Six months ago today Hawaiian Airlines announced they would begin direct flights between Honolulu and New York City. Realizing the opportunity, Carol Choi, Keith Tsang and Lauren Decker immediately began to investigate the possibility of bringing Hawaiian on as a Liberty sponsor. Over the past six months all three have worked diligently to make this sponsorship a reality. While other races are losing title sponsors, Liberty is gaining one. Hawaiian’s investment in Liberty represents the hard work and dedication of our members to put on what we think is the best run canoe regatta in the world.
The race that Roger Meyer created and Ed Acker refined is now moving into an exciting new chapter. Along with Team Primo and a roster of great international crews, we will also have Ocean Paddler TV on site to film the race for their program, which airs in Hawaii on OC16 and nationally on Universal Sports. In addition to expanded media coverage, we hope over the next few years to add an unlimited canoe class to the race as well.
While the opportunity was serendipitous in timing, this sponsorship only came to fruition because of an incredible amount of hard work. This announcement would not have been possible without the tireless liaison work of Carol Choi, the amazing proposal by Lauren Decker, the did-way-too-much-work-on-everything-to-name-just-one-thing of Keith Tsang, the inspired and professional web designs of Alla Gringaus and Elena Gartshtein and the beautiful logo development of Li Lai. Liberty’s presence now truly reflects the professional event NYO has been hosting for the past 16 years.
The outstanding track record we have for hosting a first class event is what makes this sponsorship possible. That level of achievement is the direct result of the hard work of our members, and I would like to single out Ed Acker, Di Eckerle, Lisa Chen, Lucy March, April Cantor, Suesa Iopu and Emily Harris for their amazing efforts year after year.
Thank you to all of you who have volunteered over the past 16 years to build Liberty into a world class regatta! I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT I CAN’T WAIT FOR JUNE 23!!!
Brent Aukai Beck
President of New York Outrigger