WAINAO N°19 - THE MAN THE DEATH AND THE OCEAN
WHY NOW? BECAUSE that man, duke, has made a name in surfing world. He basically brought surf in usa....however. we can be sure that none of his accolades were more important that what he did that night.
Most of people struggle to stand on a board when there's the shadow of a wind....Just imagine the level of mastering needed to literrally SAVE people from drowning during a storm..
THAT KIND OF EXPLOIT ARE SO INCREDIBLE THAT IF THERE WERE NOT WITNESSES AND PROOFS, WE WOULD NOT BELIEVE IT. DUKE WAS DEFINITELY SOMEONE SPECIAL.
“ somebody said that riding waves was like knocking on heaven’s door. On a stormy night, a young hawaian did not only knock….he took 8 people back with him. “
“ If you were to meet DEATH one day, in the middle of the ocean...you'd rather have an angel who can really ride.“
JUNE 14th 1925: After a fishing boat was slammed by big wave DUKE KANAHAMOKU – grabbed his surfboard and rushed out in the wild to save eight passengers...
Duke Kahanamoku (August 24, 1890 – January 22, 1968) was a Native Hawaiian competition swimmer who was born in 1890 and died in 1968. He's known for havind popularized the ancient Hawaiian sport of surfing.
Duke was was born in Honolulu with 8 brothers and sisters , he dropped school before being graduated . The young Duke developed his surfing and swimming skills at Waikiki Beach . He was very gifted and in 1911, in an anateur competition he beat several world records as 100 yards in 4.6 seconds. the Amateur Athletic Union will not recogn,ize these records because they couldn't believe it was true.
He qualified for 1912 Olympics wher he won a gold and silver medals. He won 3 more medals in 1920 and 1924 he won to more medals included a gold against Johnny Weismuller.
During that period and after his olympic career, Kahanamoku traveled in many countries to give swimming and surfing exhibitions. that's how he popularized a sport of surfing, which was known only in Hawaii, back then. The surfing exhibition at Sydney's Freshwater Beach in 1914, considered as a seminal event in the development of surfing in Australia.] The board that Kahanamoku built from a piece of pine from a local hardware store is retained by the Freshwater Surf Club. Duke made surfing popular in mainland America first in 1912 while in Southern California. The fact that he was performing as an actor too during these years helped Duke creat connections that will allow him to popularize even more the sport.
Duke Kahanamoku, is referred to as the “father of modern surfing.”
And that's maybe not his greatest accoplishments.....
June 14, 1925, Duke Kahanamoku, then 34, was preparing to enter the waves on his 12-foot mahogany surfboard with several surfers massive waves and swells propelled by fierce winds began to lash the coast.
Few fishing boats had already overturned during a storm in the past year. In 1925, the Newport harbor entrance was very dangerous to ship and sail.
A huge wave had smashed across the bow of the "Thelma", flooding the engine room. Twenty-nine fishermen were thrown into the roiling waters. , the vessel “was caught broadside in the teeth of three tremendous breakers and rolled completely over three times from starboard to port on the sand of the shallow bar.” No shipmate had time to grab a life preserver" reported the Los Angeles Times.
Duke and two of his surfing buddies did not think twice before leaping onto their boards. “Neither me nor my pals were thinking about heroics, we were simply running–me with my board and the others to get their boards–hoping to save lives.”
Duke paddled through the widly pounding waves to the struggling men and started a fast roundtrip to save the drowning. , “Don’t ask me how I made it, for it was just one long nightmare of trying to shove through what looked like a low Niagara Falls.” The waves were, in his words, “building up to barn-like heights.” recalled Kahanamoku.
“In a matter of minutes we were making rescues; people were screaming, gagging, thrashing. Some victims we could not save at all [...] We lost count of the number of trips we made. Without the boards, we would probably not have been able to rescue a single person.” said Duke.
Seventeen souls perished that day, twelve were saved from drowning. Duke Kahanamoku saved eight by himself.
Duke, who was not looking for the fame left the scene before the arrive of journalists but the Chief of Police, told the Los Angeles Times, “Kahanamoku’s performance was the most superhuman rescue act and the finest display of surfboard riding that has ever been seen in the world.”
The funny fact is that Duke Kahanamoku appeared in the 1948 John Wayne movie “Wake of the Wild Witch.” The movie’s title is “Wake of the Red Witch.”
Amazing what you can do with a surfboard and a big heart !
To know more about the subject:
Osmond, Gary. (2010). "'Honolulu Māori': Racial Dimensions of Duke Kahanamoku's Tour of Australia and New Zealand". New Zealand Journal of History
Duke Paoa Kahanamoku" (1990) by Jan Gordon Fisher". Public Art in Public Places. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
Father Of International Surfing To Be Honored On New Postage Stamp. USPS. July 30, 2002
Gault-Williams, Malcolm. "Biography: Corona Del Mar Save". Legendary Surfers. Hawaiianswimboat.com. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009. Retrieved November 21, 2008.
^ Editor for Surfer Today. "10 interesting facts about Duke Kahanamoku". Surfertoday. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
Gordy Grundy - Duke Kahanamoku and The Superhuman Rescue Sunday June 14, 2015
David C. Henley - California Retrospective: Duke Kahanamoku: The heroic moment that became part of his legend -Los Angeles Times Aug. 24, 2015