Hale’iwa, Hawai’i (Dec. 26, 2005–Jan. 8, 2006)—– The 36th Annual Surf-N-Sea Hale’iwa International Open wrapped up competition with Hawaiian sized 4-to 8 foot with occ. 10 foot bombs at Ali’i Beach Park in Hale’iwa, O’ahu. This contest is the longest running amateur event in the world. And, is the only big wave amateur event in the nation—giving young competitors valuable experience in sizeable surf.
Rell Sunn and Earl Dahlin originally started the Hale’iwa International Open as a good will event for visiting Japanese surfers. Over the years, more international surfers have been entering the big wave event. This year, surfers from Brazil, France, Australia and Japan joined the Hawaiians for a special four days of competition that was judged by three ASP judges.
These pro judges were treated to samurai surfing at its finest by the Japanese contingent. Shuji Kasuya and Minetou Ushikoshi made sushi out of the bombing, wasabi waves in the Japan Mens division. Kasuya would claim the tasty ‘W’ with Ushikoshi in second.
Local boy, Leeward resident Hizson Lin-Kee took home double whammy wins in the Junior Mens and Mens shortboard divisions. Throughout the comp, Lin-Kee’s front side hack resembled a mini Sunny Garcia. The 14-year-old, regular foot also took his front side hack attack to the Boys shortboard division with a runner up position, behind Brazil’s Kiron Jabour. Yet, Lin-Kee surfed well enough to beat out pubescent phenomenon John John Florence who claimed third place in the Boys division. Look for this Hawaiian rivalry to develop more throughout their young careers. For his impressive surfing Lin-Kee was also presented the Dan Gora Memorial award, which is given to the most outstanding surfer of the comp.
Also grabbing a victory was Leonard Foster Jr. who dominated the Masters longboard division. While his pops, Leonard Foster Sr. made two finals appearances with a win in the Seniors longboard and second place finish behind Jock Sutherland in the Grand Masters longboard division.
Sutherland demonstrated why there is a surf spot named after him by putting in serious heat time. Jock surfed back to back semi-final to final heats in the Senior Mens shortboard and Grand Masters longboard divisions, showing the youngins that endurance isn’t reserved for the youth. Jocko would finish in fourth for the shortboard and claim victory in the longboard division.
The 36th Annual Surf-N-Sea Hale’iwa International Open wasn’t just about competition. It was also a way for Hawai’i’s up and coming professionals to build relationships for the future. Contest directors and young pro surfers Zen Yoshifuku and Jason Shibata collaborated with the Young Bucks of the Hawaiian Water Patrol to put on a safe, big wave event.
Proceeds from this event go to the Hale’iwa Surf Center and the local community. Mahalo to Surf-N-Sea, Matsumoto Shave Ice, Xtended Family Tree, Otis, Lancifer Visual and Gallery 808.