Results From The 34th Annual Haleiwa International Open

34th Annual Haleiwa International OpenDec 22, 2003 to Jan 04, 2003

The Haleiwa International Open is the longest running multi-national amateur contest in all of Hawaii. This event in short aka HIO is a unique event to the North Shore and to Amateur surfing. It’s the only non-professional event where competitors have a 2-week waiting period for the best possible conditions for competition. The HIO is known for sending surfers out in waves up to 10 feet. While most would stay home, the true brave surfers come out of the wood works to show case their talent in Haleiwa’s diverse surfing conditions.


This year’s event was a very special one indeed! I had taken on the responsibility of Director to organize the 34th HIO. With a lot of help from Rocky Canon, Clifton Bothelo and Kawika Foster, we were able to compile of solid working crew of Judges and Water Patrol to step up competition and camaraderie for everyone that came down to the beach. Good vibes and great commentary were just some of the highlights of this year’s event. The level of competition set the tone from day 1 to day 4.

The goal that we had set for our selves was to step up the level of competition through quality judging, wave quality during competition and setting a good precedence for amateur surfing in Hawaii. We are really focusing on the youth here and want to get as many Hawaiians to become top level pros. If this is an event that can help make that possible for these surfers then our work here is going in the right direction. Some surfer who have moved up into this level are Andy and Bruce Irons, Kalani Robb, Fred Patacchia, Joel Centeio, Tj Barron, Kekoa Bacalso and this list goes on.

The surf was consistently 2-4 feet with a few days in the 6-foot range; competitors were hitting lips, throwing tail and busting airs like they were supposed to. Jerry Coffman our head judge said, “the level of competition has gone up so much and we are excited to be apart of the event! Standouts were Tonino Benson from the Big Island who landed a flawless backside air 360 in the Boys final to clinch the title. Jensen Hassett displayed a flawless backhand attack to take out an International Juniors Final. Along with Seniors Shortboard winner Richard Beebe who surfed through the event with back cramps and still was able to pull out the win. Our special Dan Gora Memorial Award went to Leonard Foster Jr. for making double finals in the Mens and Masters Longboard division and was the most outstanding surfer of the whole event.

I am grateful for the opportunity that was bestowed on my crew and me. It took a lot of work to make this event a good one. I’m so stoked that we were able to give back to a community that has given so much to us and surfing in Hawaii. Congratulations to all our competitors, great surfing in all divisions. Last and definitely not least; Mahalo to our sponsors who helped to make this years event one to remember. See you next year.

Aloha,Jason Shibata

HIO Event Organizer

Mens Longboard
1. Ned Snow
2. Keoki Saguibo
3. Leonard Foster Jr.
4. Charles Tantog

Boys Shortboard
1. Tonino Benson
2. Syu Hagiwara
3. Derek Wong
4. Dai Wako

Masters Longboard
1. Leonard Foster Jr.
2. Kawaika Foster
3. Kalani Wilia
4. Scott Perez

Junior Mens
1. Jensen Hassett
2. Dede Suryana
3. Yukio Ogawa
4. Eric Knutson

Seniors Longboard
1. Leonard Foster Sr.
2. Melvin Puu
3. Warren Hoohuli
4. Brian Hurov

Mens Shortboard
1. Robin Johnston
2. Spencer Suitt
3. Hoptong Smith
4. Billy Choi

Grandmasters Longboard
1. Rodney Nakasato
2. Jock Sutherland
3. Randy Paty
4. Teru Ohashi

1. Christian Galdeano
2. Cade Odayamuri
3. Evaristo Ferreira
4. Eddie Crawford

Womens Longboard
1. Sarah Covell
2. Iwalani Foster
3. Crystal Dziggas
4. Katherine Van Dyke

Seniors Shortboard
1. Richard Beebe
2. Dale Sabate
3. Romulo Fonseca
4. Glenn Pang

Japan Mens Shortboard
1. Nick Mita
2. Naohisa Ogawa
3. Kazuya Sato
4. Shuji Kasuya