Maui Jim Oceanfest 2016

maui jim oceanfest 2016

What happens when you combine all the ocean disciplines into one event? You have a festival celebrating the ocean, the culture and the people who share a common love of multi-disciplinary ocean racing.

maui jim oceanfest girls sup

The Maui Jim Oceanfest 2016 was held last weekend (4 – 5 th June) at Ka’anapali Beach in Maui. Home to the gorgeous resorts of Maui, the beach hosted the carnival putting on a great show celebrating the first weekend of Summer in the northern hemisphere.

maui jim oceanfest karla gilbert

Even though I retired from professional Ironwoman racing nearly 13 years ago (Eekk) I have kept fit mainly through SUP paddling.  With a couple of weeks of re-introducing myself to the other crafts and on the back of major success with the Neurophysics rehabilitation and strengthening program (after a degenerative shoulder threatened last year) I was good to go!

maui jim oceanfest ski

Maui has a long history of ocean sports with many top water-men and women hailing from Hawaii. Seriously who could not live in Hawaii and not be involved in a water sport activity? The Oceanfest included ocean swimming, prone board paddling, solo outrigger canoeing, stand-up board paddling, ocean ski paddling and of course running to link all the disciplines together.


Maui Jim sunglasses have been a great supporter of ocean racing in Hawaii and once again put on an awesome event with over $40,000 in prize money. Sounds great huh? Well, let me clarify something – we had to earn it!

maui jim oceanfest 2016

Over the two-day event, I think I counted myself rounding the buoys 21 times. And they were hard racing – alone the swim leg was coming in at 800m and that was the shortest distance!  

maui jim oceanfest board

The first day was single event racing of all the separate watercraft plus swim. It was a great ice-breaker and gave the event specialists a chance to shine in their pet events. There are a couple of ways you can approach the event. With prizemoney on each race, plus an overall winner my goal was to try to maintain consistency in all events.  Things going well I finished the first day with 4-second places and a first in the prone board event. 

maui jim oceanfest ironwoman

The second day brought a much more demanding workload – with ironman style events, plus run-swim-runs and run-sup-runs. It was great to see so many girls giving each event a go and challenging themselves with a racing-style they may not have necessarily done before.

maui jim oceanfest karla gilbert

Again, being consistent on the second day gave me enough points to win the overall water woman title. The amazing Kathy Shipman from Kehei, Maui placed in second and equally talented Jenni Kalmbach from Kona finishing in third.  Fellow Aussie Jackson Maynard took out the men’s title with training partner Hayden White close behind. South African ocean ski champion Jasper Mocke, proved he has the goods finishing in third overall. 

maui jim oceanfest waterwomen
The water women wahines

Thanks, Maui Jim for the awesome weekend and congrats to everyone that had a go. 😉

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