Duke’s OceanFest Celebrates 15 Years of Honoring Duke Kahanamoku, Aug. 20-28

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Waikiki’s premier ocean sports festival, Duke’s OceanFest, is celebrating the memory of Duke Kahanamoku, Aug. 20-28. The nine-day festival will feature more than 20 ocean and beach competitions and special events, with most taking place at Queen’s Surf on Waikiki Beach.

Tandem Surfing is one of the events at Duke’s OceanFest. #DukesOceanFest #Surfing

"Aloha is the key word to the universal spirit of real hospitality, which makes Hawaii renowned as the world’s center of understanding and fellowship."

Waikiki’s premier ocean sports festival, Duke’s OceanFest, is celebrating the memory of Duke Kahanamoku, Aug. 20-28, and all that he meant to the popularizing of ocean sports and Hawaii’s Aloha Spirit to the rest of the world.

The nine-day festival will feature more than 20 ocean and beach competitions and special events, with most taking place at Queen’s Surf on Waikiki Beach, a favorite place of Duke Kahanamoku to surf, swim and paddle throughout his life, and now home to the magnificent statue that honors his legacy.

The public is invited to join in the festival celebration, participating in the competitions or enjoying the events. Visit http://www.dukesoceanfest.com for entry forms, special offers from travel partners, and event updates.

“The beauty of Duke’s OceanFest is that it is emblematic of Duke Kahanamoku and the way he lived his life. It’s a community-driven event that’s inclusive of all and dedicated to bringing people together to celebrate the ocean and share our aloha with all who take part,” said Chris Colgate, co-chair of Duke’s OceanFest. “The stories you read about Duke Kahanamoku beyond his incredible athletic accomplishments is how generous he was with his time, his aloha and his heart to everyone he encountered in Hawaii and around the world. Duke’s OceanFest is committed to perpetuating his legacy of athletics and aloha to future generations.”

This is the 15th year of Duke’s OceanFest. What began as a one-day celebration on Aug. 24, 2002, to welcome the issuance of a commemorative stamp of Duke Kahanamoku by the U.S. Postal Service, has blossomed through the years into a nine-day festival that’s carried forth on the strength of volunteers, generous sponsors, and supportive government agencies.

Duke’s OceanFest coincides with the anniversary of Duke Kahanamoku’s birthday (Aug. 24, 1890). The ocean-inspired festival will feature an exciting list of competitions and events that residents and visitors can enjoy, in many cases, as participants.

The events include surfing competitions for teens, amateurs, pros, tandems, the physically challenged and animals; a Wounded Warrior canoe regatta; stand-up paddling; a one-mile ocean swim; surfboard waterpolo; paddle boarding; beach volleyball; a movie and live Hawaiian music on Waikiki Beach; a beachfront luau; and a special lei draping of Duke Kahanamoku’s statue. (Events listed below.)

In addition, Hawaii News Now will honor the life and legacy of Duke Kahanamoku with a special televised broadcast of two one-hour documentaries on KGMB-TV on Aug. 27. “Kahanamoku: A Legacy of Healing” will be televised at 6 p.m., followed by “Duke Kahanamoku: Hawaii’s Soul” at 7 p.m.

Duke’s OceanFest supports the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation (ODKF). Net proceeds from Duke’s OceanFest help fund ODKF’s awarding of scholarships and grants to Hawaii residents and nonprofit groups competing in water sports and volleyball. This year, ODKF awarded $205,000 in scholarships and grants to 90 recipients, bringing its total support since its formation in 1986 to more than $2.5 million for 1,601 recipients.

Renowned as Hawaii’s greatest athlete, Duke Kahanamoku won six Olympic medals, including three gold medals in swimming, and is recognized as the “Father of International Surfing.” In his prime, Kahanamoku was the world’s fastest swimmer, the single-most influential person in promoting surfing worldwide, and a champion paddler and steersman.

Later in life, Duke Kahanamoku was revered worldwide as Hawaii’s “Ambassador of Aloha,” with his belief in the importance of the Aloha Spirit, captured in his own words, known as Duke’s Creed:

"In Hawaii we greet friends, loved ones and strangers with Aloha, which means with love. Aloha is the key word to the universal spirit of real hospitality, which makes Hawaii renowned as the world’s center of understanding and fellowship. Try meeting or leaving people with Aloha. You’ll be surprised by their reaction. I believe it and it is my creed. Aloha to you." - Duke Paoa Kahanamoku

Major sponsors of Duke’s OceanFest are the Hawaii Tourism Authority, City and County of Honolulu, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, Kona Brewing Company, Duke’s Waikiki, Hawaii News Now and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Duke’s OceanFest Schedule of Events: Aug. 20-28
All competitions, events and exhibit booths for Duke’s OceanFest are being staged at Queen’s Surf, Waikiki, fronting Duke Kahanamoku’s statue, unless noted otherwise. The schedule is subject to change. Please visit http://www.dukesoceanfest.com for updated information.

Aug. 20
Matson Menehune Surf Fest (6:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
This special pro-style surf competition is presented to help encourage surfing among Hawaii’s youths.

Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Junior Beach Volleyball Tournament (8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
Hawaii’s up-and-coming volleyball players will compete to be the champions of Waikiki Beach. Location: Kapiolani-Queen’s Sand Volleyball Courts.

7th Annual Na Koa Wounded Warrior Canoe Regatta (8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
This inspiring canoe regatta at Fort DeRussy Beach will feature a series of exciting races manned by the brave Wounded Warriors of America’s Armed Forces, along with family members and retired service members. For an entry application, visit online at nakoaregatta.org.

Duke’s OceanFest Opening Ceremony (4 – 6 p.m.)
To conclude the first day of Duke’s OceanFest, competitors and fans are treated to a festive opening ceremony, featuring Hawaiian music and highlighted by the always-popular decorating of Duke Kahanamoku’s majestic statue with beautiful fresh flower lei.

Aug. 21
Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Waikiki SUP Paddle Fest (7 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
Many of SUP’s elite will race on a marked course through Waikiki’s waves, then sprint to the finish on the beach.

Duke’s Waikiki Ocean Mile Swim (8 – 11 a.m.)
This popular open ocean race along the Waikiki shoreline attracts hundreds of swimmers from Hawaii as well as the mainland and internationally. The race starts in front of Duke’s Waikiki restaurant.

Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Coed Beach Volleyball Tournament (8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
Men and women’s teams will take to the sands for this exciting tournament to see who rules Waikiki Beach. Location: Kapiolani-Queen’s Sand Volleyball Courts.

Aug. 22
Duke’s Waikiki Wahine and Kane Longboard Pro/Am (8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
Presented by Duke’s Waikiki, this three-day (Aug. 22-24) Pro/Am competition features many of Hawaii’s best pro longboard surfers to see who will be crowned as king and queen of Queen’s Surf. The pro longboard division will be part of the WSL LQS 1000 Series.

Aug. 23
AccesSurf Adaptive Surf Competition (8 – 11 a.m.)
This inspirational three-day competition (Aug. 23-25) features athletes overcoming physical challenges, including paralysis and amputation, to compete in a pro-style surfing contest.

Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame Awards Dinner (5:30 – 9:30 p.m.)
Two distinguished Hawaii watermen, Bruce Blankenfeld and Paul Strauch Jr., and two waterwomen, Dianne Stowell, and Sharron Weber, will be honored for their lifetime of achievements with induction into the Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame. Location: Outrigger Canoe Club. For tickets, visit DukeFoundation.org.

Aug. 24
Duke Kahanamoku Sunrise Birthday Lei Draping (7 – 8 a.m.)
The 126th anniversary of Duke Kahanamoku’s birthday is honored with a special morning ceremony that features the decorating of his statue with beautiful fresh flower lei.

ITSA Waikiki Pro Tandem Contest (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.)
This two-day certified ITSA competition (Aug. 24-25) brings together some of the best tandem surfers to showcase their artistry and crown Waikiki’s top surfing duet.

Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Pro/Am Beach Volleyball (3:30 – 7 p.m.)
Teams, including former pros, will square off in a fun-filled tournament for the final beach volleyball competition of Duke’s OceanFest. Location: Beach fronting the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort.

Aug. 25
Going to the Dogs SurFur Contest (8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
Four-legged surfers will lead their owners into the waves of Waikiki for this fun, one-of-a-kind competition that awards prizes for the best wave, best tandem and best costume.

Papa Hee Nalu Alaia Surf Contest (8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
Competitors will test their strength and endurance using the kind of traditional – and heavy – wooden surfboards that Duke Kahanamoku and his fellow wave riders used in their heyday.

Aug. 26
Hawaiian Airlines Legends Surf Classic (7 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
This two-day competition (Aug. 26, 27) combines sponsored teams of amateur surfers with the sport’s legends in this pro-style surf meet featuring heats, judges, and public address announcer. Net proceeds raised benefit ODKF’s scholarships and grants program.

Waikiki Nights on the Sand: Hawaiian Music and a Movie (6 – 9 p.m.)
It’s a special Aloha Friday on Waikiki Beach! Relax and enjoy live Hawaiian music and the Surfer Poll award-winning film, A View from a Blue Moon, starring John John Florence, all for free.

Aug. 27
Maui Jim Hawaii Paddleboard Championship (10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.)
“Duke’s Race” challenges both the speed and endurance of Hawaii’s paddle boarders in this grueling 10-mile race that starts at Maunalua Bay in Hawaii Kai and finishes at Queen’s Surf.

KINE Great Hawaiian Legends Luau (5:30 – 9 p.m.)
Good friends, great times, happy memories, and ono food are the hallmarks of Duke’s OceanFest’s annual beachfront luau. Location: Waikiki Aquarium. Purchase tickets at ticketmaster.com.

Kahanamoku: A Legacy of Healing; Duke Kahanamoku: Hawaii’s Soul (6 – 8 p.m.)
Hawaii News Now is honoring the life of Duke Kahanamoku and his continuing legacy of supporting medical students in Hawaii, with the special KGMB-TV broadcast of two one-hour documentaries, “Kahanamoku: A Legacy of Healing” at 6 p.m., followed by “Duke Kahanamoku: Hawaii’s Soul” at 7 p.m.

Aug. 28
Red Bull Party Wave (7 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
This event is fun! It combines creativity, camaraderie, teamwork, and lots of laughs for a competition unlike any other at Duke’s OceanFest. Watch as teams create their own floatable craft, perform a skit on the beach, and then attempt to surf the craft at Queen’s Surf.

Tiki’s Grill & Bar Surfboard Waterpolo (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
Six-person teams will play water polo on surfboards, the same way Duke Kahanamoku, his brothers and fellow beach boys did in Waikiki in the 1920s and 1930s. Location: Kapahulu Groin.

For more information about Duke’s OceanFest, please visit http://www.dukesoceanfest.com or follow updates on Facebook and Twitter.


Jim Fulton
(808) 221-6804

Brent Imonen
(808) 285-6667

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Stefani Wan