Water Warrior

June 5, 2012 | By Waikiki Magazine Team

Duke’s OceanFest Honors the Legendary Waterman’s Legacy.

Duke Kahanamoku is recognized by many as one of the greatest watermen who lived. He was an Olympic gold medal winner, a respected outrigger canoe steersman and a surfer. His accomplishments shone on land as well—he was Sheriff of Honolulu, an actor and, true to his Aloha spirit, he welcomed visitors to Hawai‘i’s shores, leading people to refer to him as a “one-man’s visitor’s bureau.”
Each summer, the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation honors Kahanamoku’s legacy through the Duke’s OceanFest.

“Duke was Hawai‘i’s first official Ambassador of Aloha. The OceanFest perpetuates his legacy and all that he represents,” says Chris Colgate, one of the event organizers.

The Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation helps individuals and organizations that perpetuate the spirit and legacy of the legendary waterman, and the OceanFest is an extension of that mission. The foundation funds scholarships for college students—many of whom participate in water sports—and grants to teams and individuates involved in both ocean sports as well as other activities.

The OceanFest, scheduled from Aug. 18-16, 2012 along the shores of Waikiki, features traditional water events such as a longboard surfing competition, swim race and not-so-traditional competitions such as a tandem surf contest—where surfers ride waves while carrying a lady in acrobatic poses, SUP (Stand-Up Paddleboard) races, and a SurfPolo tournament—yes, it’s exactly that: polo on surfboards.

The celebration of Kahanamoku spills over on land as well—an opening-night gala that honors the waterman of the year and a presentation of lei at the Duke Kahanamoku statue to honor his birthday.

“Duke’s OceanFest in Waikiki means a lot to our community and brings our visitors and local residents together to celebrate the life of Duke Kahanamoku,” says Colgate.

Events are still being finalized, so log onto www.oceanfest.dukefoundation.org for the latest updates and to learn more about the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation.

Duke’s OceanFest 2012 Schedule
(subject to change)

Saturday, August 18th
Hawaii Sand Soccer Championships
Kahala Challenge (Swim-Run-Paddle)
Keiki Surfing Event
Hau’oli la Hanau Lei Draping Ceremonies, Duke’s Statue

Sunday, August 19th
Hawaii Sand Soccer Championships
Keiki Surfing Event

Monday, August 20th
Wahine Long Board Surfing Event

Tuesday, August 21st
Men’s Long Board Surfing Event

Wednesday, August 22nd
ITSA Tandem Surfing

Thursday, August 23rd
BearsWave.com Exhibition Tandem Surfing
Access Surf Competition

Friday, August 24th
Sunrise Leis, Duke’s Statue
Duke’s Legends Surf Classic
Beachboy Tribute, Duke’s Waikiki
Hall of Fame Dinner-Outrigger Club

Saturday, August 25th
Duke’s Waikiki Ocean Mile Swim at Duke’s Waikiki
Duke’s Legends Surf Classic
Invitational Beach Volleyball (Day 1)
2012 Hawaii Paddleboard Championship Duke’s Race
Hawaiian 105 KINE GreatHawaiian Luau, Waikiki Aquarium

Sunday, August 26th
Stand-up Surf Off and Race
Surfboard Water Polo, Kapahulu Breakwall
Invitational Beach Volleyball (Day 2)

Photos: Bernie Baker