for primates: a catalogue of surfboards in australia since 1900
: hawiian competitve swimming 1916
HISTORICAL STUDY OF THE DEVELOPMENT
THE COMPETITIVE SWIMMING OF HAWAII UP TO 1916
A THESIS SUBMITTED
TO THE GRADUATE DIVISION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR
THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS
Ralph R. Wright
After about a
month in Hawaii, negotiations were finally completed for a proposed Australian
swimming tour which had been first offered in 1912 and every year since
The last month
of the year found Duke and George Cunha aboard ship enroute to Australia
and New Zealand with Francis Evans as their manager.<13>
Pacific Commercial Advertiser.., November 25, 1914, p. 12.
were impressed by the tall, lithe, powerful figure, handsome features,
soft speech, and courteous manners of the Duke, as he became known throughout
the land within a very short space of time, partly due to difficulty they
experienced with his surname. <1>
mastered it to their satisfaction and to this day pronounce it very quickly
as Kahanamoku. George Cunha also made a most favorable impression. In fact,
he made a better impression than Duke because he trained regularly and
faithfully in the manner the Australians expected of a champion, and they
therefore watched him and analyzed his swimming.
didn't seem to train at all, which bothered the Australians no little,
because the only chance they had to see him swim was in the races, and
he went so fast there that they felt they couldn't quite see what he was
doing to make him go that fast.
frustrated, they lauded Cunha and depreciated Kahanamoku.<2>
1 Letter from
Thomas Boatwright to the author, October 9, 1947.
2 The Pacific
Commercial Advertiser, January 29, 1915, P. 12.
In addition to
the swimming, Duke gave eight exhibitions or surf-boarding,<10> which
created a sensation as is explained in the following:
Up to the
time or his visit the Australians had perfected body-shooting in the surf
and small wave shooting on badly constructed boards.
however, showed by his great skill what "cracking" a big one was with its
He had a board
especially constructed and one Sunday morning before many thousands of
onlookers gave a demonstration of board shooting never to be forgotten
by those who saw it on one of Sydney's beaches known as Freshwater.<11>
this had on Australia is not generally recognized in Hawaii or the rest
of the world, but statements made by John Douglas, a director of the Australian
Broadcasting Commission and & surf enthusiast show Duke's influence
clearly s follows:
For every surf
board in Hawaii today there are 100 in use in Australia.
133 surfing associations with gear worth $66,000 and you have not only
to pay a fee to join one, but must do voluntary life guard service as well.
saved 8,920 lives last year.<12>
can personally testify to the general truth in the first sentence of the
10 The Pacific
Commercial Advertiser, loc. cit. The Pacific Commercial Advertiser,
April 11, 1915, p.7.
from Thomas Boatwright to the author, October 9, 1947
12 The Honolulu
Advertiser, November 20, 1947, p. 1.