Duke's OceanFest celebrates 15 years of honoring Duke Kahanamoku

Duke's OceanFest celebrates 15 years of honoring Duke Kahanamoku

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - From Dukes OceanFest

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 Hawai'i'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 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 Hawai'i 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 lu'au; and a special lei draping of Duke Kahanamoku's statue. (Events listed below.)

In addition, Hawai'i 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: Hawai'i'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 Hawai'i 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.