Duke’s OceanFest Kicks Off This Weekend
Every August, Waikiki celebrates legendary Hawaiian waterman Duke Kahanamoku with Duke’s OceanFest. The nine-day festival at Queen’s features 23 competitions and activities centered around the ocean and beach, with events kicking off this Saturday, August 16.
Now in its 13th year, the tribute to Kahanamoku will be celebrated from August 16 – 24, concluding on the anniversary of the waterman’s 124th birthday. Events include surfing competitions for kids, teens, amateurs, and pros, standup paddling, a one-mile ocean swim, lifeguard competitions, surfboard waterpolo, wounded warrior canoe regatta, paddle boarding, beach volleyball, a beachside movie showing of The Endless Summer, and a lu‘au.
“Duke’s OceanFest is dedicated to honoring the memory of Duke Kahanamoku, all that he meant as an athlete and his lasting spirit as Hawai‘i’s Ambassador of Aloha,” said Brent Imonen, Event Director for Duke’s OceanFest. “Duke Kahanamoku made a profound impact on society in Hawai‘i and his influence was felt around the world. The nature of events offered at Duke’s OceanFest is a recognition of how important he was to people of all ages and abilities.”
Renowned as Hawai‘i’s greatest athlete, Kahanamoku (1890-1968) won six Olympic medals, including three gold medals in swimming, from 1912 to 1932, and is recognized as the “Father ofInternational Surfing.” Kahanamoku was the world’s fastest swimmer in his prime, the single-most influential person in popularizing surfing worldwide, a champion paddler and steersman, and he continues to be an inspiration to watermen and waterwomen today.
Duke’s OceanFest supports the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation (ODKF), formed in Kahanamoku’s honor in 1986. Net proceeds from Duke’s OceanFest help fund ODKF’s awarding of scholarships and grants to Hawai‘i residents and nonprofit groups competing in water sports and volleyball. This year ODKF awarded $165,000 in scholarships and grants to 89 recipients, bringing its total support to more than $2.1-million for 1,438 recipients since its formation.
Schedule of Events
Unless otherwise noted, the competitions and events are taking place at Queen’s Surf, Waikiki, with the Duke’s OceanFest surf stand and exhibit booths fronting Duke Kahanamoku’s statue. *Schedule is subject to change.
Duke Kahanamoku Menehune Surf Fest (6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.)
The future of Hawai‘i surfing will take to the waves of Waikïkï in short board or long board
competitions. Boys and girls’ surfers will compete in three age divisions: 3-6 (accompanied by an
adult), 6-9, and 10-13.
Duke Kahanamoku Sand Volleyball Championships (8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
Youth is served! Doubles teams in four age divisions (Under 12, 14, 16, and 18) will compete in this
tournament to be champions of Waikïkï Beach. Kapi‘olani-Queen’s Sand Volleyball Courts.
SUP Showdown Autograph Signing and Dry Land Clinic (9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
The public is invited to meet some of the elite in Stand-Up Paddling (SUP) and learn techniques
about this fun and exciting sport that continues growing in popularity each year.
Duke’s OceanFest Expo (9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Daily)
Next to the Duke’s OceanFest surf stand, a series of exhibit booths will be selling products and
souvenirs, and offering samplings and demos for the public’s enjoyment.
Na Koa Wounded Warrior Canoe Regatta (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
This inspiring canoe regatta at Fort DeRussy Beach will feature a series of exciting races manned bythe brave Wounded Warriors that served in America’s Armed Forces.
Hawai‘i Paddleboard Championship (11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.)
“Duke’s Race” challenges both the speed and endurance of Hawai‘i’s paddle boarders in this
grueling 10-mile sprint that starts at Maunalua Bay in Hawai‘i Kai and finishes at Queen’s Surf.
Duke’s OceanFest Opening Ceremony (5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
To conclude the first day of Duke’s OceanFest, competitors and fans are treated to a festive opening ceremony, highlighted by the always-popular decorating of Duke Kahanamoku’s magnificent statue with beautiful fresh flower leis.
Honolua Surf Ultimate SUP Showdown (7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Both Days)
Many of SUP’s elite will race over a marked course through Waikïkï’s waves before sprinting to the beach to capture the finish line flag. Heat winners advance to the finals showdown.
Duke’s Waikïkï Wahine and Kane Longboard Pro Am (8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
Presented by ASP Hawai‘i, this three-day competition (August 19-21) will feature many of Hawai‘i’s best pro longboard surfers to see who will be crowned as the king and queen of Queen’s Surf.
BearsWave.Com Tandem Expression Session (8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
This two-day exhibition (August 19-20) is an entertaining demonstration of the strength, skill,
balance, and artistry required of successful tandem surfers.
AccesSurf Challenged Athlete Surf Competition (9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
This inspirational two-day competition (August 19-20) features athletes overcoming physical
challenges, including paralysis and amputation, to compete in a pro-style surfing contest.
Outrigger Hotels Lifeguard Competition (8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)
On the beach fronting the Outrigger Waikiki Hotel, teams of Hawai‘i and international lifeguards
will display their extraordinary skills in this challenging competition that combines swimming,
paddle boarding, surf rescue, and a relay race.
ITSA Waikiki Tandem Pro Contest (8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
This certified ITSA competition brings together some of the best tandem surfers to showcase their
artistry and crown Waikiki’s top surfing duet.
Papa He‘e Nalu Alaia Surf Contest (8:00 a.m. – 6:00 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.
Hawai‘i Waterman Hall of Fame Awards Dinner (5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.)
Five Hawai‘i legends – George David “Dad” Center, Mark Cunningham, Anona Napoleon, Randy
Rarick, and Sonny Tanabe – are being honored for their lifetime of achievements in advancing
Hawai‘i’s waterman legacy. Tickets: DukeFoundation.org.
Hawaiian Airlines Legends Surf Classic (7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
This two-day competition (August 22-23) combines sponsored teams of amateur surfers with the
sport’s legends in this pro-style surf meet featuring heats, judges, a public address announcer, and
exhibit booths. Net proceeds raised benefit ODKF’s scholarships and grants program.
Hawaiian Nights and The Endless Summer (5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
It’s a special Aloha Friday on Waikiki Beach! With toes in the sand and waves lapping nearby, the public can enjoy live Hawaiian music and a showing of the classic surf movie, The Endless Summer.
Duke’s Waikiki Ocean Mile Swim (8:00 – 11:00 a.m.)
This popular open ocean sprint along the Waikiki shoreline attracts hundreds of swimmers from
Hawai‘i as well as the mainland and internationally. Starts in front of Duke’s Waikiki restaurant.
Hawaiian 105 KINE Great Hawaiian Luau (5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
Good friends, great times, happy memories, and ono food are the hallmarks of Duke’s OceanFest’s annual beachfront lü‘au staged on the outdoor lawn of the Waikiki Aquarium.
Duke Kahanamoku Sunrise Birthday Lei Draping (7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.)
The 124th anniversary of Duke Kahanamoku’s birthday will be honored with a special morning
ceremony that features the decorating of his statue with beautiful fresh flower lei.
Tiki’s Grill & Bar Surfboard Waterpolo (8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
Six-person teams will play water polo on surfboards, the same way Duke Kahanamoku and his
brothers and fellow beach boys did in Waikiki in the 1920s and 1930s. Held at Kapahulu Groin.
Duke Kahanamoku Sand Volleyball Championships (8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
Four-person teams of Hawai‘i’s youth beach volleyball players will compete in four age divisions
(Under 12, 14, 16, and 18) to be champions of Waikiki. Kapi‘olani-Queen’s Sand Volleyball Courts.
Duke Kahanamoku Junior Surf Fest (9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
To help encourage surfing among Hawai‘i’s teens, the final event of Duke’s OceanFest will be a
special pro-style surf competition for Hawai‘i up-and-coming surfers.
Stay tuned for coverage of this event, presented by SIC Maui.
For more information, visit: DukesOceanfest.com