WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Duke's OceanFest, Waikiki's premier ocean sports festival, returns to honor the enduring legacy of the legendary Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, August 19-27. An Olympic champion, surfing pioneer and expert paddler, Duke Kahanamoku is fondly remembered as an accomplished waterman and ambassador of Hawai'i's Aloha Spirit.
The 2017 Duke's OceanFest will feature 30 exciting athletic ocean and beach competitions and special events during its nine-day schedule, with most taking place at Queen's Surf on Waikiki Beach, a favorite place of Duke Kahanamoku, and home to the magnificent statue honoring his contributions to the world of watersports.
The public is invited to join in on the competitions and community events such as the screening of Duke Kahanamoku: Hawai'i's Soul documentary on August 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the International Market Place where nightclub Duke's was previously located. Visit www.dukesoceanfest.com for more information, entry forms, special offers from travel partners, and event updates.
"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," said Chris Colgate, co-chair of Duke's OceanFest. "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."
"Through this annual event, we are paying tribute to one of the world's most renowned watermen, Duke Kahanamoku, and how he continues to inspire watermen and waterwomen around the world. Duke's OceanFest is committed to passing on Duke's love for the ocean and the aloha he shared with all people who came to Hawai'i."
Coinciding with Duke Kahanamoku's birthday (Aug. 24, 1890), Duke's OceanFest 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. Since then, the annual festival has grown tremendously in support from volunteers, generous sponsors, and supportive government agencies, which make the nine-day festival possible.
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.
Renowned as Hawai'i'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.
Major or Gold Level Sponsors of Duke's OceanFest include the Hawai'i Tourism Authority, Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, Duke's Waikiki, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Matson, Kona Brewing Company and AccesSurf.
Duke's OceanFest Schedule of Events: August 19-27, 2017
Most 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 www.dukesoceanfest.com for updated information.