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August in Photos

Posted by: Kim Steutermann Rogers
Destination: Oahu
Sep 04, 2013

Any day on Waikiki Beach can bring a variety of ocean-goers to the water, from babies with inflatable wings on their arms to stand up paddlers from as far away as Australia, from 92-year-old doctors who surf to mothers who double as surf photographers. 

During Duke’s Oceanfest, held for nine days every August, I witnessed all this and more. Professionals charged the water, dodging children, visitors and spectators going about their day sunbathing, wading and building sand castles on Waikiki Beach. I watched the Ultimate Stand Up Paddling Showdown one day and the Lifeguard Competition, sponsored by my employer Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, the next.

After the lifeguard competition ended, I packed up my camera gear, shook the sand out of my shoes and sought shade under the kindness of a row of palm trees. Then, I noticed a swarm of surfers paddling out to the lineup and dug my camera back out, attaching my longest lens possible. But it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t get close up shots of the next competition—tandem surfing—and the waves weren’t rolling in, so I left.

Tandem surfing at its simplest is two people riding one board on a wave. In competition, it’s a man and a woman, the two performing a combination of moves. The harder the move, the more points. The more moves per wave, the more points. It takes strength, balance, grace, teamwork, timing and a knack for selecting big waves the run a long ways.

I didn’t learn much about tandem surfing at Duke’s Oceanfest, because I didn’t hang around. Silly me. But I learned a lot this past weekend in a remote valley along Kauai’s Napali Coast, where I met Blanche Yoshida. She won the two world titles of tandem surfing in 2007, when she was 54 years old, and her dominance of the sport was a reprise of something she did from 1968 to 1973. Move over Audrey Sutherland, I have found my new mentor. And, nope, I’m not going to tell you more, because I plan on tracking Blanche down, possibly at one of her favorite surf spots, for a surf sesh or two. That, or I'll run into her at the farmers' market or the post office or when I visit Hokulea anchored in Hanalei Bay this afternoon. Because synchronicity is a way of life in Hawaii.

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Rick "George" Miller | Sep 05, 2013 03:23 AM

Kim We have stayed twice at Waikiki. I have a question you may know the answer to. Why has the beach not been replenished with sand? The Outrigger Reef has a great salt water pool but the beach at that end is terrible. We stayed at the older condos with two bedrooms near the "Reef". We had a group of four. Me and three of my wife, Ellen's, girlfriends. I will understand if you are too busy to reply. I enjoy you photography and posts. Can't wait to return. Kauai is next. Regards, Rick

Kim | Sep 05, 2013 11:18 AM

Hi Rick, beach erosion is both a natural action (often seasonal as big swells come and go) and a result of human-made structures, like sea walls, along the coastline. When was your last visit to Waikiki? Because just last year a massive effort was completed that replenished sand on the beach, widening it in some places by as much as 40 feet. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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