation between the islands. Identified by the outrigger stabilizer lashed to the side, the outrigger gives the canoe increased stability during the rigorous competition. This year’s race proudly recognizes inspiring athletes from around the world, such as the all-star team Kaua’i Wa’a, a young group of Hawaiian paddlers spending their first time in New York City racing their Hawaiian spec class canoe.
“As one of the world’s most prestigious outrigger races, we hope to elevate the global competition and share the sport of outrigger canoeing, part of our island culture, with New York City,” said Kevin Yim, senior director of global marketing communications for Hawaiian Airlines. “Together with Hawaiian Airlines’ nonstop service from JFK to Honolulu, we’re honored to bring the spirit of Hawaii to New York.”
The 15-mile women’s competition begins at 7:30 a.m., the 15-mile men’s competition begins at 11:00 a.m., and the 11-mile mixed competition begins at 2:30 p.m. All races start and finish at Hudson River Park’s Pier 26 and can be viewed from Manhattan, Brooklyn and Governors Island and the Jersey City and Hoboken waterfronts.
“New York’s waterways are our city’s sixth borough, providing commercial and recreational opportunities for all New Yorkers,” said Brent Beck, president of New York Outrigger. “We are thrilled to again partner with Hawaiian Airlines on the Liberty Challenge, which celebrates our city’s revitalized waterfront and the global community of outrigger canoe paddling.”
Earlier this year, Hawaiian Airlines was also a second year sponsor of the Hawaiian Airlines Sydney Harbour Challenge, an international outrigger canoe race on Sydney Harbor hosted by the Australian Outrigger Canoe Racing Association (AOCRA). The team winners of the Open Men’s and Open Women’s Divisions in these respective races will win complimentary round-trip tickets on Hawaiian Airlines and an entry for their crew members to compete in Hawai‘i’s elite championship races this fall:the Hawaiian Airlines Moloka‘i Hoe or Hawaiian Airlines Nā Wahine O Ke Kai. Widely considered the world championships of the traditional Hawaiian sport of outrigger canoeing, these long distance races from Moloka‘i to O‘ahu—across the treacherous Ka‘iwi Channel—will take place on Sept. 27 and Oct. 11, 2015, respectively.
To immerse New Yorkers in the spirit of Aloha, a free Pacific Island festival featuring one-of-a-kind island-themed activities will include a wide variety of entertainment for people of all ages including a Family Tent with lei making and hula lessons. The festival will be open to the public 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guests are welcomed by international music and dance on the Hawaiian Airlines stage as well as popular local food truck vendors such as East Coast Poke, DUB Pies, Brooklyn Organic Coffee and Tea, and Uncle Gussy’s.
Source:- Hawaiian Airlines