Mens. Photo: Betty Depolito
Ehukai surf break was once again the hot spot for the Route 99 Bay Equity Pipeline Bodyboard Challenge. Pipeline has not shown its teeth for a while now due to lots of sand build so Ehukai was the site of a full day of competition for Women’s Bodyboarding and the Drop Knee divisions. Surf was a bit bigger with a new swell sweeping into the break about 2-4 feet. Conditions were much improved also for the athletes and waves were very consistent. In Drop Knee bodyboarding Sammy Morretino from Kauai got the drop on David Hubbard. Just one point separated the two. Morretino won with a 12.34 and Hubbard right behind with an 11.34. The surf was considered small for the competitors. The Women bodyboarders were the first to surf at Pipeline in a contest in 1990 and soon after women’s short boarders took on the spot.
It was a long-time competitor from Brazil that placed first, Neymara Carvalho, with an 11.77 total score. Carvalho has been surfing in the competition since the third year and is a former winner. Second was Sari Ohhara from Japan. Ohhara is no stranger to Pipeline. There has always been a strong contingent of Japanese women bodyboarders charging Pipeline. Both pulled off double spins and completed rolls to score. Rolls were done right into the sand, a very dangerous point-getter!
The Route 99 Bay Equity Pipeline Bodyboard Challenge finished up at the break Pipeline. The men’s participants wanted to wait for the last swell of the waiting period and it paid off in a great way with surf good in the morning at 3-4 feet. The sand build-up was still challenging making for last-ditch maneuvers into the sand bank. It was a battle of flips, 360’s, and air moves, really fun to watch! Later it was more like victory at sea as west winds came as a front approached. “We were blessed to get a run at Pipeline, so it’s all good”, said Kawika Rohr-Kamai, 22 from Waimanalo. Rohr-Kamai finished up in third place. Fourth went to the youngest in the final, Haven Ahn. Ahn is 18 and has been competing for just two years “ My goal is to stick with it hoping bodyboarding becomes big again like short boarding is”, said Ahn. It was the elder of the final Jeffery Hubbard, 47, from Ewa Beach just missing out on the win. “We surfed 5 heats today, we all started from the beginning. I’m glad to make the final with these tough guys”, said Hubbard after the awards. Hubbard is a 3-time world champion and 5-time winner of this event. He is known for innovating air maneuvers. He was just edged out by 24-year-old Tanner McDaniel from Kauai. “I was pretty gassed at the end but when you have back-to-back heats like that you just gotta kind of get in a rhythm and keep the energy and maintain, try to keep calm and keep going”. Going he did, right to the win and $1,600.00.
Congratulations to the entire crew and sponsors.
This event was supported by The Foam Co., North Shore Surf Girls, First Hawaiian Bank, Surf News Network, Crispy Grinds, The Stem Clinic, Matsumotos, The North Shore News, The North Shore Chamber of Commerce, Paia, Love Fitness, Able Pest Management, FlHi Girls Surfing & Sports TV, and so many more. Mahalo!
1- Sammy Morretino – HI
2- David Hubbard – HI
3- Justin Cadiente – HI
4- Mack Crilley – HI
Women’s Pro Bodyboarding
1- Neymara Carvalho – BRZ
2- Sari Ohhara – JPN
3- Ayaka Suzuki Crilley – JPN/HI
4- Jessica Becker – BRZ/HI
1- Tanner McDaniel – HI
2- Jeff Hubbard – HI
3- Kawika Rohr-Kamai – HI
4- Haven Ahn – HI
Betty Depolito / Banzai Enterprises / 808-781-2535
FlHI Girls Surfing & Sports TV
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