Duke's OceanFest



The open ocean one-mile swim is among OceanFest's highlights

Courtesy Outrigger Enterprises Group

When Tom Kiely decided to branch away from the Hawaiian OceanFest, a featured event on ESPN, he transferred the rights of the name to an organization that was committed to perpetuating the spirit of Duke Kahanamoku.

“He sold it for $1,” smiles Dr. Chuck Kelley, an avid surfer who has previously competed in this OceanFest. “It was good for everyone.”

The event was appropriately renamed Duke’s OceanFest, which has since become a nine-day open-ocean competition, which includes men’s, women’s, tandem and keiki surf contests; 1-mile swim; stand-up surf; surf polo; canoe regatta; Hawaii Paddleboard Championship; and the Hawaiian Airlines Legends Surf Classic. Athletes also compete in beach volleyball and soccer.

“Duke’s OceanFest is nine days of fun, family-friendly ocean events that owes its success to the strength and involvement of the community in perpetuating the waterman legacy,” says Duke’s OceanFest co-chair Chris Colgate in a released statement. “Every year, residents, visitors, competitors and spectators come together from around the world to enjoy Waikiki Beach at its best, just as Duke Kahanamoku did for decades.”

As a kid, Kelley remembers seeing Kahanamoku walking around the Outrigger Canoe Club, wearing a lei and always impeccably dressed. “He was a stately gentleman,” says Kelley, a member of the Dawn Patrol at Diamond Head cliffs. “This (event) is a fabulous way to educate people about his legacy.”

Fondlyremembered as Hawaii’s ambassador of aloha and a five-time Olympic medalist, Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku passed away in 1968 at the age of 77. Aside from being recognized as a legendary waterman, Kahanamoku was also known as an actor, lawman and early beach volleyball player.

“We try to keep everything linked with what Duke was all about,” Imonen says. “This has morphed into a festival as opposed to an event.”

Held through various spots around Waikiki, Duke’s OceanFest will run from Aug. 17 through 27, opening with the traditional blowing of a conch shell, followed by a chicken-skin, lei-draping ceremony at the iconic Duke Kahanamoku statue from 5 to 6 p.m.

“There’s a lot going on during those nine days,” Kelley says. “There’s even some friendly heckling going on among the teams but it’s all in good fun.”

Many credit Kahanamoku and his friends as saving the sport of surfing by promoting it throughout the world. Much has been written about Hawaii’s most famous son, who was christened “Duke” following the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh to Hawaii in 1869.

“This OceanFest is a tribute to Duke and his legacy,” Imonen says. “We want the future generation to never forget who he was.”

Kelley certainly won’t.

“He was friends with my grandparents and he used to store his surfboard at the Outrigger Canoe Club,” Kelley recalls. “This is a wonderful way to pay tribute to such a stand-out character.’”

Proceeds from the events will go to the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation, which provides scholarships for athletes who compete in watersports and nonprofits that promote ocean-sporting events.

Schedule of Events

SATURDAY, AUGUST 19    

  •     8th Annual Na Koa Wounded Warrior Canoe Regatta, Ft. DeRussy Beach
  •     Matson Menehune Surf Fest, Queen’s Surf
  •     Lei Draping and Opening Ceremony, Duke’s Statue

 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 20    

  •     Matson Menehune Surf Fest, Queen’s Surf
  •     AccessSurf Welcome Ceremony, Queen’s Surf

 

MONDAY, AUGUST 21    

  •     AccesSurf Presents Hawaii Adaptive Surf Championships, Queen’s Surf
  •     Duke’s Waikiki Amateur Longboard & SUP Surf Classic, Queen’s Surf
  •     Duke’s Waikiki $5,000 PRO Longboard Classic, Queen’s Surf

 

TUESDAY, AUGUST 22    

  •     AccesSurf Presents Hawaii Adaptive Surf Championships, Queen’s Surf
  •     Duke’s Waikiki Longboard & SUP Surf Classic, Queen’s Surf
  •     Duke’s Waikiki $5,000 PRO Longboard Classic, Queen’s Surf

 

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 23    

  •     AccesSurf Presents Hawaii Adaptive Surf Championships, Queen’s Surf
  •     Duke’s Waikiki Amateur Longboard & SUP Surf Classic, Queen’s Surf
  •     Duke’s Waikiki $5,000 PRO Longboard Classic, Queen’s Surf
  •     ITSA Waikiki Tandem Surfing Championships, Queen’s Surf

 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 24    

  •     Duke Kahanamoku Sunrise Birthday Lei Draping, Duke’s Statue
  •     ITSA Waikiki Tandem Surfing Championships, Queen’s Surf
  •     Talk Story with Fred Hemmings and movie night featuring Duke Kahanamoku: Hawaii’s Soul, Queen’s Court at International Market Place
  •     Kono’s Going to the Dogs SurFur Contest, Queen’s Surf
  •     AccesSurf Presents Surfing with the Stars Fundraiser, Queen’s Surf
  •     ODKF Waterman’s Hall of Fame (tickets required), Outrigger Canoe Club

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 25

  •     Outrigger Resorts Legends Surf Classic, Queen’s Surf
  •     Waikiki Nights on the Sand: Hawaiian Music and a Movie, Duke’s Statue

 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 26    

  •     Duke’s Waikiki Ocean Mile Swim, fronting Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach
  •     Outrigger Resorts Legends Surf Classic, Queen’s Surf
  •     Outrigger Resorts Junior Beach Volleyball Tournament, Queen’s Sand and Volleyball Courts
  •     Great Hawaiian Legends Luau (tickets required), Waikiki Aquarium

 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 27

  •     Red Bull Hawaiian Party Wave, Queen’s Surf
  •     Duke Kahanamoku Surfboard WaterPolo, Kapahulu Breakwall
  •     Outrigger Resorts Adult Beach Volleyball Tournament, Queen’s Sand Volleyball Courts
  •     Duke Kahanamoku: Hawaii’s Soul airing on KGMB TV Hawaii News Now

 

For more information, visit dukesoceanfest.com.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Inside Scoop

News to eat by

About This Blog

From openings and closings to chefs and trends, Inside Scoop will keep readers updated on the latest in the restaurant/food industry. Simplicio has covered the local dining scene for more than 15 years, providing residents a taste of the islands. Follow him on Twitter@simplicio

Recent Posts

Categories