Wailuku, MAUI: Imua Family Services and Title Sponsor BLUESMITHS Crafted Waterwear are proud to announce the Third Annual Paddle Imua FUN-draiser on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014. The ever-growing benefit for Camp Imua, Paddle Imua follows the renowned Maliko Downwind Run and concludes at the Hawaiian Canoe Club in Kahului.
Paddle Imua is the fastest growing multiple discipline ocean paddle “fun race” open to men and woman of all ages in SUP, OC1, Prone Paddleboard, and men’s Surf Ski that celebrates the lives of special needs children by embracing our connection to the ocean, defining our sense of place, Hawai’i nei. The Paddle Imua Benefit also includes a fun SUP relay featuring SIC Racing Airglide Series inflatable boards. This will take place at Hawaiian Canoe Club after the main race finishes.
Registration and check-in will begin at 10:00 a.m. at Maliko Gulch, and the race will begin promptly at 1 p.m. While the paddlers are out on the water, there will be water and land activities for the special needs kamali’i of Camp Imua between 12 pm and 3 p.m. at Hawaiian Canoe Club in Kahului Harbor. The public can enjoy food available for purchase at 3 p.m. with the awards presentation to follow at 4:30 p.m.
Trophies will be given to the top three finishers in each division. (For specific race or division information, visit the event site at www.paddleimua.com.) Online registration is currently live. The race fee is $50 before May 1st at midnight, and $70 for final registration on Saturday, May 3, 2014 (race day). The first 150 race registrants will receive a Paddle Imua “swag bag”. Food and refreshments will be provided by Maui Brewing Company and Nuka Maui.
Proceeds of Paddle Imua continue to benefit Imua Family Services’ Camp Imua, a 37 year old tradition that takes place in June at Camp Maluhia on the West Maui Mountains. For one week, over 50 special needs campers and more than 250 volunteers come together for a week of crafts, games, swimming, horseback riding, helicopter rides, camp fire, and community. Camp Imua 2014 is scheduled for June 15 – 19.
“BLUESMITHS Crafted Waterwear is proud to be involved again in what is fast becoming a great Maui based event and we hope to raise yet more much needed funds for Camp Imua whilst also having some great water conditions with family and friends. We hope to see you all there, whether you’re a paddler or a supporter.” Says John Smalley, BLUESMITHS Crafted Waterwear Founder.
Additional supporters include Hawaiian Canoe Club, Zevenbergen Capital Investments LLC, Deep Relief Maui, Newf Surfboard Net, Goofy Foot Surf School Maui, Alaska Airlines, Handsome Bugga Production, Tropic Water, Ke Nalu Paddles, Perfect Foods Bar, Da Bounce Party Rentals, Planet Sun Lumeria Maui, and SIC is the official board sponsor of Paddle Imua.
Joined by fellow distinguished water athletes including: Livio Menelau, Tim Lara, and Dane Ward, This year’s honorary chair is veteranPaddle Imua spokesperson, Andrea Moller. The championship winning stand up paddler and big wave surfer’s heart for children and children with special needs is undeniable. “It is all about the kids. It wasn’t an event about winning and I think its inspiring to have an event like this. My entire stand up career, I have not seen anything like this, so I am really glad to be a part of it.
I am stoked that we have this race and to see all the children also being a part of it.” Joining Andrea as Co-Honorary Chair is Camp Imua participant 18 year old Nikilani Rojas. Niki was born with developmental delays and was eventually diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome; today she is a role model who, with the help of Andrea, has been able to enjoy the sport of Stand Up Paddle. Nikilani will go on to represent the state in the Special Olympics this June.
“We are so excited for this third annual Paddle Imua event and to watch it grow into a nationally and internationally recognized event,” said Executive Director Dean Wong. Paddle Imua is proud to present its first annual #ipaddleout Instagram video campaign. Ocean sport athletes all over the world have plugged in to Instagram to declare #ipaddleout for children with special needs. This campaign has gone viral, accumulating thousands of impressions on Instagram, facebook and twitter. To be a part of the movement connect with us on facebook and Instagram at facebook.com/paddleimua and @paddleimua.