Video by David Corrigan | Voice of Stephanie Salazar

Paddlers approach the finish at Mauna Lani Bay

KOHALA COAST, Hawaii: More than 150 people took to the waters of the Kohala Coast on Saturday, for the second annual Hulakai Stand Up Paddle Race For Fitness.

SUP and Outrigger Canoe paddlers raced 7.2 miles from Kiholo Bay to the finish at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows.

The fastest team to the finish line was the OC2 duo of Au and Lindsey from Keauhou with a time of 1 hour 2 minutes and 16 seconds.

The fastest solo male paddler was Justin Warren with a time of 1 hour 7 minutes. The fastest female in the OC1 division was Noelani Spencer with a time of 1 hour 11 minutes.

The male SUP winner was Jerry Bess with a time of 1 hour 15 minutes and the female SUP winner was Tammy Aipa Napoleon with a time of 1 hour 38 minutes.

The event, which celebrates the heritage of paddling in Hawaii, is the island ’s biggest paddling fitness event for all ages and levels, with participants ranging from 12 years through to 76 years of age.

We spoke to Jun Balanga, the shaper, designer, and creator of Hulakai, a surfing based company with deep Hawaiian roots. The business is also riding the SUP wave of popularity; its one of the fastest growing water sports and fitness workouts in the world.

After the race, paddlers, along with their friends and family, enjoyed a well-earned BBQ and celebration at the Mauna Lani Bay.