Duke’s OceanFest begins with wounded warrior canoe regatta

Updated: Aug. 18, 2019 at 12:49 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -Duke’s OceanFest kicked off this weekend, honoring legendary waterman Duke Kahanamoku.

On Saturday, the 10th annual Na Koa Regatta at Fort DeRussy Beach was held. A record-setting 105 teams participated.

Among the paddlers were activity duty, reserve and national guard members as well as wounded warriors and gold star families who’ve lost a loved ones.

“This was my first year. My core is screaming at me right now so didn’t know that it would require such teamwork, obviously, but it was a great experience for me,” participant Vondell Brown said.

The event is an inclusive festival for ocean lovers from all over the state.

“It means a lot ... to see somebody who has never been in the the water - maybe one of our wounded warriors - get in the water and canoe paddle. And anybody who lives here knows just how powerful that is. The water heals you,” Lt. Gen Bryan Fenton, Deputy Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, said.

Duke’s OceanFest runs through August 25. For more information on the event, click here.

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