Duke’s OceanFest celebrates surfing legend in Waikiki

Duke’s OceanFest will include the world-famous ocean swim off of Waikiki Beach in which thousands of people will compete to honor the legacy of Duke Kahanamoku, who was an ambassador of Hawaii’s aloha spirit. -- Duke’s OceanFest photo

Duke’s OceanFest will once again make a splash as Waikiki’s premier ocean sports festival. It returns to honor the enduring legacy of legendary Duke Paoa Kahanamoku from Aug. 19 to 27.

An Olympian, Kahanamoku is fondly remembered as an accomplished waterman, surfer and expert paddler as well as an ambassador of Hawaii’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 of Duke’s and home to the magnificent statue that honors his many contributions to the world of water sports.

The public is invited to join in on the competitions and community events such as the screening of the film, “Duke Kahanamoku: Hawaii’s Soul” documentary on Aug. 24 at the International Market Place where the 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 Hawaii.”

Coinciding with his birthday on 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 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.

It supports Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation. Net proceeds help fund ODKF’s awarding of scholarships and grants to Hawaii residents and nonprofit groups.