Duke KahanamokuDuke Kahanamoku is a true surfing legend. He represented the USA in three olympics as a swimmer, winning gold medals in 1912 and 1920, and collected a  silver behind Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan of the old black and white movies) in the games in between. He also went to subsequent games as a water polo player, and landed many parts in movies over a career of 40 years.

Later on he went on tours around the world like my own and is the single person responsible for introducing surfing to most of the planet, particularly Australia and as a consequence is widely regarded as the father of modern surfing. He was a fantastically skilled waterman, who before development trashed the breaks here in Honolulu he rode a single 35 foot wave a mile and a quarter in 1917, which would be hard enough to do now, let alone on the wooden boards he would have been riding.

Duke by the way is his name rather than a title, and he later went on to become the Sheriff of Honolulu. A position he held for about 30 years, and I also noticed yesterday that he was instrumental in establishing the war memorial at Pearl Harbour.

Xmas DukeThere is a statue of him on the beach at Waikiki and I give it the lei I was given at the Lu’au to say Mahalo (Thankyou in Hawaiian) for his gift to the world and in particular to me.

Respect is due. Enough said.

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