The Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame honors those men and women who have contributed an enormous amount of energy and passion to the ocean. Inductees compete in water and beach sports at the highest levels and have left their sports and their community in a better place than before. Like Duke Kahanamoku, they epitomize athletic excellence with grace and aloha, and they are the local role models for our growing keiki to look up to.
Arguably one of Hawaii’s greatest waterwomen and an all-around outstanding athlete, Traci’s impressive athletic resume began when she was 10 years old and she is still competitive into her 50s. Traci has amassed a lengthy list of state beach volleyball championship titles in both doubles and mixed (1978 - 1981), as well as state racquetball and national runner-up titles in singles, doubles and mixed divisions (1981-1983). Her accomplishments went far beyond the courts, to the field--as a high school track athlete and to the ocean as an avid surfer, where Traci won state surfing championships while also racking up four Na Wahine Molokai Hoʻe Outrigger Canoe Racing World Championships in 1979, 1984, 1985 and 1992. These successes on the water led to a full-time commitment and the logging of literally thousands of hours of dedicated training, when she became a member of the U.S. Olympic Kayak Team in K-1, K-2 and K-4. Most notably, she won two Gold Medals in the 1987 Pan American Games in K-1 and K-4 divisions. She not only competed in the World Championships for kayaking from 1986-1996, but also was a member of the U.S. Olympic team in three Olympiads--1988, 1992 and 1996. Twice named the top Female Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Canoe and Kayak Team (1987 and 1990), Traci was also recognized as Canoe/Kayak Athlete of the Year by the US Olympic Committee in 1988. Following her run at three consecutive Olympic Games, Traci returned home to Hawaii and coached Punahou and Mid-Pacific ILH kayaking. Then she resumed competing and coaching for the Outrigger Canoe Club (OCC) where she was awarded the prestigious Winged “O” in 2004. Her OCC coaching experience culminated with coaching the OCC open women in 2016 and 2017, along with Johnny Puakea. She still lives in Honolulu and enjoys OC-1 paddling, kayaking, surfing and weightlifting. After a hiatus, Traci hopes to resume coaching in the future.
Recognized internationally as a true water sports' ambassador, legend, and pioneer, Robby Naish won his first windsurfing World Championship in 1976, at the early age of 13. Naish went on to win successive World Championship titles from 1977 to 1979, as a teenage amateur. After the creation of the Professional Boardsailors' Association (PBA) — which later became the Professional Windsurfing Association (PWA) — Naish won consecutive Overall World Champion titles from 1983 to 1987, and the PWA World Champion title in 1988, 1989, and 1991. In the late 90s the emerging sport of kiteboarding got Naish’s attention and he began developing his own line of Kites. He quickly became one of the top competitors In 1998, he won the Kiteboarding Slalom World Title and in 1999, went on to win both the Kiteboarding Slalom and Jumping World Titles. In total, he claimed 24 World Windsurfing titles and 150 event victories over the length of his career. Considered an international sports celebrity, Naish has traveled the world and been featured in numerous films, videos, news reports and articles. He is a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy, a unique association of the greatest living sporting legends, and in 2004 was inducted into the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame. Robby Naish continues to be active in all of the board sports, and has developed a full range of sailboards, sails, stand-up paddleboards, hydrofoils, foil boards, wing-surfers and kite surfing equipment, which are marketed world-wide under the Naish brand.
At just 26 years old, Maui-born Kai Lenny is the youngest inductee to the Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame. He caught his first wave at just five years old and has since taken the surfing world by storm, excelling in all areas of the sport including big wave riding, tow-in surfing, windsurfing, kite-surfing and stand up paddle surfing and racing, and foil boarding. Sponsored by the time he was 10 years old, Lenny has gone on to be named eight-time SUP Surfing World Champion, VICE KSP Kiting World Champion, two-time Molokai to Oahu Foil Boarding World Champion and World Record Holder, and Molokai to Oahu SUP World Champion. He was awarded the 2019 World Surfing League (WSL) Biggest Wave Awards for Ride of the Year, as well as the XXL Biggest Wave for the second year running. Most recently, he was recognized as the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) 2019 “Waterman of the Year” and was inducted into the Surfers’ Hall of Fame (2019). Considered a leading global campaigner in fighting ocean pollution, Lenny is also passionate about promoting ocean safety and youth development. In 2015, Lenny founded the Positively Kai Foundation to provide training clinics aimed at introducing kids to water sports in the communities in which they live. Obsessed with ocean-sports variety, Lenny has become a jack-of-all-aquatic-trades. What makes him a unique breed is that he has not only excelled, but rather, has mastered each discipline. As a rare individual so acutely versed and highly decorated at so many water sports disciplines, Lenny’s goal has always been to be the person in the water having the most fun, while being an inspiration to water sports enthusiasts of all ages. In this day and age of social media, with an Instagram account with nearly 500,000 followers, it's hard to argue he’s not achieving his goal of having the most fun, no less being an inspiration to the world much like Duke Kahanamoku.
Candidates should possess all these characteristics:
Keiki o ka `aina / Keiki o ke kai
Sustained outstanding contribution to the sport and the community
International, national AND local accomplishment and recognition
Ability and willingness to become an ambassador for the Foundation, attracting more waterman to perpetuating Duke’s legacy through scholarships and grants.
The Waterman Hall of Fame Committee, composed of past and present ODKF Board Members as well as past WHOF Inductees, meets throughout the spring to consider nominations. Induction classes are selected based on fulfillment of above characteristics, availability for an inductee to attend the WHOF event in person, a balance of unique qualities across the class of the same year, and sometimes with a special theme, such as the Olympics. Inductees are generally announced in late spring or early summer.
Please email email@example.com for a nomination form. Nominations may be submitted year-round. All submissions will be in the consideration pool for a period of three years. There is no need to resubmit nominations during this time, though updates of current achievements are helpful.
In 2019, the Board of Directors initiated a new award to honor young Hawai’i athletes in the freshman, sophomore or junior year of high school, who are excelling at the highest levels in one or more of Duke’s Sports all the while representing their team, community and state as Ambassadors of Aloha. These rising competitors may well be our future champions and sports stars, and most importantly our future role models and stewards of the Aloha spirit. If you know a deserving young athlete, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a nomination form.
Hie Makamae Loui was named the 2019 Waterwoman to Watch. A freshman at Punahou School, Hie has been a leader in multiple Duke sports, including Canoe Paddling, Water Polo, Indoor Volleyball and Beach Volleyball. She also maintains a 4.0 GPA, was a 2018 and 2019 Damon Speech finalist and serves her community donating time to the Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center and Wailupe Ohana Council. Hie is commended for the aloha spirit she lives and breathes each and every day. She was awarded a $500 grant to use towards equipment, training and/or competition costs.