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11th Annual Hawai‘i Waterman Hall of Fame is Golden

(L-R) Carissa Moore, Mike Spalding, Shane Dorian and Kelly Fey
Photo credit: Kelli Bullock Hergert

HONOLULU – December 8, 2021 – With the Pacific Ocean waves adjacent and stars shining above, four of the world’s most inspirational athletes were inducted into the 11th Annual Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame on Dec. 2, 2021, at a sold-out event at Outrigger Canoe Club.

The most coveted waterman award in Hawai‘i – the honor is given to those who perpetuate the spirit of Duke Kahanamoku – Hawai‘i’s most famous global ambassador of aloha and original waterman. This year’s inductees included Olympic gold-medalist Carissa Moore, acclaimed swimmer Mike Spalding, award-winning paddler Kelly Fey and world-champion surfer Shane Dorian.

A star-studded event, the venue was filled with professional watermen and industry icons ranging from Bob Hurley and Mike Healey to Kimi Werner, Seth Moniz and Jack Johnson. Many past inductees were there for the celebration as well, including Kai Lenny, Senator Fred Hemmings, Pokey Richardson, John and Jim Foti, Joey Cabell and Archie Kalepa.

All four inductees spoke fondly about their love for the ocean and all it provided them – from life-long friendships to epic adventures and even a place of solitude to bring peace and healing in times of challenge.

“Duke Kahanamoku was the greatest aquatic sportsman in the world; the Hawai‘i Waterman Hall of Fame celebrates individuals who perpetuate his legacy through sport and aloha,” said Bill Pratt, chairman and co-founder of the Waterman Hall of Fame event. “Now in its 11th year – this inspirational event is also the major fundraiser for Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation, supporting Hawai‘i’s next generation of scholar-athletes.

The Hawai‘i Waterman Hall of Fame was initiated to create a lasting tribute to the Hawaiian Islands’ water sports legacy and honor the achievements of Hawai‘i’s standout watermen and waterwomen. Criteria used to select inductees are: keiki o ka ‘āina / keiki o ke kai; sustained outstanding influence to the sport; international, national and local accomplishment and recognition alongside lasting community contributions.

Net proceeds from the Waterman Hall of Fame dinner benefit the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation’s (ODKF) college scholarships and athletic grants program. With active stewardship from generous donors and the waterman community – ODKF has gifted more than $3 million in grants and scholarships since its inception in 1986.

Major event sponsors included: Sidewinder Films, The Foundation for Global Sports Development and Outrigger Hotels and Resorts.

A preview of Sidewinder Film’s new movie – WATERMAN – about surfing legend, Olympic superstar, Hawaiian icon and American hero – Duke Kahanamoku was shared that night, with movie producer David C. Ulich on stage, sharing how in making the film he learned the true meaning of aloha. Duane DeSoto, surfing champ who plays Duke in the movie was also at the event that night.

Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort – which sits on the site of the original Outrigger Canoe Club – is the host hotel for Hawai‘i Waterman Hall of Fame. Earlier that day, Carissa Moore and Shane Dorian took part in the property’s Surfers in Residence program – a talk-story session with Tammy Moniz of Faith Surf School, who also attended the event. Outrigger’s support of ODKF and Waikiki’s surf culture extends to being a major sponsor of Duke’s OceanFest and unveiling a surf art experience in partnership with Bishop Museum, with total in-kind and cash contributions for the three organizations hitting $50,000 this year alone.


Much like Duke Kahanamoku, Carissa Moore caught her first wave off the beaches of Waikīkī at just five years old and has since taken the sport of surfing to unimaginable levels. Spending countless hours in the ocean with her dad, Chris, dedicating herself to honing her passion for surfing, Carissa went on to win a record eleven NSSA amateur surfing titles. In 2008, at the tender age of sixteen, she became the youngest champion at a Triple Crown of Surfing event winning the Reef Hawaiian Pro. In 2010, Moore qualified to compete on the ASP Championship Tour (now called the World Surf League). She won two major contests, finished third overall, and was named Rookie of the Year. The following year, at only eighteen years old, she became the youngest person – male or female – to win a surfing world title. Moore went on to win additional World Title honors in 2013, 2015, 2019 and 2021.

If this trove of significant accomplishments wasn’t enough, Moore’s 2021 championship title earned her the honor of representing her homeland of Hawaiʻi and her country of USA in the COVID-19 delayed 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. Moore continued to make history by going on to win the first-ever Gold Medal in Olympic Surfing. Moore, a Native Hawaiian and the embodiment of the aloha spirit, brought home Gold to Hawaiʻi and reminded the world of Duke’s dream some 100 years ago to have surfing become an Olympic sport.

Carissa’s ever-humble approach and sense of kuleana to her community and up-and-coming young female surfers are evident in her charitable foundation, Moore Aloha. Created in 2018, the goal of the foundation is simple – Moore Love! Moore Aloha Foundation encourages young females through the sport of surfing to be strong, confident, and compassionate individuals.

Kelly Fey epitomizes the essence of a Hawaiian Waterwoman. Many people may not know how much she has accomplished, but given her humble spirit, that seems to be just fine with her. An athletic champion at multiple disciplines of paddling, and a champion for her community at the deepest level, Fey has always competed with Aloha while giving back, always inspiring others to give their best.  Soft-spoken and always listening intently, she looks for the deeper connections we all share.

Kelly Fey has won multiple solo-craft Moloka’i Channel World Championships in both the Kayak and OC-1. In fact, she has won six Molokai-to-Oahu kayak crossings and two on a one-person outrigger canoe. Fey was also a member of twelve Nā Wāhine O Ke Kai titles; eight as a vital crew member and four as the coach of the vaunted Team Bradley. Nā Wāhine pioneer Auntie Rosie Lum once marveled at the incredible span of Fey’s career, sharing that Lum had once paddled with and mentored Fey early in her formative years, and later watched her return the favor by mentoring, paddling with, and coaching her daughter Mahealani Lum Bothelo. Her passion for her sports is matched with her love for her teammates, the community, and our environment.  She has coached both kayaking and canoe paddling at Kamehameha Schools, mentors and coaches at her home canoe club of Hui Nalu, all the while organizing and training the top team in the sport of women’s paddling, Team Bradley, which continues to set the bar across the Kaiwi Channel, continuously breaking and setting their own record finish times.

Fey’s focused energy and ability to galvanize others to achieve important community contributions helped realize the Kaiwi Coast Run & Walk, a fundraiser now in its eighth year. An idea she pitched to her canoe club and helped bring to fruition with others, the event draws the community together to enjoy a morning run/walk of the Kaiwi Coast and raise funds for important community and environmental initiatives. The fundraising brought in by the Kaiwi Coast Run & Walk over the years: assisted in the purchase of the Kaiwi Mauka lands and placement of them into the stewardship of the Livable Hawaii Kai Hui; funded the Hawaii Kai Lions Club to place Rescue Tubes on beaches and shorelines without lifeguards which have aided in the saving of lives in the Spitting Caves area of Portlock; created, a free online resource dedicated to archiving and researching Moolelo of East Oʻahu; and assisted in the purchase of Kanewai Fishpond, through the Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center. The fundraiser has also allowed Hui Nalu to take care of its own maintenance needs and invest in its sailing canoe programs.

Characterized by versatility, endurance, and perseverance, Michael Spalding is the first and only male swimmer to swim all nine Hawaiian Island channels. In 2001, he was one of the first to swim the seven-mile ʻAlalākeiki Channel from Maui to Kahoʻolawe. He is the oldest person to swim the 26-mile Kaiwi Channel from Moloka’i to Oʻahu, completing it 2007. In 2008 during his first attempt to swim the thirty-mile ʻAlenuihāhā Channel from Hawaiʻi Island to Maui, he was bitten by a cookie-cutter shark ten miles into the crossing and had to abort the swim; he completed it successfully in 2011. In 2010, he was part of a relay that swam the treacherous 72-mile Kaʻieʻie Waho Channel, which is still the only successful swim crossing from Oʻahu to Kauaʻi. He also completed a forty-mile double-crossing relay of the English Channel.

In addition to his epic swimming pursuits, Spalding is an avid outrigger canoe paddler and sailor. He participated in more than 23 Moloka’i Hoe races, and various other Hawaiian paddling and sailing races. He won the gold medal in the first 70’s division of Hawaiʻi State Canoe Racing Championships in 2019. He has traveled by sailing canoe across all the channels in Hawaiʻi. He has also circumnavigated most of the major Hawaiian Islands in a kayak. He is a surfer, freediver, spearfisherman, and bodysurfer, as well as a former Junior Olympic Water Polo Champion.

Like Duke Kahanamoku, Spalding has brought his waterman spirit to support his community. He shares his love of the ocean by taking numerous kids and adults on sailing adventures throughout the Hawaiian Islands. He has traveled extensively in Fiji where he has helped revive an interest in canoes and traditional seafaring. He also founded a scholarship fund for disadvantaged Fijian students. He is a past board member of Na Hale O Maui. He sits on the Board of Trustees for his alma mater, Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy, and was formally on the Advisory Board for the Trust for Public Lands.

In 1988, the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation gave a small grant to a fifteen-year-old surfer from Konawaena High School to compete in a world amateur surfing competition in Puerto Rico. This year, some 33 years later we come full circle and induct that surfer, Shane Dorian, into the Hawaiʻi Waterman Hall of Fame.

Originally from Kailua-Kona, Dorian moved by himself at the tender age of fifteen to Oʻahu’s North Shore to pursue his pro surfing dreams. Dorian spent eleven years touring as a pro surfer on the World Championship Tour, becoming one of Hawaiʻi’s best-known surfers when he was ranked number four in the world in 1999 and 2000. He earned first-place finishes in the 1994 Nescau Surf Energy, the 1996 O’Neill Surf Challenge, the 1999 Rip Curl World Cup, and the 2000 Billabong Pro.  In 2000 he also won the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) “Waterman of the Year” award. In 1995 – shortly after he finished in third place at the vaunted Pipe Masters – Dorian hosted his first-ever Keiki Classic Surf Contest at Banyans on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi, an annual event for the community that continues to this day.

After retiring from the tour in 2004, Shane Dorian found a new passion for big wave surfing, fairly unchartered territory at the time, especially for those trying to make a living at it. Since then, he has received ten WSL Big Wave Awards and two Billabong XXL Awards for his thrilling monster wave rides. He’s also appeared in multiple surf films and television shows, among them: Momentum Generation, Life as a Movie, Thicker than Water, and In God’s Hands.

In 2010, Dorian suffered a terrifying wipeout at Mavericks with a two-wave hold-down. Realizing how close to death he had come, Dorian considered retiring from big waves. Instead, the experience led him to design a safety suit – a wetsuit vest that inflates with CO2 during a hold-down and propels the surfer back to the surface. Now considered standard equipment, this invention and its innovative iterations will continue to save countless lives for big wave surfers.

Dorian’s lengthy tenure as one of the world’s best surfers, along with his humble nature and giving persona for the keiki in his community are a shining example of one who continues to share Duke’s Aloha spirit with all those he comes in contact with.


Duke Kahanamoku, Eddie Aikau, Wally Froiseth, Fred Hemmings, Buffalo Keaulana, Rabbit Kekai, Keo Nakama, Nappy Napoleon, Rell Sunn, Peter Cole, Ethel Kukea, Aileen Soule, Nainoa Thompson, Ricky Grigg, Archie Kalepa, Brian Keaulana, Michael Tongg, and the four surfing ali‘i of the Royal Family of Hawai‘i: Prince David Kawananakoa, Prince Edward Keli‘iahonui, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana‘ole, and Princess Victoria Ka‘iulani, Steve Borowski, Tommy Conner, Linda Kaiser, Bill Smith and China Uemura, George David “Dad” Center, Mark Cunningham, Anona Napoleon, Randy Rarick, Sonny Tanabe, Joey Cabell, Duane DeSoto, Walter Guild, Soichi Sakamoto, Bruce Blankenfeld, Paul Straunch Jr., Diane Stowell and Sharron Weber, John and Jim Foti, Tim Guard, Tommy Holmes, Pokey Watson Richardson, Woody Brown, Dave Kalama, Kalani Vierra, Ann Yoshida, Kai Lenny, Tracy Phillips Darling and Robby Naish.

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