16th annual outrigger canoe race to take place on June 23, 2012 in New York City
Honolulu – May 16, 2012 - Hawaiian Airlines and New York Outrigger (NYO) announced today that Hawaiian will become the title sponsor of the 2012 to 2014 Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge, hosted by New York Outrigger. The 16th annual outrigger marathon of the harbor will take place on June 23, 2012, and will transform the New York and New Jersey Waterways into a dramatic oceanic backdrop for this highly competitive test of team endurance.
A destination for outrigger athletes from around the world, this year’s event will feature Team Primo, the all-star Hawaii team of champions who have broken boundaries in water sports and are regarded by many as the ultimate competitors in ocean racing. Event festivities will be held at Brooklyn Bridge Park with additional spectator viewing stations at Piers 25 and 66 in Hudson River Park.
“We are bringing Hawaii to New York with the start of our new nonstop service from JFK to Honolulu on June 5, and this is a great way to celebrate,” said Peter Ingram, Hawaiian’s chief commercial officer. “We hope to elevate the competition and bring the spirit of Hawaii to what is already a fantastic showcase for endurance outrigger canoeing.”
“With 160 square miles of rivers, bays, creeks, inlets and ocean in the five boroughs, New York City provides a majestic sea-level panorama to complement the competitive spirit of the Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge,” said Adrian Benepe, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. “We are proud that these athletes have access to safer and cleaner water for this race around our own string of islands within one of the world’s premier harbors.”
The premier event of New York Outrigger, the Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge is one of the most prestigious long-distance outrigger canoe races in the world, drawing over 300 world-class international athletes for the chance to compete in the bustling New York City Harbor in front of thousands of spectators. Teams not only have to gauge the strong tidal currents with their dramatic and sudden shifts, but they must also negotiate the vast number of ferries, cruise ships, tour boats, barges, tankers and pleasure craft that fill New York Harbor, the East River and the Hudson River. Men, women, and co-ed crews race along a challenging and
visually-stunning course, which includes recognized landmarks and National Parks sites including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Governors Island.
“We often compete in some pretty exotic locations, but this is the first time we’ll have the chance to test our skills in New York,” said Jimmy Austin of Team Primo, world champion and record-holder of the Steinlager Kaiwi Channel Solo crossing between Molokai and Oahu islands. “It will be neat to represent Hawaii, share the aloha, and do our bit to spread awareness on the East Coast of outrigger paddling as Hawaii’s official state team sport. It’s going to be exciting out there, we can’t wait!”
The multi-year sponsorship agreement includes renaming the event known previously as Liberty World Outrigger Competition as the Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge, hosted by New York Outrigger, as well as providing support to underwrite the costs of running and promoting the event.
“Today’s announcement is a huge step forward for raising awareness of New York’s vibrant waterfront community," said Brent Beck, president of New York Outrigger. "We view the Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge as an opportunity to spotlight New York Harbor and the amazing progress concerned groups have made in both river quality and shoreline greenways. With a course that runs through the East River, Hudson River and the Harbor, competing teams get a full tour of New York City's unofficial sixth borough, its waterways. We are also thrilled to partner with Hawaiian Airlines to host athletes from across the globe and share with them our sense of urban aloha.”
The event is run in three 11 to 15-mile heats, with the 15-mile women’s competition beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET, the 15-mile men’s competition beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET, and the 11-mile co-ed competition beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. All heats begin on the East River under the Manhattan Bridge and finish at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Updates on the event are available online. Please look for continued Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge announcements at LibertyOutrigger.org, or follow updates on Twitter (@NYOliberty), (#libertychallenge). Become a fan on Facebook at facebook.com/LibertyChallenge.
About New York Outrigger
Based in Hudson River Park in New York City, New York Outrigger (NYO) is dedicated to inspiring paddlers and providing New Yorkers with a unique opportunity to experience the city through its waterways. As a volunteer-driven, 501(c)(3) non-profit we strive to educate New Yorkers about outrigger canoe paddling and its roots in Polynesian culture through participation in our races, intruction, and educational initiatives. The Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge, NYO’s premier event, is one of the most prestigious outrigger canoe races in the world. NYO is a member of the East Coast Outrigger Canoe Racing Association and is the 2011 champion of the ECORA point-series. For more information, visit NewYorkOutrigger.org.
About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past eight years (2004-2011) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian as the top domestic airline serving Hawaii.
Now in its 83rd year of continuous service, Hawaiian is Hawaii’s biggest and longest-serving airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service from its primary visitor markets on the U.S. mainland. Hawaiian offers nonstop service to Hawaii from more U.S. gateway cities (10) than any other airline, along with service to Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa, and Tahiti. Daily service to New York City will begin in June 2012. Hawaiian also provides approximately 170 daily jet flights between the Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA). Additional information is available at HawaiianAirlines.com. Follow updates on Twitter about Hawaiian (@HawaiianAir) and its special fare offers (@HawaiianFares), and become a fan on its Facebook page (Hawaiian Airlines).
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