Honolulu – The 8th Annual Duke’s OceanFest

4 Sep 2009 0 Share

Randy Rarick presents Jim Fulton with $5,000 check for Duke Kahanamoku foundation

Randy Rarick presents Jim Fulton with $5,000 check for Duke Kahanamoku foundation

Rabbit Kekai   protege of Duke Kahanamoku and hot dogging pioneer, 90 years young and still surfing

Rabbit Kekai protege of Duke Kahanamoku and hot dogging pioneer, 90 years young and still surfing

Doug Lees, Surfing World publisher and Rory Russell, hawaiian surf legend and duel pipeline pro winner

Doug Lees, Surfing World publisher and Rory Russell, hawaiian surf legend and duel pipeline pro winner

Randy Rarick, Ricky Grigg and other legends

Randy Rarick, Ricky Grigg and other legends

Hawaiian surfing legends at the opening ceremony

Hawaiian surfing legends at the opening ceremony

Surf at Queens Reef, Waikiki

Surf at Queens Reef, Waikiki

The Duke's Oceanfest is held at Queens Reef, Waikiki, where Duke himself surfed

The Duke's Oceanfest is held at Queens Reef, Waikiki, where Duke himself surfed

Tandem surfing

Tandem surfing

Girl winners are presented with awards

Girl winners are presented with awards

Bystanders watch Duke's Oceanfest from the beach

Bystanders watch Duke's Oceanfest from the beach

Paddle board race

Paddle board race

Lei tribute to Duke

Lei tribute to Duke

Hula dancers at closing night ceremony

Hula dancers at closing night ceremony

Surfing Legends are honored at closing ceremony

Surfing Legends are honored at closing ceremony

Honolulu- The 8th Annual Duke’s OceanFest, was held in Waikiki last week in honor of legendary Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, the man who brought surfing to Australia and the rest of the world.

Duke Paoa Kahanamoku is a legend in Hawaii and is highly regarded as the state's greatest athlete and father of international surfing. He was one of the original Waikiki Beachboys, where he learned to swim and surf. While training and competing for his three gold and two silver Olympic medals, Duke was subject to racism. He could not eat at the same table as his American teammates, and yet was known to have a gracious sportsman attitude.

In 1914 Duke performed a surfing exhibition at Freshwater Beach in Sydney. This event is widely regarded as the catalyst for the development of Australian surfing.

The spirit of Duke is honored all through Waikiki, with bars and hotels named after him and pictures of him everywhere. The Duke's Oceanfest event raises proceeds to support the foundation established in Duke’s memory, the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation (ODKF) which provides scholarships and grants to outstanding athletes from Hawaii.

The Duke’s Oceanfest event gives back to the community of Waikiki with a range of different water events including stand up paddle boarding and tandem surfing. It brings together all the great surfing legends of the past in the spirit of Aloha.

- Anna Rose Kerr

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