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Hawaii: Oahu festival honors surfing legend Duke Kahanamoku

Duke's OceanFest, a nine-day celebration, honors Duke Kahanamoku with swimming, surfing and more.

Get ready for Duke’s OceanFest, an annual celebration along Waikiki beach that includes surfing, swimming and life saving, among other events.

The Oahu festival, in its 13th year, will take Aug. 16-24 and will pay tribute to the legacy of Duke Kahanamoku, a three-time Olympic gold medalist.

Besides being a stellar swimmer, Kahanamoku was a huge supporter of surfing and one of the first people to play beach volleyball.

The events include:

Aug. 16: Hawaii Paddleboard Championship, a 10-mile race testing speed and endurance.

Aug. 19-21: Longboard ProAm, a three-day competition to determine the best surfers in categories for men and women.

Aug. 20: Lifeguard Competition in which participants from around the world display their skills in a challenge combining swimming, paddle boarding, surf rescue and a relay race.

Aug. 22: Hawaiian Nights and “The Endless Summer,” an evening of live music plus a screening of the classic 1966 surfing documentary.

Aug. 23: Duke’s Waikiki Ocean Mile Swim, a popular sprint along the Waikiki shoreline that attracts hundreds of swimmers each year.

“Duke Kahanamoku made a profound impact on society in Hawaii and his influence was felt around the world,” Brent Imonen, a festival director, said in a news release. “The nature of events offered at Duke’s OceanFest is recognition of how important he was to people of all ages and abilities.” 

The full lineup of activities is available online.

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