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Paddle and Golf with PWF

Get active for the whales.

December 8, 2011
The Maui Weekly

Paddle and Golf with PWF

Get active for the whales.

Paddlers and golfers are invited to participate in upcoming Maui Whale Festival events in December.

Article Photos

Whale watch season has officially arrived on Maui—humpback whales are being sighted on a daily basis. Coinciding with whale watch season is the Maui Whale Festival, featuring dozens of whale-themed events through mid-May. See “Paddle and Golf with PWF” on this page and learn more at Photo: Pacific Whale Foundation

The Maui Whale Festival is a six-month series of events in honor of Maui's humpback whales. Sponsored by the nonprofit Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF), the Maui Whale Festival began right after Thanksgiving with PWF's Welcome Home the Whales Celebration and will continue through mid-May.

"During December, we are holding two recreational events-one for paddlers and a tournament for golfers," said PWF Events Coordinator Toula Vivilakis.

"Both offer a way to get outdoors, have fun, relax and support a good cause during this holiday season."

The first event, "Stand Up for the Whales," takes place on Sunday, Dec. 11. Paddlers-including kayakers and stand up paddlers-are invited to be part of a "paddle powered pod" that will enjoy a 3.2-mile group paddle along the beautiful South Maui coast. The event starts at Haycraft Park in Ma'alaea at 8 a.m. and ends at Kenolio Park in Kihei. A return shuttle to Ma'alaea will be provided.

Paying participants will receive a free PWF rash guard and medallion, plus a refreshment and a snack, and will be entered in a drawing for door prizes. PWF will have staff monitoring the course in kayaks and the raft Ocean Freedom will be standing by to help any paddlers who need assistance.

"We invite the public to join in the fun and adventure of this recreational event and learn about PWF's 'Be Whale Aware' educational program for paddlers and ocean users," said Vivilakis. We want to be sure everyone understands that all vessels may not approach whales within 100 yards."

The entry fee is $50 for adults; $42 for PWF members; $40 for youth ages 12 to 15. Children under 12 are free, but must be accompanied by a legal guardian (and will not receive the free rash guard.) A parent waiver is required for participants age 13 to 18.

Register by Friday, Dec. 9, for an entry fee discount. The pre-event registration fee is $47 for adults, $39 for PWF members and $37 for youth ages 12 to 15. In the interest of safety, motorized craft or swimmers are not allowed to participate. To sign up, call (808) 249-8811, ext. 1, or visit

PWF's golf tournament, "Golf Fore the Whales," will take place on Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Makena Beach and Golf Resort's North Course. The tournament opens with a shotgun start at 12 noon, with a 4 person scramble. The tournament is open to all individuals or teams of four. The event includes contests, prizes, a silent auction and a pupu reception with live entertainment at Makena's Golf Course's Caf on the Green from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The hole-in-one contests offer the opportunity to win a brand new Prius hybrid, premium golf equipment, premium electronics equipment and a men's or women's Seiko watch.

The tournament fee is $150 for PWF members and $160 for non-members. Register by Dec. 9 and the fee is just $100 for members and $130 for the general public. To sign up, call (808) 249-8811, ext. 1, or 1-800-WHALE-1-1 ext. 1, toll-free.

For information about any of the Welcome Home the Whales events, call PWF at (808) 249-8811, ext. 1, or visit


Submit event press releases to editor@maui Type "blue column" in the subject line.



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