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HTA Announces 2008 Sporting Events Program

HTA Announces 2008 Sporting Events Program ( The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), the state’s tourism agency, has announced its selection of events that will receive funding support through its Sporting Events Program in 2008:

• Pan-Pacific Championship, February 20 and 23, 2008 (NEW) – This international soccer tournament will crown the top club from the Asian and North American soccer confederations. This inaugural event will feature teams from Major League Soccer’s Japan’s J-League and Australia’s Hyundai A-League. (O‘ahu)

• Honolulu Triathlon, May 17-18, 2008 – The Honolulu Triathlon draws over a 1,000 competitors each year. The race begins and finishes at Ala Moana Beach Park. (O‘ahu)

• Moloka‘i World Championships, May 18, 2008 (NEW) – The world’s elite surfski and outrigger canoe paddlers compete in this race across the Kaiwi Channel. (Moloka‘i and O‘ahu)

• Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament, July 28 – August 1, 2008 – Held in Kona on Hawai‘i Island, the annual tournament brings teams from all over the world together for a five-day fishing competition. The team to catch a prized Pacific blue marlin wins the coveted HIBT’s Governor’s Trophy. (Hawai‘i Island)

• Maui Jim Hawai‘i Marlin Tournament Series, June - October, 2008 – This series consists of 6 big game fishing tournaments across the state. (Hawai‘i Island and O‘ahu)

• Duke’s OceanFest, August 16-24, 2008 – Surf legends and celebrities participate in surf contests, tandem surfing, surf polo, and a lū‘au honoring Duke Kahanamoku. All Duke’s OceanFest events take place at Waikīkī Beach. (O‘ahu)

• Maui Marathon, September 13&14, 2008 – As one of the world’s most scenic marathon courses, the Maui Marathon attracts nearly 2,500 runners each year. (Maui)

• Ford Ironman World Championships, October 11, 2008 – The Ford Ironman World Championships attracts more than 1,800 athletes to Kailua-Kona on Hawai‘i Island for a 2.4-mile ocean swim, 112-mile bike race and 26.2-mile run. (Hawai‘i Island)

• XTERRA World Championship, October 19, 2008 – The first XTERRA World Championships in 1996 began with 123 competitors. Since then, the off-road triathlon, held in Mākena on Maui, attracts over 500 athletes from all over the world. (Maui)

• OHCRA Championship Racing Series, August - October, 2008 – This race series includes the State Championships, Elau Hoe, Na Wāhine O Ke Kai and Moloka‘i Hoe. The O‘ahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association (OHCRA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to perpetuating Hawaiian Koa canoe racing. (Moloka‘i and O‘ahu)

• Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, November 12 – December 20, 2008 – The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is the world’s premier series of professional surfing events. All events, with the exception of the women’s Billabong Pro Maui, are staged on the North Shore of O‘ahu. (O‘ahu and Maui)

• EA Sports Maui Invitational, November 24-26, 2008 – Referred to by AP College Basketball Editor Jim O’Connell as “the best in-season tournament in the country – the standard by which all others are compared,” the EA Sports Maui Invitational is a pre-season college basketball tournament that draws over 4,000 out-of-state visitors to Lahaina on Maui. (Maui)

• XTERRA Half Marathon World Championship, December 7, 2008 (NEW) – This off-road trail running event is a culmination of over 20 qualifying races in a dozen countries throughout the year. (O‘ahu)

• Sheraton Hawai‘i Bowl, December 2008 – The Sheraton Hawai‘i Bowl is a WAC vs. PAC-10 post-season NCAA college football bowl game that has been played annually at Aloha Stadium since 2002. (O‘ahu)

“High profile, quality sporting events are invaluable in providing worldwide media coverage for Hawai‘i,” said Rex Johnson, HTA president and chief executive officer. “Besides these events, HTA’s Sporting Events Program also includes long-time partnerships with the National Football League for the annual Pro Bowl and with the PGA TOUR for several Hawai‘i-based golf tournaments each year. In addition to the economic benefits that all of these events create during non-peak “shoulder” travel periods, our residents have the opportunity to see world class sporting events right in their own backyard.”

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority was created in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future. Its mission is to strategically manage Hawai‘i tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with our economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires, and visitor industry needs. For more information, visit

Contact: Michael Story, Sports Manager Hawaii Tourism Authority Phone: (808) 973-2274 Email:

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