The Duke Kahanamoku Oceanfest (DKOF) returns to Waikiki’s shores for its 21st annual celebration of Hawaii’s ocean sports and beach activities. This year holds special significance as the festival refocuses its mission to pay tribute to Duke Kahanamoku’s legacy of ambassadorship and athletics. Billy Berger, Executive Producer of the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation Support, Inc., talked all about it with Mikey.
An exceptional highlight of this year’s event is the posthumous presentation of the Gussie Crawford Lifetime Achievement Award to Duke Kahanamoku by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), coinciding with his 133rd birthday. This recognition underscores his enduring influence on Hawaii and athletics worldwide.
Amidst the recent tragedy on Maui, the DKOF community has remained resilient. The festival maintains its commitment to Duke’s values by striving to bring Indigenous sports and activities to the community. In response to Maui’s challenges, the DKOF initiates a fundraising effort to revitalize Maui’s youth athletics, replacing lost equipment and embodying its mission to perpetuate youth sports.
More than a mere celebration, the DKOF embodies a mission to support those who carry Duke’s spirit forward. By providing financial support to Hawaii’s students, teams, and events, the festival ensures Duke’s values endure through generations.
Integral to the DKOF’s success are its sponsors, including Outrigger Waikiki and Hawaiian Airlines Star. Their support not only sustains the event but also upholds the festival’s mission of perpetuating Duke Kahanamoku’s legacy.
As the Duke Kahanamoku Oceanfest marks its 21st year, it does so with a renewed purpose. By celebrating Duke’s legacy, embracing change, and rallying in the face of challenges, the DKOF continues to exemplify the enduring spirit of aloha.
For more information, visit dukekahanamokuoceanfestival.org.