McNeil Wilson Communications

Our clients represent some of the most impactful organizations, businesses and policy makers in the State of Hawaii. Their news is our business.

Client News

1003 Bishop Street
Pauahi Tower, 9th Floor
Honolulu, HI 96813
T 808.531.0244
F 808.521.7163

McNeil Wilson Communications, Inc

Media Contact:

Patrick Dugan
(808) 539-3411

Duke’s OceanFest Honors Legacy of Duke Kahanamoku with Nine-Day Celebration 
of Sports Competitions and Special Events, August 22-30

– Olympic Champion Misty May-Treanor to Compete in 
Outrigger Resorts Duke Kahanamoku Sand Volleyball Pro/Am –

Monday, August 10, 2015

Champion swimmer. Pioneering surfer. Waterman extraordinaire. A celebrity among celebrities. Beloved ambassador of aloha. 

All that and more during his lifetime, Duke Kahanamoku and his enduring legacy of achievement and aloha will be celebrated and remembered at the 14th Annual Duke’s OceanFest, Aug. 22 to 30. 

Waikiki’s premier ocean sports festival is presenting 27 ocean and beach competitions and special events over its nine-day schedule, with most taking place in front of the majestic statue honoring Duke and his place in history at Queen’s Surf on Waikiki Beach. 

A highlight of Duke’s OceanFest will be the presence of Olympic champion Misty May-Treanor in competition. The three-time gold medalist in beach volleyball in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics will compete in the Outrigger Resorts Duke Kahanamoku Sand Volleyball Pro/Am on Aug. 25. 

Brent Imonen, event director for Duke’s OceanFest, said, “Duke Kahanamoku’s influence and his accomplishments continues to inspire today’s generations of watermen and waterwomen here in Hawaii and around the world. He first made his mark a century ago and the impact of his life and what he stood for continues to resonate. We are proud to present Duke’s OceanFest and invite the public to come and join us for this celebration of ocean sports, Waikiki and memories of Duke.” 

Duke’s OceanFest coincides with the 125th anniversary of Duke’s birthday (Aug. 24, 1890). The festival will feature a thrilling menu of competitions and events, which Hawaii residents and visitors can enjoy, in many cases, as participants. The events include surfing competitions for teens, amateurs, pros, tandems and the physically challenged; a wounded warrior canoe regatta; stand-up paddling; a one-mile ocean swim; a lifeguard waterman challenge; surfboard waterpolo; paddle boarding; beach volleyball; movies and music on Waikiki Beach; a luau; and a special lei draping of Duke Kahanamoku’s statue. (See the events listing below.)

Please visit for event updates, entry forms and special offers from Duke’s OceanFest travel partners. 

In addition, the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum is currently honoring the life and accomplishments of Duke Kahanamoku with a special exhibit running through Nov. 30, 2015. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Tuesdays. 

Also, Hawaii News Now will be recognizing the life and legacy of Duke Kahanamoku on Aug. 24, with the KGMB-TV broadcast of two one-hour documentaries. “Duke Kahanamoku: Hawaii’s Soul” at 8 p.m., followed by “Kahanamoku: A Legacy of Healing” at 9 p.m.

Renowned as Hawaii’s greatest athlete, Duke Kahanamoku won six Olympic medals, including three gold medals in swimming, and is recognized as the “Father of International Surfing.” In his prime, Kahanamoku was the world’s fastest swimmer, the single-most influential person in popularizing surfing worldwide, a champion paddler and steersman, and was revered as Hawaii’s “Ambassador of Aloha.” 

Duke’s OceanFest supports the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation (ODKF), formed in Kahanamoku’s honor in 1986. Net proceeds from Duke’s OceanFest help fund ODKF’s awarding of scholarships and grants to Hawaii residents and nonprofit groups competing in water sports and volleyball. This year, ODKF awarded $178,250 in scholarships and grants to 73 recipients, bringing its total support since its formation to more than $2.3 million for 1,511 recipients.

Major sponsors of Duke’s OceanFest are the Hawaii Tourism Authority, City and County of Honolulu, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, Kona Brewing Company, Duke’s Waikiki, Hawaii News Now and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. 

Duke’s OceanFest Events Schedule – Aug. 22-30
Unless noted otherwise, the competitions and events are taking place at Queen’s Surf, Waikiki, near the Duke’s OceanFest surf stand and exhibit booths fronting Duke Kahanamoku’s statue. The schedule is subject to change. Please visit for updated information. 

Aug. 22
Waikiki SUP Paddle Fest (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
Many of SUP’s elite will race over two days (Aug. 22, 23) on a marked course through Waikiki’s waves before sprinting to the beach for the finish line. 

Outrigger Resorts Keiki Sand Volleyball Tournament (8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
Youth is served! Doubles teams in four age divisions (12 and under, 14, 16 and 18) will compete to be the champions of Waikiki Beach. Location: Kapiolani-Queen’s Sand Volleyball Courts. 

6th Annual Na Koa Wounded Warrior Canoe Regatta (8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
This inspiring canoe regatta at Fort DeRussy Beach will feature a series of exciting races manned by the brave Wounded Warriors of America’s Armed Forces, along with family members and retired service members. For an entry application, visit online at

Duke’s OceanFest Expo (9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Daily) 
Next to the surf stand, there will be exhibit booths selling Duke’s OceanFest merchandise, displaying products and offering samplings and demos for the public’s enjoyment.  

Duke’s OceanFest 2015 Opening Ceremony (4 p.m. – 6 p.m.)
To conclude the first day of Duke’s OceanFest, competitors and fans are treated to a festive opening ceremony, featuring Hawaiian music and highlighted by the always-popular decorating of Duke Kahanamoku’s magnificent statue with beautiful fresh flower lei. 

Aug. 23
Duke’s Waikiki Kane and Wahine Longboard Pro/Am (8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
Presented by Duke’s Waikiki, this three-day (Aug. 23-25) Pro/Am competition will feature many of Hawaii’s best pro longboard surfers to see who will be crowned as the king and queen of Queen’s Surf. The pro longboard division will be part of the WSL LQS 1000 Series, with a prize purse of $3,000. 

Aug. 24
Duke Kahanamoku Sunrise Birthday Lei Draping (7 a.m. – 8 a.m.)
The 125th anniversary of Duke Kahanamoku’s birthday will be honored with a special morning ceremony that features the decorating of his statue with beautiful fresh flower lei. 

Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame Awards Dinner (5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.)
Four distinguished Hawaii watermen, Joey Cabell, Duane DeSoto, Walter Guild, and Soichi Sakamoto, will be honored for their lifetime of achievements with induction into the Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame. Location: Outrigger Canoe Club. For tickets, contact ODKF at (808) 545-4880. 

Duke Kahanamoku: Hawaii’s Soul; Kahanamoku: A Legacy of Healing (8 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.)
Hawaii News Now is honoring the life of Duke Kahanamoku and his continuing legacy of supporting medical students in Hawaii, with the special KGMB-TV broadcast of two one-hour documentaries, “Duke Kahanamoku: Hawaii’s Soul” at 8 p.m., followed by “Kahanamoku: A Legacy of Healing” at 9 p.m.

Aug. 25
AccesSurf Adaptive Surf Expression Session (8 a.m. – 11 a.m.)
Surfers coping with physical challenges, including paralysis and amputation, demonstrate their wave-riding skills in this special surfing exhibition. 

Outrigger Resorts Duke Kahanamoku Sand Volleyball Pro/Am (4 p.m. – 7 p.m.)
Six-person teams will compete to be the beach volleyball champions of Waikiki Beach. One of the competitors will be Misty May-Treanor, the three-time Olympic gold medalist in beach volleyball. Location: Beach fronting the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort.

Aug. 26
AccesSurf Adaptive Surf Competition (8 a.m. – 11 a.m.)
This inspirational two-day competition (Aug. 26, 27) features athletes overcoming physical challenges, including paralysis and amputation, to compete in a pro-style surfing contest. 

Going to the Dogs SurFur Competition (8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
Canine surfers will lead their owners into the waves of Waikiki for this fun, four-legged competition that will award prizes for riding the best wave, best tandem and best costume. 

ITSA Waikiki Tandem Expression Session (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.)
Tandem surfers will entertain and amaze with their skills and balance atop the waves of Waikiki. 

Aug. 27
Papa Hee Nalu Alaia Surf Contest (8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
Competitors will test their strength and endurance using the kind of traditional – and heavy – wooden surfboards that Duke Kahanamoku and his fellow wave riders used in their heyday. 

ITSA Waikiki Tandem Pro Contest (8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
This certified ITSA competition brings together some of the best tandem surfers to showcase their artistry and crown Waikiki top surfing duet. 

Waikiki Nights: Hawaiian Music and a Movie Presented by Ward Village (6 p.m.)
Get an early start on the weekend! With toes in the sand and waves lapping nearby, the public can gather at Duke’s Statue to enjoy live Hawaiian music and two inspiring documentaries for free: (1) “AccesSurf Adaptive Surf Competition by Freedom Media,” and; (2) “Duke Kahanamoku: Hawaii’s Soul.” 

Aug. 28
Hawaiian Airlines Legends Surf Classic (7 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
This two-day competition (Aug. 28, 29) combines sponsored teams of amateur surfers with the sport’s legends in this pro-style surf meet featuring heats, judges, and public address announcer. Net proceeds raised benefit ODKF’s scholarships and grants program. 

Outrigger Resorts Lifeguard Challenge (8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.)
On the beach fronting the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort, four teams of certified lifeguards will display their extraordinary skills they use to save lives in this challenging competition that combines swimming, paddle boarding, surf rescue and a relay race.

Waikiki Nights: Hawaiian Music and a Movie Presented by Ward Village (6 p.m.)
It’s a special Aloha Friday on Waikiki Beach! Near Duke’s statue, the public can relax and enjoy live Hawaiian music and a movie, again all for free. 

Aug. 29
Duke’s Waikiki Ocean Mile Swim (8 a.m. – 11 a.m.)
This popular open ocean sprint along the Waikiki shoreline attracts hundreds of swimmers from Hawaii as well as the mainland and internationally. Starts in front of Duke’s Waikiki restaurant.

Outrigger Resorts Keiki Sand Volleyball Tournament (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
Four-person teams in four age divisions (12 and under, 14, 16 and 18) will compete to be the champions of Waikiki Beach. Location: Kapiolani-Queen’s Sand Volleyball Courts. 

Maui Jim Hawaii Paddleboard Championship (10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.)
“Duke’s Race” challenges both the speed and endurance of Hawaii’s paddle boarders in this grueling 10-mile sprint that starts at Maunalua Bay in Hawaii Kai and finishes at Queen’s Surf. 

Hawaiian 105 KINE Great Hawaiian Luau (5 p.m. – 9 p.m.)
Good friends, great times, happy memories, and ono food are the hallmarks of Duke’s OceanFest’s annual beachfront luau. Location: Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort. Purchase tickets at 

Aug. 30
Matson Menehune Surf Fest presented by Na Kama Kai (6:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
To help encourage surfing among Hawaii’s teens, Duke’s OceanFest is offering this special pro-style surf competition for Hawaii up-and-coming surfers.

Outrigger Resorts AVPNext Beach Volleyball (8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
This is the first official AVPNext tournament of the 2015-2016 qualifying series and features $2,000 in prize money split between the men and women. The highest-ranking teams will earn a wildcard into the AVP main draw event in July 2016. Location: Kapiolani-Queen’s Sand Volleyball Courts.

Tiki’s Grill & Bar Surfboard Waterpolo (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
Six-person teams will play water polo on surfboards, the same way Duke Kahanamoku, his brothers and fellow beach boys did in Waikiki in the 1920s and 1930s. Location: Kapahulu Groin.