Celebrating a water sports tradition inspired by Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, a Hawaii icon, the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation (ODKF) is presenting the 7th Annual Duke’s OceanFest, taking place at Waikiki Beach from August 17-24, 2008.
Duke’s OceanFest will feature a wide array of fun and exciting water sports competitions and events in tribute to the Duke. The week-long celebration will culminate with the popular Waikiki Lei Parade and Draping of Duke’s Statue on the 118th anniversary of his birthday, Sunday, August 24.
The festival’s objectives are to honor Duke Kahanamoku’s legacy, provide a Waikiki water sports celebration for residents and visitors to enjoy, and raise funds for ODKF’s college scholarship and athletic grants program. Last year, Duke’s OceanFest generated more than $30,000 in funding support for ODKF.
“Duke’s OceanFest is the best week of the year to enjoy Waikiki Beach. It’s incredibly fun for residents and visitors alike and is all based on the long and storied water sports tradition that Duke Kahanamoku and Hawaii’s watermen established through the years,” said ODKF President Patrick Dugan.
Events of Duke’s OceanFest include the following:
• Duke’s OceanFest Blessing at Duke Kahanamoku Statue (Aug. 17, 7am) – A week of honoring Duke Kahanamoku begins with an early morning Hawaiian blessing.
• Lanikai Canoe Club’s 41st Annual Duke Kahanamoku Classic (Aug. 17, 9am) – Canoe teams from throughout the state race a 24-mile course from Kailua to Duke Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki.
• Rabbit Kekai Keiki Surf Contest (Aug. 17, 8am-4pm) – Rabbit, the famed Waikiki beach boy legend sponsors a surf competition for 250 keiki statewide at Queen’s Surf.
• Opening Ceremony at the Hilton Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon (Aug. 17, noon) – Sponsored by National Geographic Adventure, this event kicks off the weeklong celebration of Duke’s OceanFest.
• Macy’s E-Series Junior Pro Surf Contest (Aug. 18, 7:30am-3:30pm) – ASP Hawaii presents this Grade-1 professional event at Queen’s Surf. This is one of three junior pro events held in Hawaii this year and will be used as qualifiers for the World Junior Championships in Australia in January 2009.
• C4 Waterman/Honolua Surf Stand-Up Beach Boy (Aug. 19 and Aug. 23) – The excitement and skill of stand-up paddle surfing is showcased in this competition at Queen’s Surf. Semifinals and Finals take place on Aug. 23.
• Surftech Media All-Stars (Aug. 19, 1:50pm) – Local media surfers are teamed up with a Roxy pro in a fun competition fronting Duke’s Statue.
• Roxy Jam Honolulu Pro Women’s Surf (Aug. 20-23) – Waikiki’s only women’s longboard surf meet brings worldwide competitors to crown the queen of Queen’s Surf. The quarterfinals and semifinals take place Aug. 22; the finals Aug. 23.
• ITSA/ISA Waikiki Sandbox Bar World Title Tandem Surf (Aug. 20-23) – Two on the surfboard is better than going solo in this acrobatic dance duet of surfing. The quarterfinals and semifinals take place Aug. 22; the finals Aug. 23.
• AccesSurf Inaugural Challenged Athlete Division of Surfing (Aug. 21, 23) –AccesSurf will introduce the first Challenged Athlete Division of Surfing, as athletes overcoming muscular dystrophy, quadriplegia, paraplegia and amputation demonstrate their surfing abilities and compete for trophies. The finals take place Aug. 23.
• Hawaiian Airlines Duke’s Legends Surf Classic (Aug. 22-23) – Sponsored teams with four amateurs and a Hawaii surf legend will participate in a competition run like a pro surf meet with heats, judges, scoring, public address announcer, and exhibit booths. Proceeds raised go to ODKF’s scholarships and grants program. The finals take place Aug. 23.
• Waikiki Beach Boys Legends Celebration at Duke’s Waikiki (Aug. 22, 2-4pm) – Known as Ho‘ohanohano Na Kanaka O Ke Kai (to honor the men of the sea), this event is a gathering of former beach boys and friends of Duke sharing fond memories of old Waikiki.
• Duke’s Waikiki Ocean Mile Swim (Aug. 23, 9am) – Hundreds of swimmers compete in a one-mile open ocean sprint fronting Duke’s Waikiki at the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach. Swimmers may show up the morning of and turn in applications.
• SeaHawaii Waterman Challenge (Aug. 23, 10am) – This exciting team relay race consists of a challenging 500-yard swim, 1,000-yard paddleboard race, and 2,000-yard canoe race. Lifeguard teams from Hawaii and California, along with local canoe clubs, showcase their waterman skills.
• Corona Extra Duke Classic Beach Volleyball Tournament (Aug. 23, 9am) – Four-person teams – three men and one woman – take to Kuhio Beach for this daylong tournament.
• C4 Waterman/HonoluA Surf Hawaii Paddleboard Championship (Aug. 23, 11am) – “Duke’s Race” starts at Maunalua Bay in Hawaii Kai and finishes at Duke’s Statue in Waikiki and features some of Hawaii’s best watermen and waterwomen.
• The Great Hawaiian 105 KINE Luau (Aug. 23, 4pm) – With ono Hawaiian food and the music of Cecilio and Kapono, this luau at the Waikiki Shell is a celebration of Duke and his legacy. Proceeds raised go to ODKF’s college scholarships and athletic grants program.
• Outrigger Sunset on the Beach (Aug. 23-24) – Saturday and Sunday night at the movies is never better than under the stars of this beachside theater at Kuhio Beach.
• Finis Surf Polo Tournament (Aug. 24, 9am-3pm) – Held at the Hilton Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon, this round robin water polo tournament features six-person teams playing on surfboards – just like Duke did. Last year’s teams included lifeguards from the City and County of Honolulu and Los Angeles County, as well as the University of Hawaii Wahine, and Paumalu/North Shore.
• Waikiki Lei Procession and Draping of Duke’s Statue (Aug. 24, 4:30pm) – This dramatic Waikiki Beach tradition features the ceremonial decorating of Duke’s Statue with fresh flower lei, which are carried on surfboards in a sidewalk lei procession along Kalakaua Avenue.
Events, dates and times are subject to change. For information, visit the ODKF website.
Duke Kahanamoku is revered as the “Father of International Surfing” and Hawaii’s greatest athlete, winning six Olympic medals – including three swimming gold medals – from 1912 to 1932. He was the first person inducted into both the International Swimming Hall of Fame (1965) and International Surfing Hall of Fame (1966).
Duke honed his legendary waterman skills off Waikiki Beach and brought worldwide attention to the islands with his incredible exploits and charismatic warmth as Hawaii’s “Ambassador of Aloha.”
ODKF is awarding $204,000 in college scholarships and athletic grants in 2008, its largest total ever and a 40 percent increase over last year. ODKF is providing funding support to more than 100 Hawaii athletes and nonprofit organizations competing in “Duke sports” – water sports and volleyball.
ODKF is a public nonprofit foundation created with the mission to financially support the development of individuals and organizations perpetuating the spirit and legacy of Duke Kahanamoku.