|Kamu Auwae wins C4 Waterman SUP Surf-Off, Leleo Kinimaka awarded Waterman of the Event to conclude week-long Honolulu celebration/competition.|
|Honolulu – Kamu Auwae (Waianae, Hawaii) emerged the king of the waves at Duke’s OceanFest, Waikiki, on Friday, claiming the C4 Waterman stand-up paddle “Surf-Off.” His victory came one day after winning the Toes on the Nose pro longboard event at the same ven
Duke’s OceanFest is a week-long celebration of Hawaii’s rich ocean sports history, inspired by the ‘father of modern day surfing,’ Duke Kahanamoku. The event is also a benefit for the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation’s (ODKF) college scholarships and athletic grants program that supports outstanding Hawaii scholar-athletes competing in watersports and volleyball. For established Hawaiian watermen, OceanFest is a time to enjoy various ocean disciplines and test one’s versatility and skills across the sports, all the while honoring tradition and perpetuating the ocean lifestyle for generations to come. In winning both the longboard and the standup paddle competitions, Auwae, 30, proved himself as the most accomplished wave-rider and paddler of the week. In order to qualify for today’s SUP Surf-Off, Auwae also had to qualify through rounds of SUP racing on Thursday.
“All of these guys we had to compete against were paddlers & racers,” Auwae said. “(Winning) is just an added bonus. It’s been a long three days and it was hard work getting here because you had to qualify through the race so making the finals and doing well is a bonus.”
Leleo Kinimaka (Big Island), finished second in the final of the C4 Surf-Off and was awarded the Waterman’s award for being the top overall performer after combining Thursday’s race finish and Friday’s surf competition. Like Auwae, Kinimaka, 47, competed in other disciplines this week and was primarily focusing on the tandem surfing championship.
“This is an honor for me because my whole motive coming out here was to do tandem,” Kinimaka said. “I did my first tandem competition in honor of my mom and dad because they used to do tandem out here. Duke (Kahanamoku) had a big influence on my father and raised my father on this beach, so ultimately Duke has a huge influence on my life. Just to be able to be the best waterman I can be is an honor.”
Other standouts today included Greg Pavao (Makaha) and Kalani Vierra (Kauai), who was perhaps the most consistent across all heats and posted some of the longest rides of the day’s competition. Twelve-year-old Riggs Napoleon showed his versatility and uncanny ocean skills. Just last month Riggs paddled 32 miles solo between the islands of Molokai and Oahu. On Friday, he advanced to the quarterfinals, taking on some of the top SUP talent in the world. Vierra placed third in the final, followed by Pavao, in fourth, Tony Moniz (5th), and Aaron Napoleon (6th).
Final Results of the C4 Waterman Surf-Off: 1- Kamu Auwae; 2 – Leleo Kinimaka; 3 – Kalani Vierra; 4 – Greg Pavao; 5 – Tony Moniz; 6 – Aaron Napoleon. For more information, visit C4 Waterman
Waikiki beach boys and legends of Hawaii surf were also honored on Friday at the OceanFest as a capacity summer crowd of visitors and kama’aina couldn’t get enough. From Ben Aipa to Jock Sutherland and Rory Russell, the Hawaiian Airlines Duke’s Legends Surf Classic was a lesson in history and classic style in one; while the C4 Waterman SUP Surf-Off and races showcased a favorite beach boy pastime with 21st century flair in their standup paddle races and surf heats.