The Converse Hawaiian Open This Weekend

2nd Stage of the 2005 United States Professional Longboard Surfing Championships

Highlight of the 2005 Duke Kahanamoku Ho’olaule’a (Celebration)

Location: Queens Surf, Kuhio Beach, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii

Dates: August 25 -27, 2005

Prize money: $13,000 split equally between men’s and women’s divisions

Competitors: The nation’s top men and women professional longboard surfers

Added attraction: A timed noseriding specialty event, with the pros surfing against each other and the stopwatch as they try to “hang ten or “hang five for as long as possible.

Plus: The Hawaiian Airlines Teams Challenge in which surfing members of the Honolulu business community match up with local surf legends and beach boys in a fundraiser for the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation.

The second stage of the U.S. Professional Longboard Surfing Championships comes to Waikiki Beach this week as the best longboarders from Hawaii, California and the East Coast do battle in the waves for big money and ratings points that will ultimately determine the national title in both men’s and women’s divisions.

The event is being held in conjunction with Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Ho’olaule’a 2005—a week-long celebration marking the birthday of the late Hawaiian waterman and Olympic Champion who is also universally revered as the “father of modern surfing.

“We’re very pleased to bring the U.S. Pro Longboard Championships back to Hawaii for the third year in succession, said Longboard Magazine Senior Editor Paul Holmes. “It’s also an honor to be holding the 2005 Converse Hawaiian Open at Waikiki, where Duke Kahanamoku himself rode the waves all those years ago. Holmes added that not only was Kahanamoku a key figure in spreading the word about surfing across the globe during the early decades of the 20th century, he was also instrumental in the development of surfing as a professional sport.

“The first Duke Kahanamoku Invitational, held in 1965 on the North Shore of Oahu, was the world’s first major professional surfing event, said Holmes. “Duke would have been amazed at how far pro surfing has come today.

The U.S. Professional Longboard Surfing Championships, presented by Longboard Magazine, is the only surfing competition series in the world in which both men and women surf at the same time and place for equal prize money. This year’s championships comprise three events: held in Florida, Hawaii and California.

The Converse Hawaiian Open will be pivotal in the 2005 U.S. championship because it is the mid-point, make-or-break event in the series. In the men’s division, all eyes will be on defending U.S. Champion and three-time World Champion, Colin McPhillips of San Clemente, California. Trailing McPhillips by one place on the ratings is the number two seed, 22-year-old Noah Shimabukuro of Kula, Maui, who is making another big push for the men’s title this year. Current ratings leader Mike DeTemple of Indiatlantic, Florida will also be on hand to give both surfers a run for the money and the ratings points. All three were finalists in the first event of the season, with DeTemple taking the win at the Cocoa Beach Easter Surf Festival in Florida.

At least four other former World Champions will be competing in the Converse Hawaiian Open including last year’s winner, Joel Tudor from California, and Hawaiians Bonga Perkins, Dino Miranda and Rusty Keaulana.

Competition in the women’s division will be similarly intense, but defending U.S. Champion Joy Magelssen is sure to be the local favorite. The popular 20-year-old from Honolulu has some catching up to do since she is currently ranked number 11 on the ratings, but she managed second place in the Converse Hawaiian Open last year before going on to win the last event of the year and earn the national title. With local knowledge and crowd support behind her, Magelssen is the woman to watch out for at Queen’s Surf later this week.

While the longboard surfing in the opeen divisions of the U.S. Championships are the highlight of the three-day competition in the Converse Hawaiian Open, spectators will also be treated to an additional “contest within a contest at Waikiki. In the timed noseriding specialty event, the contestants’ scores are tallied on the judges’ stopwatches only when they are riding on the front 18 inches of the board. Spectacular hang ten and hang five noserides can be expected during which the surfers appear to defy gravity. Prize money for the timed noseriding specialty event totals $3,000 split equally between men’s and women’s divisions.

Finally, there will be no shortage of fun during the Hawaiian Airlines Teams Challenge as amateur surfers team up with surf legends and beach boys to raise funds for the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation. Among the stars: Buffalo Keaulana, Rabbit Kekai, Joey Cabell, Clyde Aikau, Gabby Makalena, Ben Aipa and more.

Surfing in the Converse Hawaiian Open begins at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 24 with finals in all divisions scheduled for shortly after noon on Saturday, August 27.

For more information on the Converse Hawaiian Open at Waikiki and/or the 2005 United States Professional Longboard Surfing Championships, please contact: Paul Holmes – Tel: (949) 637-5156 or E-mail: editor@longboardmagazine.com