Queen’s Surf Break off beautiful Waikiki Beach was the setting for 40 challenged athletes from around the world as they converged to celebrate and participate in the 14th annual Duke’s Oceanfest in 2 to 4 foot surf. The Duke’s Oceanfest 2015, is a celebration of the life of Duke Kahanamoku on his 125th 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 empowers 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 9th year AccesSurf Hawaii has worked with the Duke Kahanamoku Foundation 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 7 different competitive divisions. Men’s Sit, Women’s Sit, Wounded Warriors, Assisted, Prone, Deaf and Access Tandem/Expression Session.
Jeff Munson from Corona del Mar, California defended his Men’s Sit Division. His many years of lifeguarding and water knowledge helped Munson take first. Second place went to Lee Hinson from Marcoola, Queensland, Australia, third place to Rich Julian of Honolulu, Hawaii, fourth place went to Charles “Chaka” Webb from Oceanside, California, fifth place to Anthony Bonaccurso of Melbourne, Australia and sixth place to Spike Kane of Liverpool, England.
In the Women’s Sit Division. Meira Duarte from Ewa Beach, Hawaii was warming up at Canoe’s surf break before her heat and sub stained a broken nose and had to go to the hospital. She recovered, but missed her heat with Diane Whitcomb from Kailua, Hawaii taking first in the Women’s Sit Division.
A new division added this year to honor our service members of the military, the Wounded Warrior Division. Clinton Munoz from Honolulu, Hawaii won the Wounded Warrior Division with surfers able to stand, sit, prone and even assisted. Second place went to Izzy George from Daytona Beach, Florida, third place went to Sean Ryan from San Ramon, California and fourth place went to Buster Kawasaki from Pearl City, Hawaii.
In one of the most competitive divisions of the day, Prone Division saw Zac Tapec Honolulu, Hawaii go from not surfing a year ago to winning the prone division at the Duke’s Oceanfest. Second place went to Jimmy Collins from Waipahu, Hawaii and third place went to Jesse Del Mar from Honolulu, Hawaii.
Buster Kawasaki of Pearl City, Hawaii won the Assisted Division for the second year in a row. Second place went to Alika Rilveria from Honolulu, Hawaii, third place went 15 year-old Darian Bailey Haynes from Honolulu, Hawaii, fourth place went to Raul Pernites from Virginia Beach, Virginia and fifth place went to Spike Kane of Liverpool, England.
In the Deaf Division, Paul McDonnell of Honolulu, Hawaii took first place for the second year in a row. McDonnell competes regularly in local longboard amateur competitions and is one of the best longboarders in the state of Hawaii. 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, Hawaii, third place went to Joshua Beal of Honolulu and fourth place went to Bowe Lani of Kaneohe, Hawaii.
In the AccesSurf Tandem/Expression Session, Abigail Dameg from Honolulu, Hawaii was teamed up AccesSurf volunteer surfer Layne Fitzpatrick, and Dane Magill from Australia was teamed up with surfboard shaper Steve Boehne from Infinity Surfboards to perform an impressive show at Queen’s Surf Break.
Access Surf Hawaii would like to thank our sponsors for helping our challenged athletes compete in this year’s 2015 Duke’s Oceanfest. They are the Kiewit Infrastructure, The Wounded Warrior Project, J&L Pie Company, Aloha Petroleum, Hard Rock Café – Honolulu, Kona Brewing Company, Barefoot Wine, BioAstin, Pacific Honda, Hula’s Grill, Jason Rose Photography, Duke’s OceanFest and the Duke Kahanamoku Foundation. Also many thanks and Aloha to Faith Wenzel of WSL Hawaii and the World Famous Waikiki Beachboys.
Most of this year’s competitors in the 9th annual AccesSurf Hawaii Adaptive Surf Competition will be attending the first ever ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championships in LaJolla, California from September 24th till the 27th. For more information regarding this event, please log on to the ISA website at www.isasurf.org.
For more information regarding the 9th Annual AccesSurf Hawaii Adaptive Surf Competition.