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The Morey Challenge

Family and fun return to competitive water sports on Maui.

August 22, 2013
Maui Weekly

Grab your paddles, your paddleboards, your body boards, your kayaks, your floating devices of any kind; then grab your dog, your kids, your partner, your coworkers and your friends, and sign up for The Morey Challenge, an 'ohana relay water event happening in Kihei's own Kalama Park on Sunday, Sept. 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There are two separate relay races--one starting at 10 a.m. and the second starting at 1:30 p.m.--each $25 per person. But team participation is recommended, 'cause this race is all about community. For a three-person team, it's $150 for both races.

This is the first event in the Legacy Series of three or four events per year--all designed to be fun!

Article Photos

Hawai‘i-born Sol Morey offers a new, fun twist to water sports, involving the whole community.

Watersport event competitions have long been relegated to elite athletes and big money, explained The Morey Challenge creators, Kihei's Pat Mulligan and Sol Morey. But they believe there's room for the rest of us, too. They joined up to create The Morey Challenge to bring the family and the fun back to competitive water sports on Maui.

Morey, whose family is credited with creating the first body boards on the island of Hawai'i, and Mulligan are determined to "break open" the stiff high-stakes competition that water sports have become and bring back the legacy of the name "Morey," and the early days of surfing and boarding for fun. And they want to bring it back to mom and dad, uncles, aunts and cousins--"to get the community back in the water."

"Share the wave," intoned Morey, as he explained that "surfing" always has simply referred to the way you move in the water. "Broaden your horizons. You can be on anything in the water and make it work."

Hence, the main event is an open course with participants on anything that floats, starting on the beach and maneuvering three times through a one-mile open water relay just off-shore at Kalama Park.

The second event--the 'Ohana Challenge--includes the Honu Crawl ("You'll get sand in your crack!" they laughed), the "Bob n Weave" obstacle course and the Limbo Gate Labyrinth, where there will be a dressed-to-kill menehune man bobbing in the water, covered with stickers good for prizes--if you dare to take the time off-course.

Both events take place within sight of the shore, so that family and friends and community can watch and enjoy the fun!

Mulligan also pointed out that this is a great way to advertise your business. He noted that Java Cafe is teaming up and racing as employees and friends, throwing down the gauntlet to beat any other coffee shop in Kihei.

You can fly solo (go iron-man style), they admitted, but it's much more fun to go as a team with family, friends and coworkers.

If you've ever wanted to compete for fun in some water event but are not up for a 20-mile I-paddle-for-a-living-type course, here's your chance!

There will also be music, food and entertainment, so whether you want to get wet or not, bring the kids and come join your community and have some fun!

Sign up at The Gym Maui in Kihei, email, or go to

"Don't sign up without a sense of humor," laughed Mulligan. "We're here to have fun!"



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