Hall of Fame: Fred M. Hemmings Jr. (1965)

Fred probably is one of Hawaii’s best known athletes, particularly for his participation in, and promotion of national and international surfing meets.

At Punahou, he was a star all-around football lineman. In 1961 he co-captained Punahou’s ILH Junior Varsity Championship team, winning the “Most Inspirational Player Award.” A three year varsity letterman, he co-captained the 1964, ILH Championship squad, and again won Most Inspirational Player honors. His aggressive play won him a place on that year’s Honolulu Star Bulletin’s All-Star First team and the Honolulu Quarterback Club’s Athlete of the Year award. This article appears as originally published in the Summer 1994 issue of the Punahou Bulletin.

At the University of Hawaii, Fred made the varsity football starting team in his freshman year. He then elected to give up football ad concentrate on obtaining an academic degree. Another reason – to handle the demands of his burgeoning sports promotion career.


Following are highlights of Fred’s surfing, canoe paddling and sports promotion activities:

Surfing: Makaha International Championships: Junior Champion in 1962 and 1963; Senior Champion 1964 and 1965. Duke Kahanamoku Classic: Finalist, five years, 1965 – 1969. Puerto Rico World Championships; 1968 Champion. Haleiwa Sea Spree: 1969 Champion.

Canoe Paddling: 1965 to 1988 participated in 32 annual Hawaii State Championship Regattas and four Moloka‘i to O‘ahu canoe races (steersman on winning open teams of 1967, 1968, 1975 and Masters 1984).

Sports Promotion Achievements: Founder, owner, producers of the following surfing championship meets: Smirnoff World Pro-Am: six years 1969 – 74. Pipeline Masters: 23 years 1971 – 88. World Cup: 14 years 1975 – 88. World Team: five years 1976 – 80. Triple Crown: five years 1976 – 80.

Fred has been a sports commentator for the following networks: NBC, five years; ABC, seven years; and CBS, two years. He has served also as a TV sports moderator, surfing consultant, weekly columnist and has appeared on numerous television commercials. He has authored or co-authored several books on surfing.

Special Honors: Founder and President of International Professional Surfing; Honorary Life Director – Association of Surfing Professionals, and United States Sporting Federation National Amateur Sanctioning Body; Duke Kahanamoku Sportsman Award, 1969; Association of Surfing Professionals Service to Sports Award, 1989; Inducted into International Surfing Hall of Fame 1991.

An active Republican, Fred served three terms in the State House of Representatives (1984 – 90) and was a strong gubernatorial candidate in 1990. Currently he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Denver Broncos football team.

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