TOP SEEDS HEAT UP COMPETITION AT CONVERSE HAWAIIAN OPEN

TOP SEEDS HEAT UP COMPETITION AT CONVERSE HAWAIIAN OPEN

3rd Stage of the 2004 United States Professional Longboard Surfing Championships

Highlight of the 2004 Duke Kahanamoku Ho’olaule’a (Celebration)

Honolulu – (Friday, August 20, 2004) – Defending Converse Hawaiian Open champion Bonga Perkins (Haleiwa, HI) was in brilliant form during his first appearance at Queens, Waikiki, today, advancing through to the quarter finals along with eight other Hawaiians, six Californians, and one Floridian. The fancy footwork, buttery smooth style, and power turns of Perkins, 32, seemed to float like a magic carpet across the smooth 3-foot surf. Close to 30 years of experience at the break also played its part in a flawless performance.

The Converse Hawaiian Pro is the third of four events that make up the US Professional Longboard Championships. Perkins missed the second event of the Series at Oceanside, California, earlier in the year due to a knee injury and only gives himself a slim chance of taking out the US title.

“It’s going to be really tough to win the whole series,” said Perkins. “It’s a long-shot, but still a possibility, so I can’t count it out. The event is still wide open and the level of competition is getting harder and harder.

“For a long time you had the top dogs that always dominated, but now you’ve got these young kids taking it to the top guys. They’re hungry and they’ve got nothing to lose. I guess the competition will just keep getting younger and better from year to year.

“This whole longboard series has got great credibility now. It’s a legitimate national tour and it’s bringing out all the top guys from around the nation. The whole standard just keeps getting better and better.”

At 32, Perkins represents the more experienced end of the competitor’s spectrum, but more than half the field through to the quarter finals are under 25 – the youngest, Honolulu’s Ned Snow is just 19.

But while the future of the traditional sport of longboard surfing looks to be firmly in the grasp of an ever-younger breed, there is still plenty of room and respect for longboarding’s forefathers. In a special Legends expression session today, 83-year-old Queens legend Rabbit Kekai showed that age has little impact when sport is simply your way of life.

Kekai was just a 7-year-old kid when he first started carving his way through the Waikiki lineup back in 1920, when he had to give up the best waves to his elder Duke Kahanamoku – the forefather of surfing. Today he was joined by six other legends of longboarding: Robert August (CA) of Endless Summer fame; Paul Strauch, member of the Duke Kahanamoku Surf Team (Hawaii); Robert ‘Wingnut’ Weaver (CA), from Endless Summer 2; 1979 women’s world No.2 Jericho Poplar (CA); Mark Martinson (CA) big wave rider of the ’60’s and former commercial fisherman out of Haleiwa; and Hawaiian 70’s sensation Ben Aipa.

“I remember being a young kid out here surfing with Duke,” recounts Kekai. “The older guys used to tell me ‘eh kid, get outta here’. I just used to tell ’em, go speak to the Old Man (Duke) if you got a problem with me.

“I think it’s because of the Old Man that we’re getting such good waves for this event. this event has got plenty of mana (Hawaiian for power, spirit).

“For me, surfing is a lifestyle. I surf from day one to today and I’m 83. I won’t stop.”

Round one of the men’s Surf N Sea nose-riding event were held late this-afternoon and competitors rode against the clock for time spent on the nose of their longboards. The top three rides timed were Joel Tudor (La Jolla, CA) – 15.3 seconds; Colin McPhillips (San Clemente, CA) – 14.32; and the best of the best, Maui’s Noah Shimabukuro with an amazing 18.5 second nose ride. Those three surfers will be joined by 15 others in the round before the nose-riding final tomorrow.

In the women’s quarter finals, defending champion Julie Whitegon (Encinitas, CA) lost hope of retaining her title after a dispointing loss to Hawaii’s Joy Magelsson (Honolulu) and Florida’s Jenni Flannigan (Tequesta). There are eight women left in the competition, made up of four Hawaiians and four Mainland surfers.

The final day of competition is tomorrow, featuring semi-final and final heats of men’s and women’s open competition as well as the men’s and women’s Surf N Sea nose-riding event.

The Hawaiian Open is proudly sponsored by Converse shoes. Established in 1908, around the time Duke Kahanamoku first made his mark, Converse is committed to surfing and the surf lifestyle that celebrates the roots of the sport.

For more information:

Jodi Young, Ocean Promotion, in Hawaii
Tel: (808) 638-7700
Email: oceanpromotion@hawaii.rr.com

RESULTS:

Men’s Round 3 – 1st & 2nd advance

H1: Dane Peterson (Aust), Josh Mohr (Hungtington Beach, CA), Rob Farrow, Brett Russell
H2: Jordan Hart (Honolulu), Ryan Russell (Gulf Breeze, FL), Raul Gonzales, Tommy Chun-Ming
H3: Keegan Edwards (Honolulu), Kekoa Auwae (Waianae), Daniel Uchimura (HI), Steve Thomas
H4: Tanner Beckett (Santa Cruz, CA), Kevin Osborne (San Clemente, CA), Makamae Desoto (Honolulu), Ben Lempke
H5: Tony Silvagni (Kure Beach, NC), Joey Valentin (Honolulu), Ryan Engle, Ezra Rodriguez
H6: Mike Detemple (Indialantic, FL), Dan Grunow (La Jolla, CA), Jeff Silva
H7: Duane Desoto (Honolulu), Keoki Saguibo (Haleiwa), Kiva Rivers, Michael Sisiam
H8: Ned Snow (Honolulu), Tommy Witt (San Clemente, CA), Rusty Keaulana (Makaha)

Men’s Round 4:

H1: Bonga Perkins (Haleiwa), Taylor Jensen (Imperial Beach, CA), Josh Mohr (Huntington Beach, CA), Dane Peterson (Australia)
H2: Tommy Lloy (Dana Point, CA), Noah Shimabukuro (Kula, Maui), Jordan Hart (Honolulu), Ryan Russell (Gulf Breeze, FL)
H3: Keegan Edwards (Honolulu), Kekoa Auwae (Waianae), Christian Wach (Capistrano, CA), Sean Keany (Carlsbad, CA)
H4: Josh Baxter (San Clemente, CA), Tanner Beckett (Santa Cruz, CA), Kevin Osborne (San Clemente, CA), Tony Moniz (Honolulu)
H5: Joey Valentin (Honolulu), Joel Tudor (La Jolla, CA), Tyler Warren (Dana Point, CA), Tony Silvagni (Kure Beach, NC)
H6: Colin McPhillips (San Clemente, CA), Mike Detemple (Indialantic, FL), Justin Hugron (Huntington Beach, CA), Dan Grunow (La Jolla, CA)
H7: Kai Sallas (Honolulu), Duane Desoto (Honolulu), Keoki Saguibo (Haleiwa), Dennis Bourge (San Clemente, CA)
H8: Ned Snow (Honolulu), Dino Miranda (Honolulu), Steve Newton (Capistrano Beach, CA), Tommy Witt (San Clemente, CA)

Draw for men’s Quarters:

H1: Bonga Perkins (Haleiwa), Taylor Jensen (Imperial Beach, CA), Tommy Lloy (Dana Point, CA), Noah Shimabukuro (Kula, Maui)
H2: Keegan Edwards (Honolulu), Kekoa Auwae (Waianae), Josh Baxter (San Clemente, CA), Tanner Beckett (Santa Cruz, CA)
H3: Joey Valentin (Honolulu), Joel Tudor (La Jolla, CA), Colin McPhillips (San Clemente, CA), Mike Detemple (Indialantic, FL)
H4: Kai Sallas (Honolulu), Duane Desoto (Honolulu), Ned Snow (Honolulu), Dino Miranda (Honolulu)
Nose-riding semi-finalists:

Joel Tudor, Zander Hartman, Colin McPhillips, Daryn Flem, Mike Detemple, Jeff Silva, Ryan Russell, Rusty Keaulana, Brad Vetter, Brett Russell, Bonga Perkins, Noah Shimabukuro, Josh Baxter, Dane Peterson, Kai Sallas, Joey Valentin, Tommy Lloy.

Women’s Quarter Finals:

H1: Joy Magelsson (Honolulu), Jenni Flannigan (Tequesta, FL), Julie Whitegon (Encinitas, CA), Schuyler McFerran (Encinitas, CA)
H2: Pinoi Makalena (Honolulu), Leah Dawson (Orlando, FL), Belinda Baggs (Australia), Keliana Woolsey (Waimanalo)
H3: Amy Lawson (Honolulu), Mary Bagalso (Oceanside, CA), Kristy Murphy (Jupiter, FL), Mary Osborne (Ventura, CA)
H4: Marissa Barry (Dana Pt., CA), Desiree Desoto (Waianae), Crystal Dzigas (Honolulu), Ashley Pardoen (San Clemente, CA)

Draw for Women’s Semi-Finals:

H1: Joy Magelsson (Honolulu), Jenni Flannigan (Tequesta, FL), Pinoi Makalena (Honolulu), Leah Dawson (Orlando, FL)
H2: Amy Lawson (Honolulu), Mary Bagalso (Oceanside, CA), Marissa Barry (Dana Pt, CA), Desiree Desoto (Waianae)

Dawson (Orlando, FL)
H2: Amy Lawson (Honolulu), Mary Bagalso (Oceanside, CA), Marissa Barry (Dana Pt, CA), Desiree Desoto (Waianae)