Waikiki, Hawaii – August 25, 2016 – Queen’s Surf Break off beautiful Waikiki Beach was the setting for 60 challenged athletes from 9 different nations from around the world as they converged to celebrate and participate in the 15th annual Duke’s Oceanfest in 1 to 3 foot surf. The Duke’s Oceanfest 2016, is a celebration of the life of Duke Kahanamoku on his 126th birthday year and all the ocean activities he did in Hawaii and shared with the world. Of course surfing, swimming, paddleboarding, SUP, lifeguarding, surf polo, volleyball and assisting challenged athletes.
AccesSurf Hawaii for ten years has been empowering people with disabilities by providing adaptive surfing instruction and therapeutic educational programs on water recreation and enriches lives by assisting families to access the beach and ocean in a barrier free environment.
This is the 10th year AccesSurf Hawaii has worked with the Duke’s Oceanfest to present the values Duke shared with all those that visited Waikiki Beach. Even those with challenges were able to surf with Duke and AccesSurf Hawaii is proud to pass this tradition on with a world class competition in 10 different competitive divisions. Men’s Sit, Women’s Sit, Stand, Prone, Deaf, Wounded Warriors A & B, Assisted A & B and Access Tandem/Expression Session.
Jeff Munson from Corona del Mar, California won for the third year in a row in the Men’s Sit Division. Second place went to Charles “Chaka” Webb from Oceanside, California, third place to Rich Julian of Honolulu, Oahu, fourth place went to Elias Valencia from Chile.
In the Women’s Sit Division. Meira Duarte from Ewa Beach, Oahu, took first place in a very competitive heat with former winner Alana Nichols from Wheat Ridge, Colorado, a multi Para-Olympic Gold Medal Champion in second place. Diane Whitcomb from Kailua, Oahu took third and Michelle Tippens from Honolulu, Oahu took fourth place.
The Prone Division saw 2015 ISA World Adaptive Prone Champion Bruno Hansen from Denmark take first place in first time surfing in the AccesSurf Adaptive Competition. Second place went to Sean Ryan from San Ramon, California, Nicolas Gallegos from Argentina placed third and fourth place went to Bill Martin from Sunset Beach of the famed North Shore of Oahu.
In the Stand Division, the 2015 ISA World Adaptive Stand Champion, Mark “Mono” Stewart from Australia took first place, Nathan Smids from Canada placed in second, Rodney Roller from California placed third. Roller was the Stand Adaptive Champion in the very first AccesSurf Adaptive Competition in 2007. Fourth place went to Eric Welton from Honolulu, Oahu.
This year in the Assisted Division, AccesSurf Hawaii divided up the division into Assisted -A & Assisted-B. All assisted athletes had pushers in the lineup and the separation was determined by their classification of their disability.
Jeff Andrews from California dominated and won in the Assisted-A. Buster Kawasaki of Pearl City, Oahu placed in second, Robyn Harvey from Australia was in third and Darian Haynes from Kapolei, Oahu was in fourth place.
In the Assisted-B Division, Jesse Bilauer, the 2015 ISA World Adaptive Assist Champion from Southern California won in classic form. Davi Teixeria from Brazil who placed second to Bilauer in La Jolla last year at the ISA World Adaptive placed second. Teixeria also scored a perfect ten-point ride in this year’s event. In third place was Spike Kane from Liverpool, England and in fourth place was newcomer Whitney Tyler from California.
In the Deaf Division, Paul McDonnell of Honolulu, Oahu took first place for the third year in a row. McDonnell is also the Hawaii State Amateur Champion for the Deaf Division in this year’s Hawaii State Amateur Surfing Championships, held earlier this summer at Ala Moana Bowls. Second place went to Peter Trey Balding of Honolulu, Oahu, third place went to Joshua Beal of Honolulu, Oahu and fourth place went to Raymond Rapozo of Honolulu, Oahu.
AccesSurf Hawaii supports the military and the Wounded Warrior campaign. As in the two Assist Division’s, AccesSurf Hawaii also divided up the Wounded Warrior Division into Wounded Warrior-A & Wounded Warrior-B, all defined by their classification of their injuries.
Mark Thorton from Southern California won the Wounded Warrior-A Division, Buster Kawasaki from Pearl City, Oahu placed in second, Michelle Tippens from Honolulu, Oahu placed third and in fourth place was Tommy Counihan from Honolulu, Oahu.
Clint Munoz from Honolulu, Oahu won the Wounded Warrior-B Division, second place went to Brian Jahn from Honolulu, Oahu and third place went to Tony Lynch from Honolulu, Oahu.
In the AccesSurf Tandem/Expression Session, Abigail Dameg from Honolulu, Oahu was teamed up AccesSurf volunteer surfer Devon Ferguson, Michelle Kirihara was teamed up AccesSurf volunteer surfer Todd Sells and Dane Magill from Australia was teamed up with surfboard shaper Steve Boehne from Infinity Surfboards. Everyone performed well in the 1 to 3 foot surf at Queen’s Surf Break. Also lottery slots were given to three lucky surfers to hit the water one more time. They were Davi Teixeira, Charles “Chaka” Webb and Scott Paterson.
Access Surf Hawaii would like to thank our sponsors for helping our challenged athletes compete in this year’s 2016 Duke’s Oceanfest. Premier Level – J&L Pie Company. Platinum Level – Team Real Estate. Gold Level – Cole-Brooks Construction. Silver Level – Signature Steak House and Kiewit Infrastructure. And also thanks to Hard Rock Café Honolulu, Kona Brewing Company, BareFoot Wine, OluKai, Hawaiian Aroma Caffe, Flying Dog Designs, Aqua-Aston Hotels, Summit Media, Pacific Honda. Also many thanks the World Famous Waikiki Beachboys.
Most of this year’s competitors in the 10th annual AccesSurf Hawaii Adaptive Surf Competition will be attending the 2016 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championships in La Jolla, California from December 8th till the 11th. For more information regarding this event, please log on to the ISA website at www.isasurf.org.