Not the best day
for a ‘best of’ shoot

A production crew for the Travel Channel got sun, sand and wind Friday during a shoot for its fifth "Beach Week" series.

Ko Olina got the spotlight as part of the channel's preparation for its 13-part series, which will include eight premieres.

The eight new shows will reveal, as the titles indicate, "America's Best Beaches 2003," to air May 4; the "Top Ten Hawaiian Beach Resorts"; and the "World's Best Beaches 2003." The latter are to air May 5. One can only surmise which show the resort will be featured in (wink, wink) as the Travel Channel keeps mum about its listees until air time.

Other shows in the series will feature beaches in Florida and the Caribbean, the top beach resorts from California to Florida, "Club Med Secrets." "Bikini Blast 2003" highlights a swimsuit competition in the Bahamas.

Local public relations media maven Mona Wood was tapped for beachside unit publicist duties as wind warnings and advisories whipped up surf and sand around the islands.

The wind was "really, really strong," Wood said, but the crew of 35 to 40 maintained a good attitude. The local folks around the shoot were apologizing for the wind and saying "normally it's a lot more tranquil," Wood said. But the prevailing crew sentiment was, "it's still way better than what we have back home," she said. The Travel Channel is based in Maryland.

Wood hired a local video crew to get additional footage of the shoot and of greetings by hostess Ali Landry for "Extra" and "Entertainment Tonight," which plan coverage of the Travel Channel specials.

Landry got an adrenaline rush courtesy of local waterman Brian Keaulana, who was hired for some jet ski segments. "We use Brian whenever we do shoots in the water," Wood said. "He's the god of the water."

The crew is to depart tomorrow after a week on Oahu and no jaunts to the neighbor islands; they spoke glowingly of their stay at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa. "They all said everybody treats them so nicely," Wood said.

The Travel Channel is no stranger to Hawaii.

Kauai's Poipu Beach was listed as among America's and the world's best in 2002; it was ranked No. 6 on the channel's top 10 Hawaii beaches, posted at The Travel Channel also bestowed No. 1 honors on the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in its ranking of the "World's Best Honeymoon Hotspots."

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached

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