Duke Kahanamoku Beach Challenge lights up spirit of community, friendly competition in Waikiki

Local News

The 31st annual Duke Kahanamoku Beach Challenge in Waikiki drew crowds for friendly competition, but it was all in the spirit of community on Sunday.

The event was held at Duke’s Beach and Lagoon at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and acts as a fundraiser for the Waikiki Community Center.

The fun included outrigger canoe racing, stand-up paddleboard racing and makahiki games, and it honors someone who had a significant impact on Hawai’i’s water culture. This year it honored a group OHCRA, the O’ahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association.

“And of course it all benefits the Waikiki Community Center, which is, like the event, a center that welcomes everybody,” said Carolina Hayashi, president of the Waikiki Community Center. “We serve our kapuna, we serve families with children and people in need. And basically we welcome anyone into the center.”

The beach challenge is one of the center’s two fundraising events every year.

It hoped to raise $100,000 this year.

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