Celebrating a watersports 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, 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 24th.
If you can’t be there to sample the fun first-hand, the organisers have fixed up live streaming so that you can watch the action unfold from the comfort of your PC.
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.
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 – it’s 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.