Kahanamoku Tournament Splashes On Rockaway
The First Annual Duke Kahanamoku Surf Tournament will take place at the 90 Street Surfing Beach on Saturday, October 4. The Tournament, which starts at 8 a.m., will feature events that include all levels of surfing and bodyboarding. All ages are welcome to compete.
The tournament is dedicated to the local Rockaway firefighters who selflessly gave their lives to protect others: Battalion Chief John Moran, Captain Walter G. Hynes, Firefighters Steven Belson, Richard Allen, Steven P. Russell and Eugene Whelan.
The New York City Parks Departmetn, the Office of Councilman Joseph Addabbo and Tsunami Surf and Dive Shop sponsors the event. The entry fee is $25. Pick up your application at Tsunami Surf Shop located at 192 Beach 92 Street or call 718-945-5223. On the day of the event, registration is $30. The tournament is not-for profit event and all of the proceeds will be donated for the construction of the new Broad Channel Volunteer Firehouse.
Kahanamoku was a one-time visitor to Rockaway in the 1920’s and Beach 38 Street was dedicated as "Duke Kahanamoku Way" more than ten years ago.
Almost 22 years of age when he won his first Olympic gold medal, Duke represented the United States in the Olympics for the next 20 years, winning not only medals but also the hearts of people all over the world. He is remembered not just as a swimmer for his remarkable speed, but for his grace in the water, good humor and sportsmanship.
Duke won his first Olympic gold medal and set a world record in the 100-meter free-style and won a silver as a participant in the 200-meter relay in Stockholm in 1912. He won his second and third gold medals in 1920 during the Antwerp Olympics, again breaking his world record in the 100-meter free-style and setting a world record on the free-style relay team. In the 1924 Paris Olympics, he won a silver medal for the 100-meter free-style. Then, in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, he was awarded a bronze medal as an alternate on the water polo team.
First to be inducted into both the swimming and surfing Halls of Fame, Duke won medals, trophies and worldwide fame as a swimmer, but surfed purely for the fun of it in an era before surfing was a competitive sport. His legendary longboard surfing was recorded on newsreels. Museums and memorials in Australia, California, Florida, New York, Hawaii and elsewhere pay tribute to his influence on the sport of surfing all over the world.