HANALEI — The 11th annual Hanalei Bay Swim Challenge is scheduled for July 29.
“It started small, and it’s gotten quite popular,” event coordinator Pam Murphy said Saturday. “It started with the idea that they have something for everyone. It’s just turned into this great family affair, as well as a competitive affair for master swimmers.”
The swim challenge consists of five races this year — the 3,000-meter swim, the 1,000-meter swim, the ages 9-12 division swim, the 8-and-under swim and the 1,000-meter swim with snorkel, fins and mask.
The course length for the keiki races is approximately 150 yards, Murphy said.
Early registration is open through Saturday. The early fee is $40 for adults and $10 for children, and the fee after Saturday is $50 for adults and $15 for children.
Online registration is at hanaleibayswimchallenge.com. Registration will also take place at the HBSC booth at the FitFest in Hanalei on July 22.
Registration the morning of the event begins 7 a.m., and the first race is set for 9 a.m. at the Hanalei Pier. Early arrival is recommended.
The annual event is the signature fundraiser for local nonprofit Namolokama O’Hanalei Canoe Club. A portion of the proceeds will also go to the Waipa Foundation.
“The Waipa Foundation is a fantastic foundation on the North Shore to help teach Hawaiian cultural things,” Murphy said. “They teach taro farming and all the traditional Hawaiian foods, and how to grow them and how to cook them. More importantly, they have a real focus on events and activities for local children, especially those that can’t really afford to do either their camps or do other things. It’s a fantastic organization.”
Last year’s competition brought swimmers from around the world. Most came from Hawaii, but participants also came from 15 Mainland states, Canada, New Zealand and Japan.
“I think one of the ways that it’s become more popular is just word of mouth,” Murphy said. “People that came, maybe they were vacationing here and just having a good time. And then they go home and tell friends. There’s a group of ladies coming from Australia this year, and that’s exactly the case.”
A silent auction will also take place starting at 7 a.m. Prizes include:
w Ski vacations to Mammoth Mountain, Caifornia, and Telluride, Colorado.
w OluKai footwear.
w sunglasses from Smith and Electric.
w Prints from local artists.
w Gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses.
The auction closes before the award presentations. Those interested in auctioning don’t have to attend the event. Contact Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Those interested in donating auction items also can contact Murphy.
Namolokama O’Hanalei Canoe Club is one of the smallest out of 10 clubs on Kauai. The club strives to teach traditional Hawaiian canoe paddling and good sportsmanship through competitive racing.