2018 Olukai Ho’olaule’a Outlook:What If you Hold A Downwind Race but the Wind Doesn’t Show Up?

Lisa Schell Events, Previews Leave a Comment

Olukai Weather Not Cooperating

I’m starting to think that whacky Carolina weather has decided to follow me where ever I go, even to Maui.

For the second year in a row, weather is not cooperating for the Olukai Ho’olaule’a, an eight-mile downwinder on the storied Maliko Run. Last year the race was postponed a day and ended up being a course race inside the reef in pouring rain. This year, conditions are not bad enough to warrant that kind of wholesale change in plans, but the wind is definitely not doing it’s normal trade windy thing.

I’ve told my Maui friends that it’s okay, they can blame us for bringing a bit of Carolina weather uncertainty to the Valley Isle, but locals like Jeremy Riggs assure me that April’s downwind conditions are never as consistent and predictable as they are later in the summer.

As it stands now, the race will go on as planned but winds will be coming out of the North, not the East. Swells from the northwest-ish, or so it would appear.  What’s also uncertain is what the conditions will be over the reef at the finish of the race. Will it be mild and easy to negotiate through the break in the reef, or will the waves jack up?

This is the 10th anniversary of the Olukai, and it features for the first time ever, a foil division as well as a prone division – the foils will race Sunday with the longboats while prones will join the SUPs today, Saturday.


Some locals here are talking about the Kihei run – on the other side of the island -possibly being good, but some forecast models are calling for a south swell to hit that side of the island, which might make that run difficult. And apparently a south swell this time of year is, you guessed it, unusual. It could make for some fun surf on the west side.

No matter what, there will be something fun, somewhere,  to get into this weekend for sure, and at the very least, the Olukai folks sure do throw a good party afterward!

So stay tuned and good luck to everyone out having fun on the water this weekend – no matter what you’re doing!



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