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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Waikiki Beach Sports Festival Honors Duke’s Legacy

Duke’s OceanFest, Waikiki’s premier ocean sports festival and a popular celebration in tribute to Duke Kahanamoku for watermen and waterwomen worldwide, is being showcased this summer over a nine-day period from August 16 to 24.

Now in its 13th year, Duke’s OceanFest will feature a variety of competitions and events that includes surfing, stand-up paddling, one-mile ocean swim, lifeguard competition, surfboard waterpolo, wounded warrior canoe regatta, paddle boarding, beach volleyball, and beachfront luau. 

Most competitions will take place near Queen’s Surf in Waikiki, with the surf stand and exhibit booths fronting the majestic statue of Kahanamoku.

Brent Imonen, Event Director for Duke’s OceanFest, said: “We’re putting together an exciting schedule of ocean sports competitions and special events, and urge our waterman community and Hawaii’s visitors to mark their calendar and be part of the celebration. Duke’s OceanFest is the best time of year to experience Waikiki Beach and see the ocean sports heritage that has made it such an iconic destination.”

Kahanamoku’s enduring legacy and all he represents to Hawaii and the waterman spirit continues to be the primary inspiration for Duke’s OceanFest, with this year’s events concluding on Sunday, August 24, the 124th anniversary of his birth.

Revered as Hawaii’s greatest athlete, Kahanamoku (1890-1968) won six Olympic medals, including three gold medals in swimming, from 1912 to 1932, and is recognized as the “Father of International Surfing.” Kahanamoku was the world’s fastest swimmer, a champion paddler and steersman, and a lifelong mentor to generations of watermen and waterwomen. He once used his surfboard to rescue eight people from drowning following a boating accident in California. Kahanamoku was the first person inducted into both the International Swimming Hall of Fame (1965) and International Surfing Hall of Fame (1966).

Duke’s OceanFest supports the mission of the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation (ODKF), the public, nonprofit foundation established in Kahanamoku’s honor in 1986. 

For more details and reservations visit the Duke’s OceanFest website www.dukesoceanfest.com or log on at https://resweb.passkey.com/go/DukesOceanfest2014.

For more information about top events in Hawaii take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the main annual festivals in Oahu, the Big Island, Maui and Kauai